According to Dictionary.com, risk management is the technique or profession for assessing, minimizing, and preventing accidental loss to business, through the use of insurance, safety measures, etc. If we strip that down, risk management is, essentially, doing everything possible to keep people and places safe.
It’s easy to think that “risk management” is more difficult or complex than this. One might think, how could I possibly assess, minimize, and prevent all the risks in my ministry? Where would I even begin?
Being an effective risk manager, however, is quite simple. Start with these three essential traits. A risk manager is…
#1 A Team PlayerRisk management can be overwhelming if you try to do everything on your own. Be a team player. Gather together a few church members to form the Safety Committee and help you assess, minimize, and prevent the risks in your ministry. Then, divvy up the tasks to ensure that no team member is required to carry the full load of risk management on their own.
If you don’t know where to start, try kicking things off with a church inspection and some seasonal maintenance. With these two tasks completed, you and your team will have a better idea of the specific risk management needs of your ministry.
#2 An ObserverObserving your surroundings for possible risks is a big part of risk management. Observation is important when you are conducting your church inspection or doing some regular seasonal maintenance. With your team, practice surveying your surroundings before, during, and after church services until it becomes a habit. This way, your team will be able to catch risks before they become even bigger problems and result in a loss.
#3 A PlannerRisk management is just another phrase to use common sense and plan ahead. What does being a planner look like in action? Our piece, Risk Managers Bungee Jump, breaks it down step-by-step for you.
Get your team together and talk with each leader and coordinator at your church at least once a month. Use this information to create a risk management plan with your team. Discuss how you can prevent emergencies during each event and the response to any crisis that does occur. Adjust your plan each month based on the events and services scheduled.
Risk management can be a lot simpler than you might think. When you put these three traits into action daily—being a team player, an observer, and a planner—you (and your team), too, can be a great risk manager.