Protesters Outside Your Church? Handle With Care

Courtesy of Mark Klotz, Flickr

Holster the donuts and suspend the arguments. Unless it’s violent, let this storm blow over.

By Vaughn Baker
President, Strategos International

A well-known protest group recently made its rounds at churches in the Orlando area, spewing an all-too-common message of “hate thy neighbor.” When this happens, what’s a church to do?

First of all, it’s legal for protesters to picket on public property such as sidewalks. Unless they’re disturbing the peace or trespassing, they’re on solid legal ground. But …

Protesters want attention and hate indifference. So you ignore them. A toe-to-toe “stand for truth” can devolve into a shouting match or fistfight – and that’s what some of these groups want (legal action = money). Even the tender-hearted woman who seeks to “kill them with kindness” will likely regret bringing donuts to hardened professional agitators. If there’s a confrontation or – worse – an altercation, then you’ve made the news.

“Be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16

Certainly you should be watchful and aware when protesters show up. Alerting law enforcement is also a prudent step, simply to be on the safe side.

For a protester, a bad day is quiet day. And that’s exactly the kind of day you want to give them. Questions? Let’s talk.

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