Gentle Response is the organization founded by John Riley, a retired police officer and certified crisis intervention specialist with the National Anger Management Association. He and his team travel all over the United States conducting Conflict De-escalation Training seminars.
SemperVerus attended this excellent seminar, held in Immanuel Church, Holland, Michigan, May 14, 2023. With Mr. Riley’s permission, here are notes we took during that seminar and scenario training:
• “A gentle response defuses anger” Proverbs 15:1 (MSG)
• Conflict de-escalation: lowering the intensity of an agitated person to minimize a potentially volatile situation from becoming a critical violent incident.
[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Prayer for Church Security Team Members ]
• Peacemaking and de-escalating people’s anger is the goal, while staying alert to your own personal and public safety. When overwhelmed, stay safe and be an expert witness.
• Mindset Priority: Each church security team member must have a “ministry mindset” — Every contact (even eye contact) is a ministry opportunity to represent the mission of the church. Don’t let your actions be heavy-handed and damage that mission.