Sheepdogs Are Good At Dealing With ... POOP (Like Jesus Was)

When trying to decide who should serve on your church safety team, there are certain character traits in their life that should stand out. If you do not see a certain kind of fruit growing on their tree, it would be best if you did not let them on the team. And if these traits are absent from those on your team, it’s time for a discussion.

You will never a compose a team of perfect people, but you certainly want to get as close as possible. This team, who assumes responsibility for the safety of the flock, has to be men and women of a particular type of caliber. If you fail to adhere to this rule, you may have someone on the team who is more of a burden than a blessing.

In my travels across the country (as of today, we’ve conducted Sheepdog Seminars in about 40 states), I have met more than one person who was on a church safety team, but probably shouldn’t have been.

Just as it is important that the leadership on your church staff possesses certain marks of character, it is equally important that those on your safety team also have manifested a type of character that honors your church and its reputation.

Remember: the members of your team are often the first to make contact with those who come to church.  In light of this, the reputation of your church is at stake. It is wrong to judge; however, people will do it anyway. Knowing this, you must ensure that men and women of quality character are leading the way.

If I were responsible for forming a team, there is one trait that I would seek above others. If this particular feature does not stand out in their life, we will have a problem.

And what is that character trait of which I speak? They must be willing to wear a towel.

I don’t care if he wears ironed and pressed blue jeans, or if she is donning the prettiest dress in the house: if they are not wearing a towel, they cannot be on the team.

“A towel?” you ask. “What could you possibly mean by that?”

The towel is the symbol of servanthood and indicates your willingness to be the servant of all.

No one understood this better than Jesus. Read it for yourself:

“…he (Jesus) got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:4-5 – emphasis mine)

There, you have it. The Son God - God in the flesh - Jesus, the Creator of all mankind. Jesus Christ, who hangs the world on nothing and hurls the stars in their place: who created the rivers by running his finger down the side of the earth - and made the mountains by pinching the dirt! Of him we used to sing, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”

 
 I went an bought me a towel the other day and wrote this on it. I try to wear it at every seminar. This idea of the towel - serving - must take precedence in our lives.

I went an bought me a towel the other day and wrote this on it. I try to wear it at every seminar. This idea of the towel - serving - must take precedence in our lives.

 

This Jesus, who has ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY…used his power to…wash feet.

In Jesus’ day the streets were filled with “poop.” In the place of cars cruising the roadways, there were oxen, horses, donkeys, camels, and herds of sheep being led about. These animals had no shame, and left their poop all about the city. As a result, a walk through any community caked the feet with poop and dirt.

Have you given this much thought: when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, he was removing the dung and dirt from their smelly feet.

This may be why Peter, at first, rejected Jesus’ offer to wash his feet. He knew they reeked of such a foul odor. Peter knew, and had confessed, that Jesus was the Son of God, the Holy One, the Messiah. He wouldn’t dare allow him to wash the dung and dirt from his feet.

But Jesus had to show what true leadership (sheep dogging) looked like.

So, you want to be on the church safety team? Let me ask you: Are you willing to deal with “dirt and dung?”

Will you kneel before your brothers and sisters – and even the stranger who may not know Christ – and wash their smelly, stinky feet? If such willingness is no part of you, then do yourself – and the kingdom – a favor: resign.

Jesus went on to tell his disciples that they were to do as he had done. If he, the Son of God, was willing to stoop to such a “low,” then his disciples (church safety team members??), should be willing to do likewise.

Washing feet was reserved for the lowliest of servants. I have read some accounts of where the act was reserved not for the servants of the house, but for the servants of the servants.

I have encountered sheepdogs who exuded a sense of superiority. They acted as if they were above the rest. This is shameful, and may well disqualify them from the team.

I have met others who were marksmen with a gun, but had no skills in serving.

“Servant Leadership” is a popular subject these days. Books and seminars abound on the topic. But one thing I rarely see is this: the practicing of servant leadership. We hang plaques on our halls that highlight it, we talk about it in staff meetings, we preach it to the troops: but we just don’t do it! Indeed, it’s a hot topic, being talked about everywhere. But when it comes to its implementation, it becomes a foreign matter.

If you are a sheepdog, a true one, a legitimate one, then you must be willing to gird yourself with a towel and wash the feet of your family and friends – and even your foes (tradition holds that the first set of feet Jesus washed were those of Judas – his betrayer).

