Youth Ministry Risk Management - Christian Ministries Insurance

CMI Risk Management
Youth Ministry
Risk Management
August 2011
CMI Risk Management
Prepared By
Christian Ministries Insurance
PO Box 367
Welches, Oregon 97367
Bob Lilly COO – LaPorte & Associates
Scott Stuart – Owner Christian Ministries Ins
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Seminar Outline
Introduction and overview
Why insurance is important
What insurance covers
Risk vs. reward “ how safe is your ministry?”
Five keys to protecting yourself & your ministry
What does a good safety program look like?
Case studies
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Proverbs 3:21-26
My son, preserve sound judgment and
do not let them out of your sight;
they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;
when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being snared.
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Why Is This Important
People sin………..we all make poor decisions……..accidents happen, even in the
best of situations……….
God protects us and our ministry……but God allows events and “nature” in many
cases to be carried out to their natural conclusions………..
We have seen too many ministries destroyed by the lack of management .
CMI is an insurance & consulting firm formed with the specific purpose of helping
ministries to understand risk and provide tools that protect your ministry.
Scott and Bob have over 50 years of combined experience in insurance and
ministry consulting. This includes non-profit, churches, and for-profit corporations
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Stay Out of The Headlines
Church sued for 2 million over dramatic
youth service
Former youth pastor faces molestation trial
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What Are The Consequences?
oPeople injured
oClaims paid
oChurch resources used
oTime & expense are used
oPeople question ministry
oPeople leave the ministry
oYouth pastors lose jobs
oMinistry is damaged
oChurch receives bad publicity
oFewer people come to know Him or grow in Him
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Ministry Assessment
Do you have release forms signed? Do you keep them for 24
Do you allow leaders to ever be alone with students?
Do you hold an annual parent meeting?
Do you obtain background checks of all leaders?
If you use personally owned vehicles, do you ask for insurance
Do you hold annual training for all leaders?
Are there accountability systems in place?
Do you complete a safety inspection before using vehicles?
Do you have a student code of conduct?
Do you have an interview/review process for potential or new
When using a third party (facility, vehicle, other equipment) do you
ask for certificates of insurance?
For out of country programs, do you obtain foreign insurance?
Do you have written procedures for your programs that include
safety issues?
Do you spend at least ten minutes of the planning process thinking
about what might go wrong?
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Ministry Assessment-Group Activity
Break out into groups of 3-5 people in your respective departments.
Discuss with each other the top 5 risks that are common to most to
your respective ministry. Risk is something that has potential to cause
a loss or accident of some kind to property and/or people.
Protecting the Bride Action
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What Insurance Covers
What Each of These is Intended to Cover
o Directors & Officers-______________________________________
o General Liability-_________________________________________
o Automobile Liability-______________________________________
o Sexual Acts-_____________________________________________
o Crime-employee dishonesty-_______________________________
o Employment-____________________________________________
o Pastors Professional/Counseling -____________________________
Insurance does not cover intentional
acts of stupidity
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Just How Safe is Your Ministry? There are
10 Deadly Sins of youth and children's
Top Ten Deadly Sins That Will Kill
Your Ministry
1. Sexual Misconduct
2. Fallen Leadership
3. Misappropriation of Funds
4. Employee relations
5. Mission Trip Mishaps
6. Staffing Ratios
7. Lack of Planning
8. No Accountability
9. Lack of Paperwork
10. Lack of Training
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Just What Can Go Wrong?
 Injuries to students
 Abuse –physical or sexual
 Interns dating students
 Students with special needs
 Students driving students
 Lack of training
 No safety in mind
 Haven’t thought through what might happen
These are some of the most common mistakes made in
churches today. Many are not intentional, but rather good
people just not using the wisdom that God has provided.
Check your ministry now. Do you have any of these going on?
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Protecting the Bride Action
Think back over the past few years. Briefly write down injuries and or
accidents that have occurred in your ministry. Write these out and
then think of what might have been done to prevent them.
Event or Injury
Protecting the Bride PREVENTION
Proverbs 3:23 -then you will go on your
way in safety, and your foot will not
stumble; when you lie down, your sleep
will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden
disaster or of the ruin that overtakes
the wicked, for the Lord will be your
confidence and keep your foot from
being snared
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Why People Sue
 You did not meet the standard of care
 Lack of communication
 Hazardous activity
 Covering up- perception
 Young leadership
 Improper use of equipment
 Injured party does not have any medical insurance
 People think they can get a big settlement
What are three things you can do today to reduce the possibility of a
3. ______________________________________
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What to Expect When You or Your Organization is Sued
CASE PREPARATION & DISCOVERY___________________________________
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How to Protect the Bride
Know you have learned about a number of safety issues that could effect your
ministry. Now what? The tool below will help you and your team work through
simple recommended actions
White Water
Potential Issues
Lack of water
Injury or death
Recommended Action
Always hire an experienced licensed river guide.
