Is Your Ministry as Safe as It Could Be?

Have you thought through potential dangers that may confront your ministry? Taking steps to consider and address these risks provides important protection from injuries, lawsuits, fires, and dozens of other hazards that may affect your ministry, especially your employees and those you serve.

Here are some ideas to help you develop a risk management plan for your church or ministry:

  • Choose good people. Create one or more committees of people who understand and value risk management. If possible, choose professionals involved in your ministry to help in specific areas; e.g., an accountant for financial issues and a building contractor to evaluate facility risks.
  • Take small steps. Break the process into several steps. Focus on the areas most central to your ministry, such as your children’s ministry or sports program.
  • Identify hazards. Consider any risk that can cause injury, illness, death, loss, or damage to equipment or property. Such risks range from weather and medical emergencies to child sexual assault and counseling liabilities. Identify risks specific to your ministry.

Develop the Plan

Once you have finished preparations, you’re ready to begin work on your risk management plan.

  • Assess the risks. Estimate the probability and severity of each potential risk. Think in terms of worst-case possibilities to get a credible measure of how severe a risk could become. With the results, you will have a useful tool for identifying which risks you should give closest attention.
  • Analyze risk control measures. Identify specific strategies and tools that reduce or eliminate risks. There’s a range of options, from deciding not to take a risk at all to finding ways to reduce, accept, or transfer the risk. Consult with your church’s attorney for assistance.
  • Make risk control decisions. Once you have chosen a strategy, determine the level of risk remaining. Do you think the remaining risk is acceptable? Should you modify the plan to develop measures to better control the risk?
  • Implement risk controls. Document your plan fully and implement it with appropriate resources. Communicate the plan to church or ministry employees, volunteers, and others involved in your ministry.
  • Supervise and review. Make sure everyone follows your plan. Review the plan periodically. Seek feedback from people involved in all aspects of the plan, and use their comments to modify it as needed.

With these suggestions, you should be able to create a risk management plan for your church or ministry that can help you keep everyone, from infants to the elderly, safe.

July 22, 2021
Thousands in Relief Funding Available to Ministries Through the Employee Retention Credit
Thousands in Relief Funding Available to Ministries Through the Employee Retention Credit

Most ministry leaders don’t realize there is funding available to non-profit employers including churches, schools, colleges, and camps. This post includes some highlights about the credit and guidance on where to start to see if your ministry is eligible.

Tags: ERC, payroll, tax credit
June 17, 2021
Prepare Your Ministry for Another Active Hurricane Season
Prepare Your Ministry for Another Active Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season officially started June 1, and weather experts say this season is likely to produce above-normal activity. Take action to prepare your ministry to withstand a hurricane now, so you’re not scrambling when a watch or warning is posted.

Tags: hurricane, weather, weather emergency, safety, damage, prevent damage, protect
May 26, 2021
Online Tithing: Balance Convenience with Security
Online Tithing: Balance Convenience with Security

As finances move more and more into the digital world, online giving has emerged as a convenient option for accepting donations. Just as ministries protect the tithes they receive in the offering plate on Sunday mornings, they should take care to protect online gifts and donors.

Tags: severe weather, property, property damage, hail
May 10, 2021
Hail Damage: Prepare and Lessen Potential Impact
Hail Damage: Prepare and Lessen Potential Impact

While we can’t change the weather in Texas, there are things your ministry can do to help lessen the damage hail leaves behind. Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company offers some things to consider. 

Tags: severe weather, property, property damage, hail
March 16, 2021
Prepare for Severe Spring Storms Now
Prepare for Severe Spring Storms Now

When severe storms strike, they can produce high winds and tornadoes. Damaging winds can wreak havoc on your ministry’s property and to buildings. A high wind event can crash debris through your windows, strip your siding, down trees on your parking lot, peel shingles off your roof, and fling back the flashing.

Tags: weather emergency, lightning, storms, safety, protect
February 25, 2021
Catalytic Converter Theft on the Rise: Protect Ministry Vehicles
Catalytic Converter Theft on the Rise: Protect Ministry Vehicles

Thieves are taking advantage of soaring precious metal prices. Take steps to protect your ministry’s vehicles and property.

