Congratulations on starting a new ministry position! Volunteering in one of the church ministries is a wonderful way to use talents to support the church family and further share the gospel message. When beginning a new role and learning what is expected, it is good to consider risk management as part of the planning process.Risk management is not solely reserved for administration or the safety officer. Risk management is about staying focused on the mission of the organization and working to prevent any obstacles that may deter from accomplishing that mission. This is best done when everyone has a risk management mindset.
Check with the Church BoardIn our church we work together as a community of believers. That means we do not work alone, and it is important to be accountable to our community. The church board oversees all ministry activities of the church. Involving the church board is an important part of the activity planning process for any ministry. Board review can assist in identifying needed financial resources, insurance requirements, and training and background checks for personnel among other items. The board can provide guidance on what can be changed to decrease activity risk and determine if some activities should not be done. Plan out activities for the year and present them to the board before getting to work.
The Safety OfficerThe role of the church safety officer is to work with ministry leaders, the church board, and pastor to promote and improve safety at the church. Check with the safety officer on best safety practices. Find out what has been done before, what updates should be made to those practices, and if there are new risks that need to be planned for. The safety officer can help with planning so risks are identified and mitigated before someone is harmed.
Ministry leaders may lead a few or a team of volunteers. Reference checks and background checks should be run on all participating volunteers. The screening process helps protect the ministry leader, the volunteers and any ministry participants from cases of abuse or misconduct. Safety needs to be a top priority when working with vulnerable persons such as children, the elderly or others.
Background Checks for Volunteers
Talk to the church safety officer or pastor about what child protection policies the church is expected to follow. These may include background check resources available through the conference, and how volunteers should be appropriately checked and trained before serving in ministry.
Equipment and Facility CheckThis ministry position may come with equipment or space for use such as the church kitchen and fellowship room, or Sabbath School rooms. New Pathfinder directors may inherit a host of camping and activity equipment, potentially a trailer or even a vehicle. Before using the facility or equipment, conduct an inspection to identify any need for service or repair.
Not sure where to start? Check out ARM’s free Church Inspection Form and Vehicle Inspection Form as starting points for performing equipment and facility checks.
Check AdventistRisk.orgLooking for safety resources that are ministry specific? Adventist Risk Management, Inc. is here to support church ministries with free safety and risk management resources.
- Find resources customized for ministry needs at AdventistRisk.org on our Safety Resources pages.
- Sign up to receive cutting-edge risk management information through our bi-weekly newsletter, Solutions, delivered through email for free.
- Looking for a resource on a specific topic? Search for it at AdventistRisk.org.
- Dealing with something that needs more resources? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to us through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
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Welcome to ministry leadership. We hope you will join us in promoting a risk management mindset for the safety of your team and participants. We are excited you are here. Please let us know how we can further support you in ministry.