Sunday’s deadly shooting at First Baptist Church Southerland Springs has shaken the nation and especially its church-goers. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the 26 victims, the pastor of First Baptist and the community of Southerland Springs.

As the initial shock of the tragedy has worn off, many church leaders have turned their thoughts to protecting their own congregation. Simply stated, every church, no matter its size or location, is on notice that it is a potential target of such a shooting. So what should churches do?

Though we are not a security consultants, we have helped many churches address security concerns from a legal perspective. So, while you are thinking through the proper steps for protecting your congregation, I encourage you to consider these critical reminders:

#1 Have a Written Plan, Including an Active Shooter Response Plan

#2 Concealed Carry is Not Enough

#3 Assemble a Trained Security Team–and Be Aware of the Continuum of Force.

This coming Sunday is an excellent opportunity to let your congregation know about your written plan and security measures. God has not given us a spirit of fear (I Tim. 1:7), but we need to be prepared for forseeable dangers!