How to Spot Risks at Your Church

How To Spot Risks At Your Church
Laura J. Brown

Do you sniff out risks like a bloodhound seeking a fox? Or are you blind to perils until flames are licking at your feet?

Most pastors fall somewhere between these extremes. Fortunately, there are many affordable ways to seek and destroy hidden dangers at your church. The key is asking the right people to help. Here are some suggestions:

1) Get an outsider’s perspective. Ask someone unfamiliar with your church to do a walk-through. Sometimes it takes an outsider to spot potential stumbling blocks, whether it’s a pothole in the parking lot or a crooked step.

2) Ask your insurance agent to do a risk assessment. Give your insurance agent a chance to serve you by asking if he or she can swing by the church and point out potential problem areas. Many agents have received specialized training in risk management and are happy to help you find ways to reduce risks.

3) Review your insurance coverage. You may have a general idea about what church insurance covers, but have you read the policy? Not knowing what your policy excludes can be a risk. Once you understand your policy, decide how you’ll handle the perils it doesn’t cover, If you have questions, ask your agent to discuss your cover age with you.

4) Identify fire risks. Many fire departments will send an inspector to your church for a fire prevention consultation. Most potential problems found in such inspections can be addressed easily. For example, more fire extinguishers or added emergency lighting.

5) Crime-proof your facilities. Cities and counties often have crime prevention officers who will perform security assessments and recommend a variety of measures, even simple changes in your landscaping, that can reduce your church’s risk of being targeted by arsonists or other criminals.

LAURA J. BROWN is a writer and communications specialist with Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company (

Excerpted from REV! may/june 2007

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”