Never use a church member who has a raft. Get
certificate of insurance from guide and release forms
from students.
Rock Climbing
Ability of climbers,
preparation, and
knowledge of area
Have releases signed, complete training prior to
event, have experienced individuals teamed up with
less experienced.
Boating Activity
Over crowding of
boats, inexperienced
boat operator
Have enough boats, don’t over crowd boats, use life
vests always. Never drag kids in inner tubs in
crowded rivers or lakes. Always and have release
forms. Make sure owners of boats have liability
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Group Exercise
Potential Issues
Recommended Action
Overnight Youth
Open Gym
Mission Trip
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Use this form during the pre event preparation. -
Pre Event Checklist
Good staff to student ratio
Have facilities been reviewed or inspected?
Equipment in good working order?
All forms and releases on file?
First aid kits up to date?
Insurance info on file from event or company?
Have you and your team thought through what might go
Confirmed no student drivers?
Do you think by doing these,
your chances of injury are
reduced or increased?
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Release Forms and Agreements
Release forms are a good way to reduce the possibility of being sued even if
there is an injury. You can’t sign away your negligence, but these forms do
work and will hold up in court if completed correctly. What these forms do
for you:
o Provide the best possible protection
o Show you are doing the prudent thing
o Help communicate risks with parents
o Give a paper trail
o Identify activities
o Leads to parental involvement
o Provide defense
Keep copies for at least 2
years. It would be ok to scan
and save electronically
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Example of Simple Release
In consideration for being permitted to participate in _____________________ (activity) during
_____________________ (period), I, the undersigned, fully recognizing the dangers and hazards
inherent in this activity and any related transportation as well as the unknown dangers and
hazards which may arise in the course of the activity or transportation, to which I may be
exposed as a result of my participation, do hereby voluntarily:
1. Agree to assume all of the risk and responsibilities associated with my participation in the
activity and transportation, as well as any independent research or activities undertaken as
an adjunct thereto; and,
2. Agree, for myself, my heirs and my personal representative, to defend, hold harmless,
indemnify, release and forever discharge the Church, its trustees, officers, employees,
agents, insurers, successors and assigns, from and against any and all claims, demands,
actions, or causes of action on account of any damage to real or personal property or any
personal injury or death that may result from my participation, whether or not such damage,
injury or death is caused by the fault or negligence of the Church, its trustees, officers,
employees or agents. This agreement does not apply to gross negligence on the part of the
church or its representatives.
Printed Name
Signature of Participant
Signature of Parent or Guardian if
Participant is Under 18 Years of Age
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Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk
For High Risk Athletic Activity
In consideration of being allowed to participate in the _____________________Program and related
events, I the undersigned, have read and agree to the following terms:
I understand and fully recognize the dangers and hazards inherent in this type of activity and any
related transportation, as well as the unknown dangers and hazards which may arise in the scope of
the activity or transportation to which I may be exposed as a result of my participation, in this
program. I also understand that participating in this program increases the chance of injury and/or
death. By signing this, I hereby state that I am in good physical health and have no physical
condition that would limit my ability to participate in this program. I will notify the community
education coordinator if I fall into any of the following categories:
Sedentary life style
Family history of
30 pounds or more over
High blood pressure
I acknowledge and I am aware that while I am participating in this activity, I have no obligation to
perform or continue any physical activity that causes me discomfort or pain, or is beyond the scope
of my ability. I, my heirs, estate, and personal representatives agree to release the Church from
liability and will hold harmless, indemnify, release and discharge the Church, its employees, board
members, agents and insurers from and against any and all claims, demands, actions, or causes of
actions on account of any damage, personal injury including death that may result from my
participation in this program.
This release does not apply to gross negligence on the part of the Church, its employees, or agents.
Printed Name: _________________________________________________________________
Signature of Participant: _________________________________________________________
Date: __________________
Activity Description: _____________________________________________________
Dates: _________________
Medical Insurance Provider and Group/policy Number__________________________________*
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Sample Letter Home
Re: Youth Program Release & medical information
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Johnson:
Our youth program consists of many different kinds of activities throughout
the year. The purpose of my letter is to advise you of some of the kinds of
activities that John may be involved in. I also want to have on file medical
information about John, in the event we may need it at some future time.
