If you are reading this, you are a leader in your church. As leaders, we help the church keep running in various ways. Whether you create the worship program each Sabbath, meet with the church board to discuss future events, or provide a listening ear to the congregation, each responsibility contributes to the continuity of the church and its members.
Risk management is a crucial area to the continuity of the church. It is your duty to make safety a priority. The Bible instructs us to, “Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds,” (Prov. 27:23, NLT).
Here are four steps you can implement as a church leader to improve safety at your church.
Have the nominating committee select a new leader to be the official church safety officer, and provide ample time for the decision to be ratified by your church congregation. The selected safety officer should be inducted into the church board and be included in each board meeting in order to share any safety concerns. Encourage your safety officer to gather a team of individuals to help him/ her monitor the safety of your church in all areas.
A church can be at risk for potential losses if
there is no room in the budget to handle repairs
or replacements. Integrating risk management in
church finances means accounting for possible
losses. Make sure the church budget includes
funds for any repairs or seasonal maintenance
tasks that the safety officer and his/her team may
3. FOLLOW THROUGH
Work with your church safety officer and team to
create a safety plan for the church, and then follow
through. During each church board meeting, review the plan with your safety officer and allow time to
voice any safety concerns. Review the concerns
and create actionable steps to address them.
Additionally, it is important to make sure you
are providing support to your safety officer and
team. This support includes relevant training or
literature needed to equip the team for their job.
Provide the safety officer with access to pertinent
information, such as church blueprints and security
codes, to maintain the safety of the church.
Your chief objective is to remain accountable to what you and your safety officer have deemed necessary for the protection of the church. As church leaders, you set an example and influence those around you to the standards of your church. Do fellow church members see the prioritization of risk management? Are safety measures included in each program or event?
Be accountable to each other as church leaders
too. Make sure everyone carries out risk management
tasks. Allow them to check in with you as
well. It may be an uncomfortable situation when
you must approach a fellow leader and point out
that they have not prioritized risk management in a
particular event. It is better to do this than to risk
the safety of your members, visitors, or church.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE
As you conduct your church board meetings this quarter,
Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) challenges you
to prioritize risk management in your church. It is on us as
church leaders to integrate risk management into all planning
and activities to make our churches safe. Will you accept the
Elizabeth Camps is a writer and public relations specialist at
Adventist Risk Management, Inc.