Safety First

February 14, 1999

If you attended the 10:00 a.m. worship service two weeks ago, you know that we had a disruption during the first part of my sermon. A man who is not a member or a regular attendee walked forward and stood in front of the congregation and prepared to say something. I immediately told him to leave the service, which he did after being escorted out of the sanctuary. Several people have asked about our policy regarding disruptions in the worship service. Everything I am going to say is predicated on the fact that Calvary is a high-profile church. Almost everyone in this area knows something about our church, and almost everyone has an opinion one way or the other about who we are and what we believe.

We take security issues very seriously. We are committed to guaranteeing the safety of everyone who worships here. Several years ago we spent thousands of dollars installing an elaborate fire and burglar alarm system. During the week we are very careful about locking doors and monitoring who comes in and out of our buildings – which isn’t easy to do since we have events from early in the morning until late at night. If a person stands up (without invitation) and attempts to make a statement, we will ask that person to sit down and be quiet. That usually solves the problem.

If an unknown person comes to the front of the church and wants to say something, we will remove that person from the service. We will not allow anyone to disrupt our services, nor will we put the safety of our worshipers at risk. Based on what we know, I believe we acted properly two weeks ago in removing the man from the sanctuary.

We welcome the entire world to worship with us. We are delighted to have visitors from many backgrounds in our services. We understand that not everyone who attends our services appreciates who we are or agrees with what we stand for.

We are most happy to have people with us who may see things differently than we do. As long as visitors behave themselves properly, they will be welcome for as long as they care to come regardless of who they are or what they believe. We are committed to sharing Christ with everyone who visits our services. This includes people who may cause problems. However, anyone who disrupts our services forfeits the right to remain in the sanctuary. We will respond graciously but firmly as we did two weeks ago. We will attempt to help such individuals outside the worship service.

We take this position because we want you and your family to feel safe when you come to Calvary. This is the position of the staff and elders of the church.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?