This week’s “Think About it” comes from FBSN Legacy member George Betscha who is also a police officer in Florida. This hit home to me on many levels and brought many experiences to memory. Some I handled well, others I didn’t. George’s words are meaningful to me and I encourage you to take heed.
Today it is disheartening to read the news. A church security member has been arrested on multiple felony counts involving attempting to meet a child (who was really an undercover officer) for sex. We read more stories like this every year. It’s one thing to read it in the news; it’s completely different when it happens in your own house.
It happened in my church just a few years ago. Although the person was not a security team member, they were a long-time, trusted member of the church. No one expected this. This person had been molesting their legally blind, adopted daughter for years. She reached adult age, had enough and filed a report. The person was arrested, confessed, and is now serving a lengthy prison sentence.
As someone who has devoted my life to catching bad guys it was discouraging and personal that I missed this. How did I miss it? What signs did I miss? Could I have prevented it? Could I have done ANYTHING? In reality, there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. There were no signs, and nothing ever happened on church property. The only way we would have known is if the victim had told us.
What if this person was a member of my safety team — a defender of the flock? Someone who is supposed to stare evil in the face and stop it, not mingle in it. Someone who is supposed to defend and protect the innocent, not cause harm to them.
Be ready to defend the people on your team who are doing the right thing. There will most likely be calls from within the church to defund, discredit or dismantle your team. As the leader, you may be asked to resign or feel the need to step aside because you feel you let everyone down. This is something that should be discussed with the leaders of your church before it happens. There must be full disclosure about the process of suspending or removing team members who violate a code of conduct.
Think about it.
Evil exists, sometimes even “in your own house”. We don’t like to think about this, but it is a reality we must face.
Are you prepared to handle the news that someone “in your own house” has committed heinous acts?
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.