To wash feet means you are willing to be the servant of all. This must be your greatest quality – it must!

That includes serving your pastor. We regularly hear from people who complain that their pastor does not support them. “What should we do about that?” I'm often asked.

I know exactly what you should do. Serve your pastor; wash his feet. That’s right. Make no demands on him or her, simply serve them. In time, God will make a way for you to have a successful safety team. I have seen sheepdogs quit their church over this matter. My goodness, what’s wrong with us?

We are often asked another question, too. “What should we call our safety team? In response, we always urge them to avoid the use of the word “security.” We don’t even encourage the use of the word “sheepdog.” In my opinion, it is best to use something like Life Safety Team. This is actually the terminology used by some churches. And it states with precision what you are about: a group of servants who minister life and ensure the safety of others.

So, what would “foot-washing” look like as I serve on the team any given Sunday. What, exactly, might I be doing? Good question: and here are some ideas:

·      Greeting everyone that crosses my path

·      Extending a handshake to all who enter

·      Offering to park cars for the elderly

·      Walking the elderly and single women to their cars after the service

·      Picking up any trash left on the grounds

The list is endless.

A few years ago, I noticed a particular opportunity to serve at my church. Each Sunday, before the minister delivered his message, the choir was dismissed to go and sit in the pews with their families.

Many of the choir members were elderly, and as they headed to their seats, they were forced to walk down several rows of steps. This, I noticed, made several of them nervous. You could tell that some of the women, advanced in years, were fearful of falling (it had happened on occasion).

As I saw this, it dawned on me that I could alleviate their fears. Girded with my towel, I brought the remedy to this situation. When the choir was dismissed, I hastily rushed forward and assisted each of them who needed my help. I took the ladies by the hand and ensured that they did not fall. They were more than appreciative.

As I did this Sunday after Sunday, I felt like a real sheepdog:  my weapon concealed in my waistband - my towel hanging on my belt.

THIS IS WHAT SHEEP DOGGING LOOKS LIKE…

So, we encourage you to not only carry your concealed weapon with you in your goings, but to also make sure you have your other weapon as well: your towel.

UPCOMING SHEEPDOG SEMINARS

·      Atlanta, Georgia – THIS COMING WEEKEND - May 18 and 19. Friday and Saturday morning

·      Sabetha, Kansas – Friday, June 8

·      San Antonio, Texas – June 22 (Saturday)

 

 

 

 

We Offered Some Good Training Recently (John Wayne and Dirty Harry Even Showed Up)

A few months ago, shortly after the tragedy in Sutherlands Springs, Texas (where 26 worshipers were murdered inside a church), we conducted some training at a local church.

The training included the firing of simunitions, the use of "plastic like" bullets. It is some of the most realistic training you can experience.

When engaged in such training, the trainers - at least the smart ones - will prohibit the trainees from bringing guns or live ammo onto the scene. This is common practice in the world of law-enforcement.

There are many reasons for this. For example, when the simunitions are fired they sound very real. As a result, some attendees, if armed, could possibly react by drawing their guns and defending themselves. How is this possible? Truth is, the trainers have no idea about the history of those who are in attendance. There could well be someone suffering from PTSD, and the sound of gunfire could lead this person to believe he is in an actual gunfight.

You simply cannot allow live ammo or live weapons on the scene when conducting such training. Police agencies everywhere are banning the presence of live ammo and actual guns while training (as well as other non law-enforcement entities who offer civilian training). It is not uncommon to also ban the presence of knives, tasers, or any weapon when engaged in such training.

Other terrible things have happened in such training scenarios. I know of police officers who thought they were using a gun that was not real, and when they pulled the trigger, out came an actual live round that killed a fellow officer (Arlington, Texas Officer shot and killed in training session by fellow officer).

I was caught off guard by the attitude of some who came for training, and it causes me great concern when I see ignorance about this matter.

So...

Before the training last December, we sent out at least 6 emails to all who registered, informing them that live weapons and ammo would not be allowed on scene. We even had the presence of police to help search all those who came (the police train this way all the time). Some police agencies will even have attendees search each other twice before training begins (most police departments do not allow weapons of any kind on a "hot scene" when training).

