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August 23, 2013

Q: Why does a church need security?

A: It’s one of the absurdities of the job.
People’s general reaction is always that it sounds like an unnecessary thing, but a church is essentially a hospital. People go there when they’re in need or hurting. Everyone there is at some level of emotional health or wellness. Some people are stable, but we also have people who aren’t as stable. McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Interviews With People Who Have Interesting or Unusual Jobs: Mega Church Rent-a-Cop.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 23, 2013 8:20 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

i spent years as a bouncer and security guard for various entities, and one of the most maddening aspects of the job is that people despise and resent your presence, right up to when they need you to save their ass.

This was true in bars, at sporting events, you name it. the attitude was always 'everyone is here just having a good time, why do you need to be standing, watching over everything like a killjoy' soon followed by 'there's a psycho over there doing XXX, please help.'

by the time we shut down for the night, no matter how many fights were broken up or bad guys removed, it was back to 'F*ckin' prick'.

except for waitresses. they love a protector.

Posted by: dan at August 23, 2013 8:46 AM

A friend of mine works for a church, he has stories of people wondering in. The homeless, the con-man looking to see if the church will give him some money, the mentally ill, the suddenly found god types all wonder in.

Posted by: Potsie at August 23, 2013 9:14 AM

There's some question whether those megachurches are actually churches. They certainly do their damnest to not seem like one.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 23, 2013 10:03 AM

As a pastor, I absolutely will not give cash to supplicants nor do we keep any on hand in the church office, not even overnight from Sunday collections.

One county over, away, a few years ago, a small church decided to keep cash in the office and disburse $25 at a time to people claiming need. This went well until a man came in with a gun, shot the pastor dead and took all the money.

The cruel fact is that the great majority of supplicants coming to my church are scam artists, pure and simple. I wrote about that in some detail on my own blog in, "The Professional Poor, the Idle Poor and the Poverty Traders, springboarding off Gerard's essay, "Compassion Fatigue."

Posted by: Donald Sensing at August 23, 2013 10:23 AM

In our inner city ministry, we had a bouncer. He was a "Green Mile" of a man who at one point had to deck a guy on the front stoop of the church. He cried and cried, he was so upset about having to cold-cock the guy, but the man was raving drunk and took a swing at him as he tried to come into the sanctuary.

Otherwise, when he wasn't around, we'd have drunk old ladies in halter tops and an attendant cigarette hanging from their lower lip, make their way up the back stair and onto the altar area, and shout, "Where's Johnny boy?"

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at August 24, 2013 4:26 PM

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