Operating a successful volunteer safety team is similar to paid security forces. You can create a rewarding ministry by following these steps:
Determine what skills and knowledge the team members should possess. Candidates with a strong background in emergency services are ideal. Additionally, you may look for mental and emotional stability and general people skills. A keen sense of observation and ability to make decisions while under stress are also desirable traits. Use care when selecting people without a law enforcement, military or medical background.
Meet each applicant in person and discuss the responsibilities and schedule associated with the position. Do not attempt to manipulate them through pleas or the use of God. Let the applicant know that a background check is standard procedure for volunteers.
Arrange an introductory training session for volunteers and have mandatory meetings scheduled throughout the year. Cover church policies and discuss the types of situations that may arise. From vandalism to violent action, the team needs to know how to address anything that may occur. Make certain that the laws and policies regarding weapons and force are covered and understood. Include individual and group activities.
Assign each member to their post, making certain they understand their duties. Check in with them regularly during the first few assignments. Rotate volunteers through each position so the entire team is comfortable fulfilling the demands of each. If you have a team member who cannot work for any reason, the others will be prepared to fill in for them.
The ongoing process of managing the team is vital to the ministry success. When scheduling volunteers, make sure that each has ample time for their personal endeavors, including attending services and family time. Though enthusiastic members may resist, this schedule will prevent burnout. Encourage them to see their ministry as both a service to the church and a personal ministry.
If you follow these guidelines, your team will be strong and ready to serve the ministry long-term.