Another important part of the executive pastor’s job description is the role of the CSO (Chief Security Officer).
What does that mean? The executive pastor has the responsibility for establishing and maintaining a secure place of worship as well as a workplace for staff and visitors.
Depending on the situation, the executive pastor will approach her/his CSO responsibilities in a number of ways …
- Local Law Enforcement – The executive pastor will reach out to and get to know local law enforcement. In fact, the executive pastor should be on a “first-name basis” with local law enforcement, inviting them to regularly visit the site and being open to recommendations related to good security practices.
- Security Team – In most larger churches there is an all-volunteer security team. This team is often made up of off duty law enforcement or corrections officers. In many cases the church will have a firearm policy, encouraging off duty law enforcement to carry concealed weapons. These off duty law enforcement volunteers work directly with the executive pastor to establish processes and procedures related to security.
- Children/Student Check-In – The executive pastor will work with children’s and student ministries to establish check-in and check-out procedures that ensure the safety and security of children and students attending services. There are a number of Church Management Software applications that provide secure check-in and check-out. Here at CCV, we use Church Community Builder (CCB). They do a great job!
- Background Screening – All volunteers and staff working around children and students are required to be background screened in most churches. Oversight of this process is the responsibility of the executive pastor, especially when “issues” are discovered that may be cause for concern. In some extreme cases, the executive pastor may even implement a policy related to conditions under which an individual may attend the church as a result of something discovered during a background screening.
- Incident Reporting – The executive pastor will also implement a formal incident reporting process. It’s important for security (and other) purposes to do a detailed job of documenting issues, especially as they relate to individuals attending the church with backgrounds of concern.
- Emergency Response – The church’s procedures relative to emergency response (evacuation, intruder, lost child, etc.) are also the responsibility of the executive pastor.
- Security System – The executive pastor will also have a security system installed in the building(s) and very often the senior pastor’s house.
I know this is a lot, but it’s probably one of the most important parts of the executive pastor’s ministry.