In 2017, Uganda Police Force issued a statement in which they called for mandatory security and safety in all places patronized by members of the public in big numbers. To this list, they included Churches.
Despite such policies, several churches and congregations struggle with whether or not it’s biblical to have armed security in churches.
That aside, critics have continuously belittled prominent preachers that go about with bodyguards. In their view, prominent or not, preachers of the gospel do not need special security because “Jesus didn’t have bodyguards.”
“Security is needed and in today’s era it has become a necessity,” Christians that support their Church decision to offer Pastors bodyguards urge.
Pastor Noah Sematimba of Breakthrough Miracle Life Ministries believes what the country witnessed at Namirembe Cathedral on Easter Sunday when a prominent cleric was attacked by a man holding out a big stick, should be a clear example of why they need security.
He adds: “When the scriptures state that “unless the Lord guards the city, the watchmen guard in vain”… It does not mean that the city should therefore have no watchmen but rather that the trust of the city’s inhabitants should be in God.”
Pastor Sematimba says as much as a Christian believes God for protection, “you still lock the doors of your house, your car, etc and even hire a guard at home or put guard dogs.”
“T.D. Jakes once had his house bombed, John Hagee was shot at right in front of his church at the pulpit, Joel Osteen’s sister was badly hurt by a bomb sent to their house in the mail.
“Even David who wrote the Psalm we quote (Psalm 127:1) had an entire company of bodyguards of which Benaiah was the chief. Even Jesus could not be easily be reached without first passing through his disciples. He had to explicitly tell them to let the little kids have access to him,” he says.
Noah Sematimba stresses that contrary to what many think, a Pastor’s need for security, if anything, emphasizes that the man of God is not God.
“God does not need security. He is well able to take care of himself. That is why anyone can approach God in prayer without needing to go through any intermediaries to screen them,” he says.
Pastor Abigayle M Njambi of House of latter Glory Ministries adds that “having a security team does not make one less anointed or worldly.
“One needs wisdom to fulfill assignment on this earth. Then The protocol team protects the man of God from malicious rumors too. Let a man walk alone going to pray for people before you know it someone comes up with a funny story that the pastor raped them n that is enough to finish the man.
“There is security in walking with numbers. It’s not an act so that people will see how big one is but in case something is said about the man of God, His team can verify or not,” she says.
Because not everyone who comes around you comes around you with good intentions, Pr Abigayle explains, the higher your anointing the more enemies you attract.
“I know of a man of God who got Shot at at his pulpit. While ministering someone just walked up to him and fired at him. Did he survive yes. But he understood why protocol team is a must have,” she notes.