Tags: protect, theft, vehicle
February 5, 2021
Avoid Frozen Pipes as Temperatures Plummet
Avoid Frozen Pipes as Temperatures Plummet

As temperatures plummet, the risk of freezing pipes soars. Frozen pipes can cause costly messes that could also put your ministry on hold while you clean up.

Tags: frozen, building, pipes, prevent damage
November 23, 2020
COVID-19 and the Christmas Season
COVID-19 and the Christmas Season

Preparing for this Christmas season may require additional creativity, due to the uncertainty of what COVID-19 may bring in our local community.

Tags: COVID-19, health, health safety, protect, coronavirus, Christmas, risk management
October 28, 2020
Guidance for Ministries About Boy Scouts' Bankruptcy
Guidance for Ministries About Boy Scouts' Bankruptcy

A mid-November deadline in the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) bankruptcy proceedings may have you wondering what the organization’s bankruptcy filing means for your ministry if you ever hosted or chartered Boy Scout Troops.

Tags: coverage, protect, liability, damages, youth
October 1, 2020
Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness
Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness

Organizations that obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding through the CARES Act can have their loans forgiven, turning them into grants. To qualify, each borrower must file a forgiveness application with its PPP lender, proving that it followed the rules. If your church, school, college, or camp meets all the criteria, 100% of its loan can be forgiven.

August 21, 2020
Protect Your Ministry from Tropical Storm Damage
Protect Your Ministry from Tropical Storm Damage

We’re right in the middle of hurricane season in Texas and Tropical Depression Fourteen is strengthening in the Gulf and expected to make landfall early next week. These storms bring high winds and flooding that can easily damage your ministry’s property. Take steps to prepare for this and other tropical storm threats. 

Tags: severe weather, tropical storm, hurricane, property, property damage
March 31, 2020
CARES Act: Churches Need to Apply Now
UPDATE CARES Act: Churches Need to Apply Now

Learn about the CARES Act and two loans for which ministries may be eligible, since Congress authorized additional funding April 23. 

March 6, 2020
Coronavirus and Your Ministry: Tips for Prevention
Coronavirus and Your Ministry: Tips for Prevention

As concern over the dangers associated with the spread of a new coronavirus, COVID-19, spreads, our agency and Brotherhood Mutual want to keep you informed and provide best practices for managing the spread of this and similar illnesses at your ministry.

January 29, 2020
Hosting a Game Day Bash? Brush Up on Copyright Basics
Hosting a Game Day Bash? Brush Up on Copyright Basics

The first Sunday in February is a big day for sports fans. In fact, many Americans view Super Bowl Sunday as a national holiday. Friends and families will gather this year to watch the big game, enjoy delicious snacks, and of course, critique the commercials that go along with game day.

Are You Covered If You're Injured Overseas?
Are You Covered If You're Injured Overseas?

Recently, we learned about two major overseas incidents involving pastors on mission trips. The first incident involved a pastor being hit by a motorcycle while running. The second was a bus accident involving two pastors. The runner and one of the two bus passengers sustained extensive injuries.

Tags: missions, insurance
IRS Announces More Church Audits Regarding ACA Compliance
IRS Announces More Church Audits Regarding ACA Compliance

Last month, the IRS announced that its initiating hundreds of church exams to test compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While many provisions only apply to churches with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), even smaller churches could potentially violate provisions applicable to health benefit plans with as few as 2 plan participants.

Tags: ACA, IRS
July 3, 2019
Celebrate Safely This Independence Day
Celebrate Safely This Independence Day

July 4th is synonymous with food, fun, and fireworks. If your church is planning an event this Independence Day, remember to keep a focus on safety, so that everyone can have fun.

Tags: firework safety
June 28, 2019
Insurance is one of those things we forget about until we need it
Insurance is one of those things we forget about until we need it

National Insurance Awareness Day falls on June 28 this year to remind people everywhere that insurance is vital to their companies and ministries.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
May 5, 2019
May 5-11 is Hurricane Preparedness Week
May 5-11 is Hurricane Preparedness Week

The National Weather Service (NWS) has designated May 5-11, 2019, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Is your ministry prepared?

Tags: protect, damages, weather emergency
April 30, 2019
Measles Cases Reach Record-Breaking Numbers
Measles Cases Reach Record-Breaking Numbers

More than 700 confirmed cases of measles have been reported in the United States so far this year, making this outbreak the worst in decades.

Tags: risk management, liability, health safety, protect, measles