Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

How Safety Sabbath Protects Your Church

Story by Anna Bartlett

Until Jesus returns, terrible things will happen. Fires damage or consume church buildings because of arsonists, accidents and even poor maintenance. Active shooters enter sanctuaries and church classrooms and unleash violence, leaving behind hurt and grieving congregations. In addition to praying for the Lord’s protection, educate and prepare your church congregation with an annual safety drill.

Safety Sabbath Protects

The natural first response to an emergency is to deny that the situation is happening. When in denial, we fail to react in a way most efficient to prevent loss. Being unprepared and failing to respond can be deadly. In 2016 more than 45,000 gun violence incidents claimed more than 11,000 lives in the United States. As active shooter and other emergency situations continue to occur, we need to be ready. Holding an annual safety drill educates your church members on how to react proactively in dangerous situations to protect lives instead of being paralyzed by fear.

Safety Sabbath Saves Money

When people are injured, or property is damaged in an emergency, it is important to restore loss with monetary coverage. Insurance payments for medical bills and property damage are expensive. From 2011-2016, fire-related claims in North America cost the Seventh-day Adventist Church more than $15 million dollars. This is money that could have been used to sponsor Christian education for students, fund mission trips and missionaries, and further the work of the church. Holding regular safety drills helps your church practice evacuation and response procedures. Proactive training prepares your church to prevent steep losses in a real emergency.

Safety Sabbath Sends a Message

Our churches are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. In these dangerous times, our churches can be beacons of safety in this dark world. Be an example to your community and share that your church cares about the security of the community, your church members, and guests. Holding a yearly safety drill sends the message that your church takes planning for the unexpected seriously.

Safety Sabbath Makes Churches Ready

Children under the age of 4 and the elderly are those most at risk for death or injury caused by fire emergencies.These individuals will typically need assistance in an evacuation. After conducting an annual safety drill, your church will have an up-to-date emergency response plan and a working relationship with local first responders. Your church will have practiced during the training and be ready to respond to real emergencies and keep your congregation safe.

“Prevention measures such as safety drills are essential to saving lives, lowering costs and preventing claims. We want Safety Sabbath to be part of a partnership with local churches to protect their ministries and our most valuable assets–our people,” David Fournier, Adventist Risk Management, Inc. vice president and chief client care officer.

Join churches in the North American Division and Adventist Risk Management, Inc. in making Adventist churches secure by holding a safety drill. Talk to your pastor and schedule Safety Sabbath for March 25, 2017, on your church calendar. Register your church to hold an Active Shooter or Fire Drill and access free videos, guides, children’s activity sheets, and more emergency planning resources at Join us for one drill, one month, a safer church.

Get your church ready for emergencies at

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