Our Security Policy reads, “The church will secure the services of an off-duty police officer from the Oakwood Police Department each week…who will be on-duty at the church for 2 1/2 hours from 10:00 to 12:30.”
Think of the presence of this officer as an extension of the church’s hospitality and security needs. This officer will be an extension of our ministry providing a safe and welcoming presence to our congregation.
This past Sunday morning, a clear example of why a police presence is needed at Grace was present in our morning worship service. A person showed up after the worship service started claiming to be a female evangelist who had been led by the Holy Spirit to attend the service to determine if our church was “Spirit” filled and “Spirit” led. This individual came forward during the invitation to tell me that she had been led by the Holy Spirit to preach in our church and needed gas money, food and was raising funds in the amount of $7,000 for a trip to Israel to visit a sick relative. Bottom line, this stranger left our church with a full tank of gas, money for lunch and additional donations which approached $100. That is a pretty healthy mornings work for someone we do not know, have no information concerning background or history and living out of their car.
This past week, this same individual continued to contact members of our church suggesting that a more “Spiritual” ministry can be found at another church and that a meeting with the pastor of said church could lead to mission and ministry opportunities not available here at Grace. Rather than “Spirit” filled, this person displayed a “Spirit” of disruption and has injected confusion within our congregation.
Listen to what the Bible says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
The Holy Spirit does not display a spirit of confusion. After doing further investigation, it has been learned that this person has been in our church before and suspected of conducting similar shake-downs in the past.
Granted, this individual was not an armed shooter looking to kill or maim innocent people, but the impact of disruption and confusion caused by a single person bearing a contrary spirit can be recognized and avoided because we now have a uniformed, trained and alert police officer standing watch. A person with an impure motive entering our campus and seeing a police presence will more than likely head the other way. I feel safer and more secure already.
on duty at Grace this morning
A WARM WELCOME.