Each year Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) and the North American Division (NAD) Risk Management Committee pursue specific, practical initiatives as a response to the increased frequency of large casualty losses. We have a duty to protect the assets we have been entrusted with, and we must strive to provide an environment that is safe for employees, members, guests, and volunteers so the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can grow. In order to accomplish this, we must continue to invest in the ministry of risk management.
These NAD Risk Management Initiatives build on the policy guidelines and resources already in place. Complacency regarding risk management is one of the greatest threats we face. This can be remedied by each of us as leaders making risk management a key priority at all levels of our organizations, and by providing more intentional education for our leaders, staff, and local volunteers. This is something we can accomplish together.
2021 NAD Risk Management Initiatives
This year’s emphasis will be placed on achieving quantifiable results by creating opportunities for organizational leadership to support risk management initiatives throughout their organizations. The 2021 NAD Risk Management Initiatives are:
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Conference Risk Management Committee
WHY - It is important for conference organizations to set up time and resources to address the protection and stewardship of the assets entrusted. The implementation of a risk management committee to focus on safety should set the tone that identifying risks and managing them is important to the long-term success of our ministry.
WHAT Schedule and creation of a risk management committee by no later than January 31, 2021
Members – president (chair), the president has the opportunity to set the tone from the top. The ministry of risk management is about preserving the ability to accomplish the organization’s mission and this should be the first priority of the president. No one else has the opportunity to lead across all ministry functions as this role.
The committee should include the executive secretary, treasurer, and conference selected ministry leadership such as youth and education.
The ARM account executive (secretary) should provide structure to the meetings as they draft the agenda for approval by the chair. The account executive will also provide information, data, and resources to support the committee’s efforts.
Meets no less than semi-annually, with the 2021 schedule of meetings to be set by no later than January 31, 2021.
WHY – Pastors serve as key leaders in our churches. The areas that the pastor values and understands become the priorities of the church. If our churches are going to be more effective in risk management, we must raise our pastors’ awareness and knowledge in this area. This initiative is focused on providing pastors the knowledge and resources to be prepared to lead their church in risk management. The goal is to educate in the following areas:
Local church big-picture issues, such as apparent authority of the pastor, contracts and contractors, child protection planning, streaming video and copyright, crisis communication, physical plant maintenance, and insurance.
Delegating with a system of accountability and follow-through by electing a safety officer and safety committees that report to the board, prioritizing self-assessments, follow-up on recommendations, and emergency planning.
Support Pastor’s Learning
Conferences will make opportunities to promote risk management as a priority to pastors.
Conferences will make opportunities for ARM to make a presentation on risk management for pastors.
ARM will prepare a new course of study that addresses key risk management information for pastors. This course will be available by March 2021.
Conference to encourage pastors to guide their churches to elect a safety officer (and safety committee where possible) to provide a risk management voice and support for all church/school ministries.
Risk Management for Safety Officers
WHY – A safety officer can be a key part of helping a church or school stay focused on mission and avoid unforeseen pitfalls or other calamities that distract from their goals. This key role works with the church leadership team across ministry functions to educate and implement important risk management processes to avoid or control risks. They can develop and implement various risk management plan components such as:
Self-assessment and follow up
Seasonal maintenance schedule
Child protection plan
Support Safety Officer Learning
Conference will make opportunities for ARM make a presentation on risk management for safety officers.
ARM will prepare a new course of study that addresses risk management for safety officers. This course will be available by March 2021.
Removal of Prohibited Vehicles (15-passenger vans)
WHY – Prohibited vehicles, such as 15-passenger vans, are dangerous and should not be used to transport our members or children. Do not use 15-passenger vans any longer. In support of NAD working policy S 60 31 Vehicle Insurance - 7. Fifteen-Passenger Van Use—In the interest of safety, denominational organizations are advised against the purchase, lease, rental or use of fifteen-passenger vans for sponsored activities....
As early as 2001 the 15-passenger van was identified as a significantly dangerous vehicle for transporting passengers. The use of 15-passenger vans has been actively prohibited for more than 15 years by the Adventist Church in North America. While the Adventist Church has taken steps to remove them from use, many local churches and schools continue to use, buy, or rent them.
Remove all prohibited vehicles (15-passenger vans) from use (owned, hired, or borrowed).
Letter to all pastors/principals from organization’s president; ARM will provide a template to be sent by no later than March 31, 2021.
Use ARM’s current list of known 15-passenger vans insured with us that were confirmed to be prohibited vehicles (wheelbase over 135 inches) to follow up with local organizations. Strategize to remove/replace remaining vehicles.
When bringing in a new church into the sisterhood of the conference, a thorough review of the assets must be conducted to prevent 15-passenger vans from being added through this method.