Our goal is to always have safety first, and part of that is good planning. We
need to know if John has any special medical condition, especially if the
condition might prohibit him from participation in any activity. I have listed
some of the activities we may take part in this year. This list is intended to
provide you with a better understanding of the activities and possible
Water skiing, Hiking, Golf
Snow boarding ,Camps ,Weekend retreats
Various sporting activities ,Running ,Skate boarding
White water rafting, Rock climbing
Go cart racing, Ice skating, Out of county travel
I have attached a release form that all students and parents need to review
and sign. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me. Thank you
for giving me the opportunity to serve you and John.
In Christ ,
Lack of communication
increases your chances of
issues later.
Communication increases
your ministries effectiveness
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Release Forms and Agreements
Make sure you have these reviewed by a professional before you use.
Here are two different points of view.
Specific event release
o Completed for each event
o Requires lots of paperwork and file management
Combined release for all events
o Completed annually
o Just one doc on file
o Does not always anticipate new activities
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Effective Training Program For Youth Ministry
You need to offer annual training for your employees and staff. Utilize your agent or
insurance company.
o First aid training (Red Cross) CPR
o General orientation to ministry
o Review of church constitution and bylaws
o Review of CE/youth policies & procedures
o Review of sexual abuse & harassment policy
o Training on abuse recognition
o Safe driver training
o Vehicle inspection
o Activity planning training
o How to respond to borderline kids
o Training on staff behavior standards
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Five Keys to Protecting Yourself & Your Ministry
1. Establish an Oversight Team
Keeps you on track
Provides support & evaluation
Utilize Covenanteyes or
xxxchurch or other
accountability programs on
work and home computers
Gives you a second/third set of eyes
Builds a team for future
Four to six people
Good mix of ages, no one under 25 or over 60
Parents ok
2. Keep Written Records
o Volunteer/employee screening
o Injuries & illness
o Discipline
o MVR records
o Notice of injury procedure
o Chain of command
o General safety rules
o Behavioral guidelines
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Five Keys to Protecting Yourself & Your Ministry
3. Communicate With Parents
o At least annually
o Have entire team involved
o Show clear goals
o Review incidents or accidents (no names)
o Student & staff behavior policy
o Parent notification procedure
o Review what your goals/plans are
4. Review Each Activity With Safety in Mind
o Will facility be adequate?
o Review any incidents or accidents of past events
o Who keeps camp facility safe?
o Will any training be needed?
o What are possible injuries?
o Feedback form kids or parents
o What is the condition of equipment?
Group Activity
1. Create an agenda for your next parent meeting
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Five Keys to Protecting Yourself & Your Ministry
5. Complete Background Checks on All Volunteers and Staff
o Ask if they have any convictions of any kind
o Ask if they have any sexual abuse allegations or convictions
o Ask if they have had any kind of claims made against them for fraud
o Complete bi-annual checks, keep on file
o Do complete reference check, be specific…..
Who do you screen?
Brotherhood Mutual offers help
in this area. Go to
The cost of background checks and or screening can vary. Here are some
Basic screening
$20.00 National sex offender, national criminal,
address check, one county criminal check
$30.00 Same as above, but also up to three counties
You can also check for personal reference verification, licensing,
employment credit report, citizenship, legal right to work, and education
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Student Code of Behavior
There are many good reasons why your ministry should adopt a
code of behavior. Can you name three?
Student Code of Behavior
Be prepared to enforce it
consistently. Can be
completed once then just
reviewed annually
Rules of Behavior Expected of Each Student
•No alcohol
•Attendance at all meetings is mandatory
•No guys in girls sleeping quarters (vice versa, too)
•Follow curfew
•No smoking
•No drugs of any kind allowed except prescriptions
•No electronic devices such as gameboys/Tape,CD or radios/cell phones or computers allowed
•Dress to be modest and consistent with biblical standards
•One piece swim suits
Parent and Student Release Statement:
As a parent/legal guardian of (name of student), I have reviewed the information about the youth ministry
activity/event and give my permission for the subject of this release to be involved in the overall activities
and in the specific activities that I have initialed above.
I/We have reviewed the rules of the activity and agree that the subject of this release will abide by them.
I/We also acknowledge that if the subject of the release has to return home early for discipline violations, it
will be at my/our expense.
We consent to the use of any video images, photographs, audio recordings, or any other visual or audio
reproduction that may be taken of the subject of this release during the activity/event to be used,
distributed, or shown as (name of the church or organization) sees fit.
I/We understand all reasonable safety precautions will be taken at all times by the (name of the church or
organization) and its agents during the events and activities. I/We understand the possibility of
unforeseen hazards and know the inherent possibility of risk. I/We agree not to hold (name of church or
organization), its leaders, employees, and volunteer staff liable for damages, losses, diseases, or injuries
incurred by the subject of this form.
