If you lack wisdom, …

I feel led to share the Bible verse from the book of James “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5  NIV). God can use many different ways to impart wisdom to us. Sometimes it comes from that small still voice, sometimes it comes from a person we meet, and sometimes it comes from  the internet (as well as other ways).

I am living proof that God will impart wisdom. When I started my quest to help save lives in church, I only knew the basic principles, and I was a novice. Now, six or so years later (and thousands of hours of research later), I have been provided amazing insights into preventing active shooters and bombers in church. It has become my ministry.

Dr. Mark S. Warnick (August, 2015)

I have been sharing my insights with you on how to keep your flock safe.  Up until this point, I have heard little feedback from you, the reader of this blog. As part of my ministry, I am more than someone that writes a blog; I am a resource for you. Whether you are a pastor, a church member, or someone that just occasionally attends a church (or even none of the above, God put me in this ministry to help you to be safe in these perilous times.

The point I am trying to make is I am a resource for you, and your church. Don’t sit in the darkness wondering the answer to a question about keeping your church safe. I am quite approachable, and more than willing to share important information. In the near future, we will be adding a comments section, once our resident geek, Thomas Black, adds some more security measures. When it comes live, please feel free to comment. Beyond that, we are always available for an email at info@savinglivesandsouls.org. You can also contact us through our Facebook page, or even ask us question that others can see.  Make sure to like the page while you are there.

I should also mention that I am not the only one involved in this ministry. God has sent others to be involved with this ministry as well. Each brings a different strength that supports our work and our mission. Pastor Thomas Black is our resident geek who has designed, built, and maintains our electronic presence. Tim Barton is great at providing feedback from the common person’s perspective and as the President of the Saving Lives and Souls Foundation, he maintains the business perspective (plus he makes an excellent looking bad guy in the video’s). Joe Davies has been involved with the artistic side as well as the public safety side for years. His experience in acting helped with the direction of the video, and he is actually to voice overs for the video right now. I also want to acknowledge the church family and friends that came a long way to help shoot this video. All of the actors you see in any of the videos are volunteers. They believe in the ministry, and they donate their time as needed. We are all here to help keep you (and your church family) safe.

In closing, we would love to hear from you! Your question may lead to a blog post about the issue that you want to gain more knowledge on. Please feel free to contact us, … Mark

Should guns be in the church?

So, … do you think you are protected because you have people who conceal carry firearms in your church? Well think again! I have heard many concealed carry permit holders state that they will stop a shooter in a church. Looking at a large amount of research, I believe those comments are seriously debatable. I am not saying that it couldn’t happen, just that it is unlikely without specialized training.

I have researched this area probably more extensively than 99% of individuals in this business. There has been multiple studies that contradict what many individuals that carry in church say. In fact, many studies found that the only 15%-25% of soldiers in the United States Military will take a life, unless of course they are conditioned to do so. This includes those that were face to face with a gun . The same happens with Law Enforcement unless they are conditioned. What does that conditioning involve? It involves mentally preparing through training, whether psychological training or physical training. No, I am not talking about target practice, I am talking about tactical training. If the defender is not tactically trained, they could easily freeze. I reviewed the following You Tube video’s. Let me warn you, I do not like the name of these two YouTube videos (Video 1, Video 2) because it lumps all concealed carry holders into one category, and the title is somewhat offensive to those that agree with the 2nd Amendment. Still, I think the outcomes are close to as realistic  for people who do not tactically train and get themselves mentally ready to take someones life (if needed).

I also revert to several studies that were presented in books. Multiple studies were discussed by 2nd Amendment supporter, Lt Colonel Dave Grossman and Dr. Michael Asken (as well as others) in the book Warrior Mindset: Mental Toughness Skills for Peacekeepers. Another book in which Grossman supports having the proper mindset and training would be On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society

If you are planning on defending your church, especially with a firearm, these books should be a mandatory read! It should also be noted that Grossman, along with Carl Chin and Jimmy Meeks (former police officer and current pastor) provide excellent seminars on church safety, albeit slightly different than my seminars. Grossman (a former Army Ranger)has also trained law enforcement and soldiers. One thing that I learned in reading these books are what would usually cause an active shooter to pause,. One such concept is to take a side-step. Believe it or not, this disrupts the shooters vision and forces them have to reset their mind (and eyesight). This side-step buys you 1.6 seconds to take action. These books are filled with tips like this!

So, we get to the ultimate question; should there be guns in church? I do not advocate for, or against, guns in church. I will say that if guns are allowed in church, it is preferred that they should be carried by individuals that have tactical training and the mental preparedness/capacity to take a life if necessary. In most instances, veterans, law enforcement, and some fire and EMS people have had tactical training. Even if your concealed carry person hasn’t been in one of these fields, they can receive the training, and they can read books on mentally preparing.

Finally, let me close with my belief that some people should never carry in church. I read a story last week about the 81 year old man that was showing he was ready for an active shooter at a church function in Tellico Plains TN, who accidentally shot his wife and himself. The age doesn’t matter as much as the ability to safely handle a firearm. If you have someone in your church that carries in church, and you have a legitimate reason that they should not be carrying in church, then perhaps you should talk to church leaders  before someone gets hurt or killed. The wrong person with a gun could add to the death toll if an active shooter comes in. Thanks, … Mark