10 Ways to Minister to Police Officers

If you’ve been paying attention to the recent news, you know that the police have been at the center of often difficult and sometimes controversial situations. Regardless of your opinions of some of the actions of police over the past week, we have an opportunity to minister to the vast number of great police officers who support us. Here are some ways your church might do so:

  1. Find a church member or couple to head up a unique ministry to the police. Ideally, look for someone who has had experience on a police force. If your church doesn’t have that person, invite others to pray about leading the ministry.
  2. Learn from officers in your congregation. Talk to them. Listen to them. Learn about their pressures. Ask how you can pray for them. Invite them to share their burdens with a small group or the entire church. Send them out as your church’s ambassadors to the community.
  3. Pray for officers – and let them know you are. God has ordained governing authorities to help keep order, and we need to pray for those who guard our safety (Rom 13:1, 1 Tim 2:1-3). If your church develops such a ministry, though, make sure your local police know of your prayer support. Build relationships as you pray. 
  4. Train your members to pray when they hear a siren. The sound of a siren almost always means somebody needs help, and that others are rushing there to provide that help. Use the opportunity to pray for all the parties, including the police.
  5. Get to know the local police chaplain. Many departments have a volunteer chaplain who can serve as a liaison between your church and the local department. Developing a relationship with him or her will benefit your ministry to the officers.
  6. Honor officers in a worship service. Take the time to affirm them and pray for them. Invite the whole force, and trust God to burden some to attend. Everyone will benefit from their presence. 
  7. Reach out and minister to the local police station. I’ve known churches that provided free meals, washed vehicles, and wrote “thank you” letters. Work with the local chaplain to find out what needs are apparent.
  8. Sponsor a “Parents Night Out” for officers. Make it easier for couples that live under daily stress to have time together. Provide the best, safest childcare possible.
  9. Adopt a police officer. Again working with the chaplain, your family can adopt an officer to pray for, send notes to, get to know, and love in Christ. Connecting with his or her family will also spread your witness and your influence.
  10. Share the gospel with police you know. After all, the gospel is the answer to everything.  

What other ways would you add to this list? Police officers, we welcome your input.


  • This is a very practical ministry that is much needed. Thanks for writing this article Chuck.

  • Chris says:

    Offer your church building as a safe place for them while on duty. They appreciate a place where they can use the restroom and maybe grab a cup of coffee without having to watch their back.

  • Елисей Пронин says:

    Great ideas Chuck. Thanks. We will do it in Ukraine)

  • Kenneth James says:

    My brother, I trust that you are also going to write an article about how the white community will “minister” to the black community about our fears and this angst we feel and deal with as it relates to police. It is NOT anecdotal, it is NOT imagined; it is REAL. And very sadly for me, as one who works in areas outside of my own community, I find precious little action (lots of talk though) among my white Christian brothers, sisters and churches around issues of race. I say this as a pastor of police officers AND hurting black people, including myself, who personally have had negative interactions with police at traffic stops, being pulled over, etc. I hope you will find the words to address this, sir. Thank you!

    • Chuck Lawless says:

      Thanks, brother. I do plan to address the issue of racism in general, and I will certainly give thought and prayer to your concern. I don’t want to pretend that I know the best answers since I don’t walk in your shoes, but I certainly want to be a listening learner. Thank you for writing. 

  • Mari Mattocks says:

    I am a member of an African-American church and we have begun to support our local police department, showing our appreciation and support by offering prayer and providing lunch for officers. We do NOT support violence against police officers. I appreciate you ideas especially # 5 as I was not aware police departments had chaplains. Additionally, I agree with the previous comments concerning the need to address the VERY REAL fears in the African-American community regarding police brutality, (my thirteen year old son no longer wants his drivers license for fear of being shot). Looking forward to your hearing your thoughts on this issue.

  • laura says:

    We are send a letter to the first responders, of encouragement. Asking them to join us on Sunday morning for coffee and donuts. Also offering ourselves to be of assistance in n any way. From our church family. Henderson BAPTIST CHURCH…

  • Deb Fitzgerald says:

    This is a great site! I’ve been asked to be the outreach coordinator of our small church! I just brought up an idea close to my heart of reaching out to the community by first reaching out to our local police depts. Your site is confirming what I want to do! thank you so much!!

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