I (Jimmy Meeks) conducted my first "church safety seminar" in May of 2009. At the end of that day, I assumed my "seminars" were over with. I did not anticipate that 6 plus years later I would still be leading in these seminars. I have now participated in over 100 such gatherings, all across America. As of May of this year (2015), I have already travelled over 12,500 miles. Well over a thousand churches have participated.
Initially, our seminars focused primarily on the issue of the need for security measures at church. When I first began this ministry, I had not studied in detail the subject of violence at houses of worship and faith-based property. Little did I know that it was a problem that was slowly, but surely, growing across the country.
In May of 2013, I led a church safety seminar at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas. Wedgwood, as you may recall, was the site where 14 church members were shot in September of 1999 (7 were killed). Over 600 people - from all over America - attended this seminar.
Our featured speaker was Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman. I had only heard Colonel Grossman once. My police department had sent me to hear him. I sat there, spellbound, listening to his well-known message The BulletProof Mind. I conversed with him for a minute or two during one of the breaks. I never imagined that not too long after that, we would begin this journey - THE SHEEPDOG SEMINAR - together.
Colonel Grossman's message is not confined to the issue of church safety, though it certainly applies. And I say all of this to say this: Our seminars have now expanded to the issue of violence that occurs anywhere and everywhere - and how we can respond to it.
Of course, we still address the issue of church-related violence and what we must do to prevent it. However, we will by no means stay confined to this subject. Carl Chinn and I will address the violence at houses of worship and what you must start doing upon the conclusion of the seminar. But Colonel Grossman's message is far more inclusive (as part of mine is, too).
Therefore, if you are a person who is concerned about violence, and what steps you need to take, THIS SEMINAR IS FOR YOU!
Violence has a long lasting effect upon its victims. And if the victim is killed, the family and friends are effected for many years to come. This is one of the primary reasons we must fight to stop it.
So, we plead with church leaders (pastors, church staff, etc) to attend because of our conviction that THE CHURCH - being the powerful force upon the earth that it is - must confront violence and seek to prevent it. Furthermore, we believe that the church, empowered by the Spirit of God, can thwart violence and lead the way in being protective of the sheep in our society.
It is our belief that LOVE is the most powerful "substance" on the planet. And the church, when driven by love, will provide for the safety and well-being of its members - and community.
In conclusion, we plead with all people who share a concern about violence to attend our seminars.