However, at our recent training, and in spite of our warnings, we had people show up with guns. I remember several men who showed up and REFUSED to disarm. They demanded a refund, saying they had not been told. But they had been told. Their pastor had received 6 emails, but had failed to relay the info to them.

They left, having refused to disarm. THINK ABOUT THIS: these men did not consider the safety of the others an important matter. These men served on a church safety team: these men refused to disarm, completely ignoring the rules of training.

A member of their church contacted me later in the day and I explained to him what had happened. He apologized on their behalf. He then commented that one of the guys who had refused to disarm was a "little hot-headed."

I can't help but wonder: What is such a man doing on an armed church safety team?  A "hot-headed" person on a church safety team is a disaster waiting to happen.
 

Another man who had registered for the training demanded a refund when he learned about the safety rule. He was adamant that he would not go somewhere where he could not carry his gun. He argued that his safety and that of his family was at stake. But, for some reason, he did not think that our safety was important!? Think about it: He was willing to jeopardize the safety of all who attended. He put himself above the others: “the rules don’t apply to me,” he was telling us (by the way, we had employed several armed security guards for the day, so it wasn't like there was no security on the premises).

Individuals such as these are a danger to your team. I suggest that you do your best to not allow them to serve on the team, at least until they have learned how to play by the rules.

If you conduct training in the manner we did, you had better take the appropriate precautions in providing a safe atmosphere.

I must admit, the longer I engage in this line of work, the more I grow concerned about the ignorance that is so prevalent about safety practices while training - or while armed.

Last June, I was visiting a Texas church one night during its Vacation Bible School. I mentioned to the safety team that the new law allowing them to carry while serving as a church safety team member would go into effect September 1st (3 months later).

After sharing the news with them, one of the men reached into his right pocket and pulled out his pistol and showed it to the rest of us! “I got mine right here,” he said. I was stunned at this man’s lack of concern for the safety of the rest of us. NEVER PULL YOUR GUN OUT AT CHURCH TO "SHOW IT" TO OTHERS.

A few months ago, in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, an 81-year old man, and several others, sat in a church discussing church safety. They had recently attended a church safety seminar. During the discussion, the elderly gentleman removed a gun from his back pocket as he told the others, “I carry a weapon with me everywhere.”

He then pulled out a .380 Ruger. According to the news report, he then “removed the magazine and cleared the chamber to show the pistol to the others. He then reloaded it, put a round in the chamber and put it back in his pocket.”

Shortly thereafter, another man asked if he could see the gentleman’s gun. The gun-owner “took it out of his pocket and his finger accidentally hit the trigger. The bullet struck his right hand and then went through his 80-year-old wife’s abdomen and right forearm…”

There is no place for such carelessness.

At another training seminar, we set up the shooting simulator, where the “good guy” faces the video screen and deals with the “bad guys” on the screen. One of the attendees was quite successful in dealing with the killers on the screen. But after stopping the bad guys, he then twirled his gun as he placed it back into his pocket (a scene right out of the wild wild west). I saw him pull this stunt. I rushed down, took the gun from him, and then told all the others what he had done. Sheer carelessness on his part.

Never forget this: if you end up in a shootout, you will do what you do in training.

What I experienced from the men who came to our seminar for training, and then had to leave, reveals that our knowledge of gun-safety is quite deficient. If we cannot understand even the basic principles of training - and the safety related to that training – we are not ready to put a worthy team on the premises of our church.

If we are not careful in our training, we are going to get people hurt. And if you’re not willing to participate in training that does so in a professional and safe manner, then do us all a favor: get off the team ASAP.

Editor's note: Some have asked if Sheepdog Seminars forbids the presence of guns at their seminars. We do NOT make that determination. That decision is made based on the laws of the city, country, and state where the seminar takes place and is made by the host - not us. The training session mentioned in this article was NOT a Sheepdog Seminar. 


RECENT GUN MISHAPS

·      A teacher accidentally discharged a firearm while teaching a public safety class, injuring one student at a Northern California school - read

·      Off-duty officer accidentally discharges gun at school wrestling meet - read

·      Other police-related accidental shootings - read

UPCOMING SHEEPDOG SEMINARS:

·      Southern California (Huntington Beach – THIS COMING MONDAY, May 14

·      Atlanta, Georgia – May 18 and 19. Friday and Saturday morning

·      Sabetha, Kansas – Friday, June 8

·      San Antonio, Texas – June 22 (Saturday)


JIMMY MEEKS AND PASTOR FRANK POMEROY.

