Reducing the Risks with Church Risk Management Programs
It would seem that churches, as ministries and servants of the community, should not have to face so many of the risks common to secular businesses. But churches are highly vulnerable to security issues and need to create a comprehensive church risk management program that will address and prevent safety concerns and develop a clear plan for dealing with them in case action must be taken.
In nearly a decade of serving area churches, non-profit organizations and private Christian schools, the team at Beacon Insurance Agency of Pace, Inc., has built a solid reputation for providing our clients with specialized insurance policies tailored to their needs and offering them invaluable safety resources. To provide them with the very best, we have partnered with GuideOne Insurance to give them the coverage and guidance they so greatly need. At Beacon, our greatest service lies in lighting our clients’ way to peace of mind, and our partnership with GuideOne allows us to achieve that mission.
Get With the Program
We know that risk management is most effectively handled by taking a comprehensive approach, rather than creating individual groups who are charged with singular aspects of risk. To create the strongest defense, it is essential to form a quality, safety and security team using a well-defined church risk management program.
Some plans for structuring are more effective than others, but we recommend that a church risk management team have a membership of between three and eight members. Ideally, those members might include:
· Current or former law enforcement officers
· Current or former military personnel
· Individuals with a background in insurance, claims or risk management
· Facility managers
· Individuals with a passion for a proactive risk management program
To make things more formal, the risk management team should be sanctioned and formed by members of the church’s administrative body. Once the team has been established, its members should meet at least once each quarter. To minimize the potential for any safety risks, all of the church’s ongoing activities, new ministries, special events and building projects should first be processed through the risk management committee. It’s also of great importance that the church staff and administrative body be given regular activity reports so that any safety issues may be handled properly.
Four Steps to Follow
Organizing the risk management team should be done with great attention to creating a strong group armed with knowledge and a clear plan of action. We recommend steps that include:
· Education. All members of the team should be provided with the resources and training to be informed on crucial elements and responses of church risk management. The team is then responsible to educate the church board and members of the staff.
· Planning and Response. A security plan should be developed by the team to include congregational education, policies, inspections and activity protocols.
· Training and Informing Others. A congregation-wide educational program on safety, security and risk issues should be established. Members of the risk management team should regularly speak to small groups, key committees and other members so that they are kept informed and can also gain greater insight on safety issues and how to implement a plan of action.
· Following Through. It is important to create a strategy for slowly employing a risk management program in addition to enacting ongoing safety monitoring. Safety and security measures should be implemented in such a way that they naturally become part the congregation’s activities without compromising the ministry of the church.
Call Beacon Insurance Agency of Pace, Inc., to learn more about GuideOne and the risk management programs we offer today!