Warning; do not put angry people on your church safety team!

Few realize the potential threat that lies in the hearts of those who are angry. The angry are, as King Solomon wrote long ago, fools: "...anger lies in the bosom of fools (Ecclesiastes 7:9)."

Anger that is not dealt with can escalate into acts of violence. In my 35 years as a cop, I don't recall ever going to a domestic disturbance where anger was not present. Anger is the fuel that fills the tank of violence.

And when you are deciding who to put on your church's safety team, make sure that none of them has the reputation of being hot-headed. 

When I first started helping churches deal with potential violence, I always showed them what characteristics to look for in their team members. I also showed them what traits they did NOT want in their team - and I faithfully pointed out that angry people have no place on a church safety team.

I once conducted a church safety seminar in south Texas. One man who attended was very supportive of my work, however, he refused to participate on a safety team at his church. "Why not,"? I asked. "Jimmy, I have a temper. I'm afraid of what I might do."

He was a wise man.

As you piece together your team, do your best to avoid having anyone who's reputation for his temper precedes him. In doing so, you will be fulfilling the words of scripture: "Don't befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people...(Proverbs 22:24)."

Are you ready for this? As interesting as this Bible verse is, what follows next is even more intriguing. Read it for yourself: "Or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself" (Proverbs 22:25). 

Permit me to paraphrase what you are being told here. King Solomon is making it clear that if you have a partnership with a person who is hot-headed, you may become like him, and in the process of doing so, get caught in a snare. Read that again - slowly: "you may become like him."

This is what angry people do; they wear-off on others; they pass on their attitudes to others. In other words, initially you may only have one angry man on the team, however, after a while you have an entire team of angry people!

Notice it also says you are laying a "snare" - a trap. His temper could put your team (or your whole church) in a trap. And that trap could be one of two things: 1) he's going to hurt someone, or 2) he's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Don't misunderstand me. I am NOT saying that we do not minister to such a person; but I am saying we do NOT allow them on the safety team. They may have the skills of a sniper, and the strength of superman, but don't let him on your team. His skills and strength will be overshadowed by his anger - and the results could be disastrous.

Yes - minister to him. Help him. Motivated by love, talk to him about his temper. The Bible tells us to restore such people (Galatians 6). We don't write them off: we love them through it. Spend time with him until he's no longer defined as an "angry man."

But don't let him (or her) on your team until there's a definite and noticeable change.

Never forget the word of James 1:20 - "...human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." You must love this dear brother, and stick with him through thick and thin. But you must be careful to not allow a hot-head to serve on your safety team. For when he explodes, there could be hell to pay.

Please understand: I am not referring to the person who occasionally gets angry (as we all do). But I am referring to the individual whose reputation is one of an angry man, a person who has "anger issues," and has not yet got a grip on his temper. Don't allow him on the team just because he has an interest in safety.

Consider this: If your team is allowed to be armed, and you permit an angry person to join that team, are you not jeopardizing your congregation's safety? An angry man with a gun is a possible recipe for disaster (are you reading any of the news lately?). Heed the warning from the Word of God. Help him to get a grip on his temper, before he's allowed to get a grip on a gun - while serving as a member of your church's safety team.

Proverbs 18:8 is clear: "A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention." I witnessed this thousands of times as a police officer. Your team must be composed of those who can calm people, not make the situation worse. The angry man throws fuel on a fire; the one who is "slow to anger" can extinguish a fire. Who do you prefer?