This past weekend in church, as I was singing along in worship at the end of the service, I noticed a commotion on the other side of the sanctuary. It was paired with the house lights in the sanctuary coming on. Since the worship center at my church is fairly large, it was hard for me to see exactly what was going on. But my wife, who's a staff member at the church, was quick to say it's a medical emergency.
The church's plan for handling such a situation went into action while the worship team continued to play. The proper people called 911 while attending to the need in the sanctuary. It was clear our worship leader, a fill in this particular weekend, wasn't sure what was going on either. But he handled the situation well. As he wrapped up the song, he said he realized something was going on. He said he wasn't sure what it was, but the best thing to do was pray. So he started a simple prayer that God knows the exact need at that moment and we prayed that He safely protects the person in need. During the prayer another staff member was able to come up to the stage and let the worship leader know the best thing to do was dismiss the congregation. So once he was done praying, he asked folks to head out using the side aisles (since the person needing help was in the center aisle) while the band just played a little bit of music.
Overall, I would say the situation was handled well. The church had a plan. The staff acted on it. And a time that could have been chaotic was fairly calm. The person who apparently fainted was able to get medical help from emergency responders and everything was okay.
My church is big enough that there are multiple staff members who can help out in a situation like this. But even if you're part of a smaller church, it's important to have a plan that makes since for you. Maybe you stop the service, ask for assistance from folks in the medical field and tell everyone else to exit the sanctuary. Hopefully you have key people identified who can help out if such a situation occurs. Whatever it is, make sure you plan for it.
What's your plan? How would you handle a medical emergency during a service?
(Ambulance with blue sky image courtesy of Shutterstock.)