V – Do

Church Security Book Review: A Gentle Response

With the title taken from Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire,” the book A Gentle Response: Conflict De-Escalation With A Ministry Mindset is written to guide staff and volunteers of all faiths and houses of worship in proven ways to defuse tense and potentially dangerous situations. Its author, John Riley, is an Army veteran, retired police officer, consultant, trainer, and founder/president of Gentle Response, a consulting company specializing in very dynamic, realistic conflict de-escalation training seminars which are specifically designed to help students develop stress inoculation, muscle memory, self confidence, and confidence in colleagues.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Gentle Response De-Escalation Training for Church Security Teams ]

The book is filled with practical insight and examples by the author, gleaned from 20 years of road patrol experience, observations, and training as a certified crisis intervention specialist through the National Anger Management Association of what can be said and done by law enforcement officers to more effectively and successfully de-escalate a situation to ensure that everyone goes home safe. While it’s written to church security team members, it’s principles can be equally applied to individuals as part of your personal self-defense toolbox.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Prayer for Church Security Team Members ]

The following are highlighted quotes from the 90-page book:

Directory: Informative Free Email Newsletters From a Variety of Sources

Firearms Training: A Directory of Shooting Drills

Shooting Drills | Organization Shooting Qualifications

SemperVerus stands for “Stay True.” It means to stay true to what is right (taken from the Bible book of 1 Timothy 4:16), and it also means to stay true to properly hit the target you’re aiming at. Here are training drills to help you consistently accomplish the latter.


  • Active Response Training: Shooting Drills
  • Active Response Training: The Best Handgun Practice Drill Resources
  • Active Response Training: Useful Training References—Shooting Drills
  • Small Decisions Matter: The 1% ‘Marginal Gains’ Rule

    The little decisions we make every moment of every day add up to major results for the good or bad of our lives. The SemperVerus motto reminds us to Stay True to what is right in every step we take and every choice we make.

    Illustrating this is the Marginal Gains Rule: small changes lead to significant outcomes. This article offers this example:

    “Sir Dave Brailsford, former performance director of British Cycling, believed making a 1% improvement in a host of tiny areas would result in extraordinary cumulative benefits. The theory of marginal gains can be credited for vaulting the British cycling team from a mediocre performer to 16 gold medals over two Olympics and seven Tour de France wins in eight years. The dedicated focus on improvement in the smallest of tasks is what separates the elite few from wayward others.”

    [ Read the SemperVerus article, Make Your Bed, Change Your World ]

    “Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” —Jim Rohn