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TEXAS - I was privileged to have lunch a few weeks ago with Pastor Frank Pomeroy of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas - the site of last November's massacre (in which 26 people were murdered inside the church - and 20 more injured).

Pastor Frank (right) is a man of unusual faith. There is so much I could say about him. Pastor Frank's daughter, Anna Belle, was among the victims. Though his heart is filled with so much pain, he presses on, serving his congregation and community. WE ARE COMMITTED TO NEVER LETTING PEOPLE FORGET WHAT HAPPENED AT THIS CHURCH! You can help these dear people by making a donation to the church. Click here to donate.

WHEN WILL THE CHURCHES START HELPING WOMEN TO STAY SAFE - AND ALIVE???

Since May of 2009, I have now participated in about 300 church safety seminars across the country. I never dreamed that nine years later I would still be engaged in this kind of work. I have driven about 70,000 miles (probably a lot more). My mechanic recently warned me that my 2006 Dodge Ram could no longer endure road trips.

I have been in over 35 states, pleading with churches and their communities to initiate greater safety measures.

It saddens me that our message often falls on deaf ears. Even though thousands of people have attended our Sheepdog Seminars, when all is said and done, much of what we have preached is simply not implemented into the churches.

For example, at every seminar we plead with the attendees to conduct “Women’s Safety Seminars” at least once a year. Put simply, we hope that they will take some time to educate the women on how to stay safe ... and alive.

We don’t want them inviting us to their church to lead such a meeting. Time would never permit us to take on such additional meetings. However, we always point out instructors who reside in the area and who could help in this matter. But seldom – hardly ever – are they solicited for their services. Across the country, I have asked dozens of police departments if churches have contacted them with such concerns. 99% of the time the answer is the same: “No.”

Having five daughters, a daughter-in-law, a wife, and two granddaughters, I feel strongly about the safety of women. Statistics reveal that several women die each day from domestic violence. I once conducted some research that showed about 1000 women are assaulted every day in America. Furthermore, about 6 out of 10 girls will be sexually assaulted before they reach age 18.

This is unacceptable, to say the very least.

And I ask, “Where are the Churches?”

The church – YOUR church – could easily conduct a yearly seminar wherein women are taught situational awareness. The women in your church need more than a Bible study.

THE WOMEN IN YOUR CHUCH NEED MORE THAN A WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY!!

Last July, in New York, a 50-year old woman had just left a Bible study at her church when confronted by a group of thugs. Initially it appeared that they would only rob her, but she soon learned that was not the case. According to the police, “Three of the five men took turns forcing the woman to perform oral sex on them. One of the attackers — a short guy — did run off and return with a condom, the woman recalled…”

I could go on and one with such stories…

A few years ago, there was a knock at my front door. Two teenage girls stood outside my front door. “Can I help you?” I asked. “Yes, would you please consider making a contribution to our youth group?”

I was shocked – and angry.

“Does your minister know you are out doing this?” I asked. “Yes,” they said. “HE SENT US.”

What minister in his right mind would send the youth’s teenage girls out into this world to beg for money on behalf of God? Where is his concern for their physical safety.

Dear church staff: you better heed my words! Many of the women in your congregation have been assaulted - and some have even been raped.  Their hearts are broke, their souls in constant pain. It takes strength they barely have to even raise their heads to see where they are walking. They shudder at the thought that someone else might have to endure such a nightmare.

And someone else will.

The violence against women is NOT going to stop.

IT IS NOT GOING TO STOP!

And churches, I would hope, could lead the way in soliciting the services of trainers who can devote some time to helping women stay safe and alive.

One reason sexual assault is not going to stop is the porn issue. About two-thirds of church-going men have an issue with porn, and over half of the ministers in America have viewed porn.

Porn is a “step-drug.” You will not be able to “just look at porn.” Eventually you will grow weary of staring at images of naked women: you will want to see something “live.” It is then that you will make your way to strip clubs and the like. But even that, after a while, will no longer satisfy. It is then that you will do the forbidden: you will engage in an affair. And you may even commit sexual assault.

