Church Security Training: Decision Decks Help You Think Through a Crisis Before It Happens

Here’s a simple way to prepare your mindset for the unexpected!

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

Whether personal self-defense or serving on your church security team, anticipating potential threats is a crucial skill we must hone as rigorously as we sharpen our defensive shooting accuracy in the time we spend at the range.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Chart: The Spectrum of Potential Threat Personas in Self-Defense and Church Security ]

One way to accomplish this is with Decision Decks, five packs of cards—60 scenario cards per pack—to enhance situational awareness problem solving and decision making abilities, created by Simon Osamoh, founder and president of Kingswood Security Consulting and the Worship Security Academy, and former head of counter-terrorism at Mall of America, Minnesota, where he oversaw the internationally-recognized behavior threat assessment team.

You already know about the benefits of dry-fire training in the comfort of your home; in the same manner, Decision Decks are pre-crisis mental workouts you can contemplate anywhere to sharpen your readiness.

Each deck—Safety Team, Suspicious Behavior, Threat Assessment, Conflict De-Escalation, and Medical Response—inspires critical thinking by presenting one unique problem per card to help you ponder the action you would take if you were faced with it (see excerpts below). By mentally rehearsing these events ahead of their actual occurrence, and considering what the correct response should be, you’ll build muscle memory as well as personal confidence to act appropriately in the case of an emergency.

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

Answers are not provided since there may not be only one solution in a given situation. Each card’s description leaves the door open for discussion among church safety team members to establish the best course of action that demonstrates the ministry aspect of the church while ensuring the safety of its congregants.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Planning and Armed Congregants Top Church Security Measures ]

The following are excerpts of cards in each pack:


There is a collision in the parking lot and a member of the congregation is reported to be drunk and driving. How do you respond?

You are walking toward the worship center when you observe people running away shouting “David has a gun.” How do you respond?


An adult is trying to exploit personal connections within the church to bypass a background check. What would you do?

A person is seen taking pictures on their cell phone of young children during a church event. What would you do?

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Church Security: Radio Communications Best Practices ]

[ See the SemperVerus list of links to Church Security Training Resources ]


A volunteer with erratic behavior is asked to step down, causing fears they might come back and harm people. How will you assess and manage the threat?

A mom whose child attends youth group shares concerns about the child’s fascination with violence. How will you assess and manage the threat?


A camper is parked in your church lot. A man appears and claims the police allowed him to stay there. He refuses to move and gets aggressive when approached. How will you de-escalate this situation?

A mother has come to collect her son from Sunday school. However, she can’t legally see him. She’s angry, shouting and screaming, demanding to see him. How will you de-escalate this situation?


A young child touches a hot candle flame during a Christmas service and starts crying. How do you respond?

A man accidentally spills hot coffee on himself at a church event and suffers severe burns. How do you respond?

Get these ingenious and practical decks for yourself or each member of your safety team, and conduct “what-if” exercises throughout your day.

[ Read articles in the SemperVerus category of Church Security ]

Learn about the Sheepdog Church Security certification program for your church safety team

Invite SemperVerus® to present its 5 life-changing success-generating components—prepare, aware, be, know, do—to your organization to inspire and motivate your members.

Join the SemperVerus Brotherhood™!