TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Preacher Jim Gibson delivered a message the night after the deadly church shooting in Texas.
He says, "I could tell in the service that night it affected everybody because we consider that a sister church. They're part of the family. Even though we don't know them, we were grieving for them."
Gibson retired from full time pastoral work in 2014. But since then he's taken his message on the road. Including his passion for churches to take security into their own hands.
The preacher says, "I think our leaders are waking up that we need to take some precautionary measures so our folks will know they're as safe as possible. We can't eliminate all danger, but we need to do what we can."
Gibson says safety is often a struggle for small churches. Hiring security isn't an option because of money. But he says having "something" in place is better than nothing.
Gibson suggests, "We can have people outside that are looking maybe not necessarily outside the building. Security cameras maybe to monitor traffic and foot traffic. Where someone can monitor what's going on during the service."
Gibson says things like leaving church doors unlocked are a thing of the past. But he says to think about it. After Sandy Hook, things changed drastically for security measures in schools. And now he says it's time for churches to follow suit.
Gibson explains, "Churches are soft targets just as much as schools are. It was unthinkable a decade ago that our schools would have guards. But that's the day we're living in. Our cultures have become increasingly violent, and our churches are the last to understand that they're soft targets."
While it's a topic that many religious leaders have put off, Gibson says some are finally coming to the table to have this difficult conversation.
He says, "We’re sort of conflicted about it but we have a responsibility as church leaders to make sure that our worshippers are as safe as possible."
If you'd like to consult with Pastor Jim Gibson, he can be reached at email@example.com.