9 Key Risk Areas Churches Face

Good risk management starts with asking tough questions about your ministry's practices and operations. Here are nine areas to consider when developing a risk management plan for your church:

 Accident Prevention: Are your sidewalks well lighted, dry, and covered with non-slip material? Are walkways and doors kept free of obstructions? Are parking lots safe? Is playground equipment maintained?

Childcare: Do you use a paging or other system to ensure children return only to authorized parents? Do you do a background check on all of your workers and volunteers?

Fire Protection: Does your church have a fire alarm system and fire extinguishers readily available? Are your fire sprinklers maintained?

Transportation Dangers: Does your church own vehicles that are well maintained? Do you use volunteer drivers? Do they have adequate insurance? Are they trained to drive large vans or buses?

Counseling: Does your church (or the individual counselors) carry professional liability insurance? Do you have a policy that covers counseling activities?

Finances/Payroll: Are dual signatures required for all checks above small amounts? Are all church credit cards properly maintained and regularly checked? Are at least two people present when offerings are counted? Does your church file the appropriate tax forms for all employees, including W-2s and 1099s?

Volunteer Selection and Training: Does your church thoroughly screen volunteers who will be driving church vehicles or working with children? Do you supervise volunteers and train them in their responsibilities?

Security: Does your church have an electronic security system in place? Do you have a strictly enforced key monitoring system? Do you have adequate lighting around your doors, parking lots, and at the rear of your buildings?

Church Employees: Do you have up-to-date hiring policies? Do you provide ongoing training? Do you have a sexual harassment policy?

Brotherhood Mutual offers free risk management materials to help your ministry develop new policies or update existing procedures. Start here.