I’ve had two people ask me if the church has a contingency plan for an attempted mass shooting. We do not. I do not think there is any real chance that a mass shooting will happen at our particular church. And I’ll admit I’m skeptical as to what can be done given the power of automatic weapons and the fact that we all gather together in one place for worship on Sunday morning. Nonetheless, here are my recommendations for dealing with fires, tornadoes, and attempted mass shootings while at the church.
Fire: Exit the building and call 911.
Tornado: Go to Wright Fellowship Hall, the Wright Fellowship Hall Kitchen (even better the “dungeon” off of the kitchen), or the old nursery room (Room B-9). Use the phone or Wi-Fi in the basement to let someone outside the area know that you are safe and where you have taken cover.
Attempted Mass Shooting: run, hide, take cover, create a distraction, or swarm depending on the circumstances. When you can do so safely, call 911. I would suggest you take a look at the guide provided by The Washington Post in consultation with several security specialists.
In all these circumstances I would suggest you pray (although I’m pretty sure this will come automatically). I would encourage you to take heart in the fact that Jesus Christ went through death and out the other side into eternal life that we might do likewise. This sure and certain hope is an excellent reason to join the gathered congregation on Sunday morning.
A now for the political part you may want to skip: I have avoided talking about gun-control because it is a highly-charged political issue and given the diverse nature of our congregation I try to avoid engaging in too many of those. Nonetheless, I cannot bring myself to write a post about how to respond to an attempted mass shooting without encouraging you to contact your elected representatives and urge them to pass common sense gun control legislation. (An example would be the universal background checks supported by roughly 90% of Americans.)