Think about this, pastor: probably half of the men in your congregation have an issue with porn. Eventually, their problem with porn will manifest into something uglier.

You could help stop this! Yes, you could insist that women be taught situational awareness. There are so many ways you could educate the women in your church.

PLEASE! PLEASE – do something more than conduct a Bible study.

A few years ago, my pastor allowed me to conduct a women’s safety seminar at our church. I even charged admission. I compiled a list of items needed by a local battered women’s ministry (diapers, clothes, detergent, etc.). Their “admission ticket” was an item from the list.

On the night of the seminar, about 400 women showed up. It took 3 trucks to haul away the goods we had collected for the shelter.

I then spent about two hours showing the women how to stay safe and alive. I recall one woman leaving in tears. She was overheard saying, “Oh how I wish I had known these things before I got married.”

Don't allow yourself to think "Well, God will protect our women." Did you know that six Christian women are raped in the Middle East every day? Why is He not protecting them?!

Dear churches: I plead with you to fight for your women. Do something besides just having a Bible study. Take some time to educate them on how to stay safe and alive.

A man in Oklahoma City was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing Nelly Pelts, 26, on Feb. 6, 2010, outside a church. They met at a Wal-Mart in Del City, OK. Nellie struck up a conversation about Religion, and they soon headed over to her church.

According to news reports, the killer told police he “remembered following her to the church parking lot, but blacked out between then and waking up at home covered in blood.” A witness reported seeing the killer and Pelts fighting at the church about 12:50 a.m., and Pelts was trying to run away when he ran her over with his car. Nellie suffered stab wounds earlier in the fight.

This is a heart-breaking story. But the truth is, this tragedy should have never happened! Nellie should have known better than to be alone with a stranger in the middle of the night.

And these are the very subjects that you must address with the women of your church. And do so with someone qualified to help with this. It is time to heed the words of Nehemiah 4:14 – “Fight for your wives, your daughters…”

(Join us this Saturday, April 21, in Nashville for a Sheepdog Seminar. The following week, on April 30, we will be in Jonesboro, Arkansas. All info on this website. 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Copy of WHEN WILL THE CHURCHES START HELPING WOMEN TO STAY SAFE - AND ALIVE???

Since May of 2009, I have now participated in about 300 church safety seminars across the country. I never dreamed that nine years later I would still be engaged in this kind of work. I have driven about 70,000 miles (probably a lot more). My mechanic recently warned me that my 2006 Dodge Ram could no longer endure road trips.

I have been in over 35 states, pleading with churches and their communities to initiate greater safety measures.

It saddens me that our message often falls on deaf ears. Even though thousands of people have attended our Sheepdog Seminars, when all is said and done, much of what we have preached is simply not implemented into the churches.

For example, at every seminar we plead with the attendees to conduct “Women’s Safety Seminars” at least once a year. Put simply, we hope that they will take some time to educate the women on how to stay safe ... and alive.

We don’t want them inviting us to their church to lead such a meeting. Time would never permit us to take on such additional meetings. However, we always point out instructors who reside in the area and who could help in this matter. But seldom – hardly ever – are they solicited for their services. Across the country, I have asked dozens of police departments if churches have contacted them with such concerns. 99% of the time the answer is the same: “No.”

Having five daughters, a daughter-in-law, a wife, and two granddaughters, I feel strongly about the safety of women. Statistics reveal that several women die each day from domestic violence. I once conducted some research that showed about 1000 women are assaulted every day in America. Furthermore, about 6 out of 10 girls will be sexually assaulted before they reach age 18.

This is unacceptable, to say the very least.

And I ask, “Where are the Churches?”

The church – YOUR church – could easily conduct a yearly seminar wherein women are taught situational awareness. The women in your church need more than a Bible study.

THE WOMEN IN YOUR CHUCH NEED MORE THAN A WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY!!

Last July, in New York, a 50-year old woman had just left a Bible study at her church when confronted by a group of thugs. Initially it appeared that they would only rob her, but she soon learned that was not the case. According to the police, “Three of the five men took turns forcing the woman to perform oral sex on them. One of the attackers — a short guy — did run off and return with a condom, the woman recalled…”

I could go on and one with such stories…

A few years ago, there was a knock at my front door. Two teenage girls stood outside my front door. “Can I help you?” I asked. “Yes, would you please consider making a contribution to our youth group?”

