Over the past few years I have been hearing about churches doing ALICE training events for their congregation. For those who do not know, this is a training designed to save lives in the instance of an active shooter situation. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate, and by all accounts the training is quite good.
I do want to explore the question of why this training is needed. Please do not misunderstand me as I am not questioning the value of the training. If churches feel it is needed, it’s surely better to be safe than sorry. My question is, ultimately, why do churches, and schools, and businesses feel that their congregants, students, faculty, and employees need to be trained for an active shooter situation?
The answer would seem to be simple in nature:
- These are important situations to consider, gravely important
- People do not always naturally know how to react
- You want everyone on the same page
- Practice reflects priorities, and this training is an opportunity to practice and envision different scenarios.
Okay! See, that was easy. Why do you do the training? For those basic reasons, so it makes sense that churches are scheduling this. I do have a burning question, though. When is the last time your church scheduled a training on how to share the Gospel? What do we think about those times in life when we have an opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with someone?
- Are they important situations to consider? Eternally important?
- Does everyone in your church already naturally know how to react?
- Do you want everyone on the same page?
- Is it a high enough priority to practice and envision different scenarios for the sake of preparedness?
Now let’s be honest. The chances of an active shooter coming into your church are well below 1%. The chances that the believers in your church have an opportunity to share the Gospel during their life should be 100%. If the ALICE training is worth it at its percentage, then clearly the other is as well. So, get your leaders together, come up with a training, and get it on the calendars soon.
Who knows? Maybe instead of the need for alerting, locking down, informing, countering, and evacuating, you will actually stop an active shooter years beforehand by letting Jesus change his heart.