Imagine; you’re addressing a routine service in ministry when suddenly someone enters your church and starts firing bullets at the congregation gathered there. When the gun finally falls silent, it’s already too late. Several innocent people have lost their lives, including the regular churchgoer who was grappling with silent depression after losing their job.

No one could tell this seemingly calm person, known for sharing homegrown fruits and vegetables with their neighbors, would turn violent after being upset about a triggering sermon.

What would you do if the gunfire rang out at your church? Would you hit the floor or shelter children and loved ones? Or maybe you’d try persuading the shooter to stop?

It can be confusing to figure out the best strategy to survive the violent attack, especially when even thinking about the terrifying situation gives you chills. We brought in an experienced police officer to shed light on things to do when you’re threatened by a violent criminal in a church setting. While nothing is absolute, here are some options that can help you survive a violent attack.

#1 Getting Away

Escaping from a violent attacker is generally one of the best options for increasing your chances of survival, but many people don’t realize this instinctively. You need to have everything planned ahead of time because, during a dangerous situation, it’s highly likely that your brain will resort to flight or fight, causing you to freeze rather than respond promptly. It’s important that the church ministries educate their congregations about responding to violent situations and help them practice the best ways to escape.

#2 Locking Down

Barricading and locking doors before moving away from the attacker can help avoid gunfire. Many terrorists resort to easier targets in such situations rather than kicking doors to open them. Although many churches don’t have proper locks in rooms, it’s recommended that the congregation area is secured by a single set of solid doors which can be quickly locked to protect everyone inside.

Broken glass after a violent attack 

#3 Concealment

If nothing else works, quickly fall to the floor and use chairs, pews, and other objects to cover yourself. Most killers look for easy vertical targets more so than horizontal ones.

#4 Playing Dead

Although one of the most difficult options, playing dead works when some people have already been shot. Looking dead isn’t easy when you’re battling hysteria in an intense situation.

How Vulnerable Are Ministries?

Data reveals that schools are better prepared to deal with violent incidents like mass shootings than churches, mainly because most churches don’t believe they’re vulnerable. How can any violence happen in a place of worship, right? Wrong.

There are several psychological and physical reasons why churches are vulnerable. The false sense of security makes them allow people to enter without identification cards. They don’t have properly locked doors or security cameras to monitor people who enter. Many people feel the sanctuary is a safe place and focus on the business of churchgoing rather than safety.

Planning Ahead: Protect Your Church With Reliable Church Insurance


We hope that no church ever faces the sudden violent attacks that can cost many precious lives and put a dent in the church funds, leading to halted operations. However, in a practical world, it’s much more reassuring knowing that you’ve taken all the measures to help your congregation be prepared so that their chances of survival increase if a violent attack were to occur.

Get your church insured by talking to reliable church insurance agents at a reputable church insurance company, such as Integrity Now Insurance Brokers.

You can give us a call or email us to find out about our extensive range of services including, house of worship insurance, commercial auto insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, church property insurance, church liability insurance, and more to safeguard the ministries across Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, Texas, and California.


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