I was shocked – and angry.

“Does your minister know you are out doing this?” I asked. “Yes,” they said. “HE SENT US.”

What minister in his right mind would send the youth’s teenage girls out into this world to beg for money on behalf of God? Where is his concern for their physical safety.

Dear church staff: you better heed my words! Many of the women in your congregation have been assaulted - and some have even been raped.  Their hearts are broke, their souls in constant pain. It takes strength they barely have to even raise their heads to see where they are walking. They shudder at the thought that someone else might have to endure such a nightmare.

And someone else will.

The violence against women is NOT going to stop.

IT IS NOT GOING TO STOP!

And churches, I would hope, could lead the way in soliciting the services of trainers who can devote some time to helping women stay safe and alive.

One reason sexual assault is not going to stop is the porn issue. About two-thirds of church-going men have an issue with porn, and over half of the ministers in America have viewed porn.

Porn is a “step-drug.” You will not be able to “just look at porn.” Eventually you will grow weary of staring at images of naked women: you will want to see something “live.” It is then that you will make your way to strip clubs and the like. But even that, after a while, will no longer satisfy. It is then that you will do the forbidden: you will engage in an affair. And you may even commit sexual assault.

Think about this, pastor: probably half of the men in your congregation have an issue with porn. Eventually, their problem with porn will manifest into something uglier.

You could help stop this! Yes, you could insist that women be taught situational awareness. There are so many ways you could educate the women in your church.

PLEASE! PLEASE – do something more than conduct a Bible study.

A few years ago, my pastor allowed me to conduct a women’s safety seminar at our church. I even charged admission. I compiled a list of items needed by a local battered women’s ministry (diapers, clothes, detergent, etc.). Their “admission ticket” was an item from the list.

On the night of the seminar, about 400 women showed up. It took 3 trucks to haul away the goods we had collected for the shelter.

I then spent about two hours showing the women how to stay safe and alive. I recall one woman leaving in tears. She was overheard saying, “Oh how I wish I had known these things before I got married.”

Don't allow yourself to think "Well, God will protect our women." Did you know that six Christian women are raped in the Middle East every day? Why is He not protecting them?!

Dear churches: I plead with you to fight for your women. Do something besides just having a Bible study. Take some time to educate them on how to stay safe and alive.

A man in Oklahoma City was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing Nelly Pelts, 26, on Feb. 6, 2010, outside a church. They met at a Wal-Mart in Del City, OK. Nellie struck up a conversation about Religion, and they soon headed over to her church.

According to news reports, the killer told police he “remembered following her to the church parking lot, but blacked out between then and waking up at home covered in blood.” A witness reported seeing the killer and Pelts fighting at the church about 12:50 a.m., and Pelts was trying to run away when he ran her over with his car. Nellie suffered stab wounds earlier in the fight.

This is a heart-breaking story. But the truth is, this tragedy should have never happened! Nellie should have known better than to be alone with a stranger in the middle of the night.

And these are the very subjects that you must address with the women of your church. And do so with someone qualified to help with this. It is time to heed the words of Nehemiah 4:14 – “Fight for your wives, your daughters…”

(Join us this Saturday, April 21, in Nashville for a Sheepdog Seminar. The following week, on April 30, we will be in Jonesboro, Arkansas. All info on this website. 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

WHEN WILL THE CHURCHES START HELPING WOMEN TO STAY SAFE - AND ALIVE???

Since May of 2009, I have now participated in about 300 church safety seminars across the country. I never dreamed that nine years later I would still be engaged in this kind of work. I have driven about 70,000 miles (probably a lot more). My mechanic recently warned me that my 2006 Dodge Ram could no longer endure road trips.

I have been in over 35 states, pleading with churches and their communities to initiate greater safety measures.

It saddens me that our message often falls on deaf ears. Even though thousands of people have attended our Sheepdog Seminars, when all is said and done, much of what we have preached is simply not implemented into the churches.

For example, at every seminar we plead with the attendees to conduct “Women’s Safety Seminars” at least once a year. Put simply, we hope that they will take some time to educate the women on how to stay safe ... and alive.

We don’t want them inviting us to their church to lead such a meeting. Time would never permit us to take on such additional meetings. However, we always point out instructors who reside in the area and who could help in this matter. But seldom – hardly ever – are they solicited for their services. Across the country, I have asked dozens of police departments if churches have contacted them with such concerns. 99% of the time the answer is the same: “No.”

Having five daughters, a daughter-in-law, a wife, and two granddaughters, I feel strongly about the safety of women. Statistics reveal that several women die each day from domestic violence. I once conducted some research that showed about 1000 women are assaulted every day in America. Furthermore, about 6 out of 10 girls will be sexually assaulted before they reach age 18.

This is unacceptable, to say the very least.

And I ask, “Where are the Churches?”

The church – YOUR church – could easily conduct a yearly seminar wherein women are taught situational awareness. The women in your church need more than a Bible study.

THE WOMEN IN YOUR CHUCH NEED MORE THAN A WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY!!

Last July, in New York, a 50-year old woman had just left a Bible study at her church when confronted by a group of thugs. Initially it appeared that they would only rob her, but she soon learned that was not the case. According to the police, “Three of the five men took turns forcing the woman to perform oral sex on them. One of the attackers — a short guy — did run off and return with a condom, the woman recalled…”

I could go on and one with such stories…

A few years ago, there was a knock at my front door. Two teenage girls stood outside my front door. “Can I help you?” I asked. “Yes, would you please consider making a contribution to our youth group?”

I was shocked – and angry.

“Does your minister know you are out doing this?” I asked. “Yes,” they said. “HE SENT US.”

What minister in his right mind would send the youth’s teenage girls out into this world to beg for money on behalf of God? Where is his concern for their physical safety.

Dear church staff: you better heed my words! Many of the women in your congregation have been assaulted - and some have even been raped.  Their hearts are broke, their souls in constant pain. It takes strength they barely have to even raise their heads to see where they are walking. They shudder at the thought that someone else might have to endure such a nightmare.

And someone else will.

The violence against women is NOT going to stop.

IT IS NOT GOING TO STOP!

And churches, I would hope, could lead the way in soliciting the services of trainers who can devote some time to helping women stay safe and alive.

One reason sexual assault is not going to stop is the porn issue. About two-thirds of church-going men have an issue with porn, and over half of the ministers in America have viewed porn.

Porn is a “step-drug.” You will not be able to “just look at porn.” Eventually you will grow weary of staring at images of naked women: you will want to see something “live.” It is then that you will make your way to strip clubs and the like. But even that, after a while, will no longer satisfy. It is then that you will do the forbidden: you will engage in an affair. And you may even commit sexual assault.

Think about this, pastor: probably half of the men in your congregation have an issue with porn. Eventually, their problem with porn will manifest into something uglier.

You could help stop this! Yes, you could insist that women be taught situational awareness. There are so many ways you could educate the women in your church.

PLEASE! PLEASE – do something more than conduct a Bible study.

A few years ago, my pastor allowed me to conduct a women’s safety seminar at our church. I even charged admission. I compiled a list of items needed by a local battered women’s ministry (diapers, clothes, detergent, etc.). Their “admission ticket” was an item from the list.

On the night of the seminar, about 400 women showed up. It took 3 trucks to haul away the goods we had collected for the shelter.

I then spent about two hours showing the women how to stay safe and alive. I recall one woman leaving in tears. She was overheard saying, “Oh how I wish I had known these things before I got married.”

Don't allow yourself to think "Well, God will protect our women." Did you know that six Christian women are raped in the Middle East every day? Why is He not protecting them?!

Dear churches: I plead with you to fight for your women. Do something besides just having a Bible study. Take some time to educate them on how to stay safe and alive.

A man in Oklahoma City was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing Nelly Pelts, 26, on Feb. 6, 2010, outside a church. They met at a Wal-Mart in Del City, OK. Nellie struck up a conversation about Religion, and they soon headed over to her church.

According to news reports, the killer told police he “remembered following her to the church parking lot, but blacked out between then and waking up at home covered in blood.” A witness reported seeing the killer and Pelts fighting at the church about 12:50 a.m., and Pelts was trying to run away when he ran her over with his car. Nellie suffered stab wounds earlier in the fight.

This is a heart-breaking story. But the truth is, this tragedy should have never happened! Nellie should have known better than to be alone with a stranger in the middle of the night.

And these are the very subjects that you must address with the women of your church. And do so with someone qualified to help with this. It is time to heed the words of Nehemiah 4:14 – “Fight for your wives, your daughters…”

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

YOU CAN GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS (WITHOUT THROWING YOUR MIND IN THE DUMPSTER)

Our theology of protecting the flock often blocks us from doing what we know we should do: what our instincts tell us. Unfortunately, misunderstood, and misinterpreted Bible verses, often get in the way of us doing what we should.

I recently heard about three pastors who, when asked what they would do about security matters in their church, held up their bible and said, “This is our security.”

See what I mean? This is the effect that religion sometimes has on the human mind. It’s as if we give our hearts to Jesus, and then cast our brains into the nearest dumpster.

It reminds me of the lady who once told me that if a killer enters the sanctuary, I should merely “rebuke him in the name of Jesus.” She assured me this would work.

I wonder what she would tell our brothers and sisters in the faith who live in ISIS occupied countries. We learned recently that approximately 6 Christian women are raped daily, while being forced into Islam. I wonder if her anecdote would help our sisters who are undergoing such tragedy.

Indeed - our theology can dumb us down.

I remember a Christian man once telling me that since his conversion to Christ, he had decided to give up all his beliefs about self-defense. He even went so far as to tell me that he probably wouldn’t even defend his family if they were attacked.

Yes – religion can make a man ignorant and irresponsible. I could only ask: Where was this man’s love for his family?

Let me ask you to consider a passage from the book of Genesis:

“And the Lord God put the man in the Garden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15).

This passage is quite interesting. It tells us that Adam had two assignments while in the Garden of Eden. He was to WORK it and KEEP it. I’m sure you understand what the idea of working it would mean. Adam and Eve had a garden that needed tending. They worked their garden daily, with no sweat falling from their brow.

But Adam had another task as well. He was also to “keep” the Garden. This is a stunning word. In the original language, it meant to “protect, guard, defend, save life.” Think hard on this verse. It is telling us that one of the original assignments of Adam was to PROTECT, SAVE LIFE, DEFEND.”

Adam was a Sheepdog, called to stop the wolf!

Remember, God made man in His own image. And part of that image includes being a warrior – a fighter! Recall Exodus 15:3: “The Lord is a warrior.”

Now, you and I are both aware of the fact that the world wants this term (warrior) to be removed from our vocabulary. They prefer guardians, or something a bit softer. But the truth is, we are fighters.

I love the quote from C.S. Lewis about fighting in the faith:

For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God has made the world- that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colors and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God 'made up out of His head' as a man makes up a story. But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made, and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again.

Yes, in the words of Lewis, let’s, “put them right again.” Let’s defend our flock. Let’s recognize that God has made us in His image, and part of that image is to live the life of a warrior – a fighter.

Dear brother reading these words. If you were completely honest, would you not readily admit that inside you there is a longing to be a warrior? You covet the chance to be involved in something bigger than your own life. You desire to engage in a worthy cause, and fight for its agenda.

I just got off the phone with a pastor. I pleaded with him to send his youth workers to our sheepdog seminar. In our seminar we address the ever-growing nightmare of sexual assault – an incident that happens all too often in church settings. Thousands of sex crimes are reported every year on church and faith-based property. LET’S FIGHT FOR OUR CHILDREN!

I have six children: one son and five daughters. I also have a daughter-in-law, as well as three sons-in-law. I also have four grandchildren. They are my motivation. Even now, as I type through these tears, the faces of my loved ones flash before me.

They are why I fight! I want to do my part in defending this “garden” (United States) so that they will have a better America in which to raise their own children. I’m sitting here in hotel, somewhere in Nebraska, headed to Salt Lake City for a seminar. But I must admit: I’d rather be home, loving on my wife and playing with my grandchildren.

“A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do,” the old saying goes. And in the present hour, it is time for the Warrior Man to be resurrected.

That does not mean that we want to shoot someone. Heavens no! But it does mean that, motivated and driven by love, I will rise up and defend those around me. I will do what I can to prevent them from being victimized by violence.

It’s just the way I am. I follow Jesus. I follow a Warrior. His nature is in me.

NOTE: We have several Sheepdog Seminars over the next few days; Salt Lake City, Des Moines, Iowa, Tulsa and Oklahoma City. For more info, go to www.sheepdogsafetytraining.com