Parent/Guardian Signature __________________________________
Student Signature __________________________________________
Date _______________
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Safety Centered Children's Program
We have taken the best of the best and compiled a list of what we believe should
be part of every safety centered children's program. Each ministry is different so
there may be a need to add additional policies. But this gives you a good start.
o Background check policy for all volunteers and paid staff
o Sexual abuse and reporting policy
o Child abuse policy including reporting
o Safe kids training annually for all staff
o Mandatory applications for all staff
o Inspection procedures
o Food handling procedures
o Playground safety procedures & inspections
o Parental consent to treat form signed
o Computerized child check in and check out program
Develop a safety manual,
Review it on a regular basis
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Safety Centered Jr/Sr High Program
We have taken the best of the best and complied a list of what we believe should be
part of every safety Youth Program. Each ministry is different so there may be a need to
add additional policies. But this give you’re a good start.
Background check policy for all volunteers and paid staff
Child abuse policy including reporting
Release forms for all students
Have written applications for all staff
Annual parent meetings
Include safety in planning
Parent concert to treat form
No teen on teen counseling
No opposite sex counseling or driving
Have 1-6 ratio for out of town events
All key leaders must be over 21
keep records of all students’ contact information
Hold pre-activity briefing with leadership
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Case Studies
Case Summary
Student is injured by youth pastor at a dodge ball game. The youth pastor
involved in the activity threw the ball and hit the student in the eye, causing
Youth pastor and church were found liable for all medical bills and pain and
suffering. Total paid, $15,000
The youth pastor and all staff need to be trained not to feel the need to win. If
there was an accountability team, this might have been caught and discussed
with the youth pastor
Case Summary
Pastor at a church in CA had been accused of sexual abuse of students that lasted
over many years, and involved many different individuals. He was working as a
youth pastor at the time, and was promoted to associate pastor two years ago.
The activity involved three teen age girls.
The case was settled out of court for 6.7 million
Conduct annual training for all staff, limit your counseling ministry, contract out to
other professionals, complete background check on a regular basis on all
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Case Studies
Case Summary
Youth volunteer resigned over alleged sexual abuse of student in youth sports
program. Church is quick to acknowledge that youth volunteer was never alone
with any students. Church produced written policies and procedures which
stated that all youth workers are to never be alone with students. They also
produced criminal background check of individual, which was clean.
No claim brought against church
The church did everything correct:
Completed background checks, had written policy, provided training to all
volunteers , staff, and communicated to parents policy
Case Summary
A church and the insurer sued the former youth pastor for actions involving an
alleged sexual relationship he had with a student. The church was asking for
$150,000 in damages. The youth pastor acknowledged a two year relationship
with a high school girl and later resigned. The $150,000 was paid to the victim
and the church stated that the responsible party should bear some if not all of
the responsibility.
Settled out of court for over $100,000
A background and reference check would have picked up previous allegations
at another church 5 years prior.
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Case Studies
Case Summary
At a church youth camp, leadership held a late night scenario as follows;
Later that night some of the staff posed as terrorists who were there to kill
the Christians. The kids were kept in their dorm rooms, but were allowed to
look out the windows. They didn't kidnap any kids, but they did pretend to
kidnap and beat the youth director out in front of the dorms. This happened
pre 9-11, but would have gone to trial post 9-11. The claimant in this case
was a fifth grade girl who had witnessed her neighbor's suicide weeks earlier
and whose parents sent her to the camp to get her mind off of it.
$40,000 out of court settlement
Don’t try to be over the top when it comes to these kinds of things. Know
your kids…..Could there have been another way to get the message across?
Case Summary
Church and former youth pastor were sued over sexual abuse of two young
boys. The church knew the youth volunteer had a history (no criminal record)
of molestation, but allowed him to work with youth anyway. Injured parties
sued for $500,000.
Claim was settled for $250,000.
The church should have had a written policy against such a person ever being
allowed to be in ministry. A better application process, reference, and
background checks were needed.
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Case Studies
Case Summary
A 16 year old student needed a ride home from youth group. The student
said her parents gave her permission to go home with a 20 - year old friend
and youth volunteer. The youth pastor gave the ok. The 18- yr old and 16 yr old were in an accident. The parents never gave any permission for
their daughter to be in another vehicle. The church had a permission slip
on file that confirmed this.
The church insurance paid 4,700 in medical bills.
The youth program suffered credibility, and the family left the church
Make sure you have proper documents and follow them.
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Bob Lilly
Bob has worked with many different kinds of business; including,
government, education, private universities, churches and other related
ministries. Bob brings an entertaining style to all his presentations
and uses his background of 26 years in the insurance industry to
provide real life examples and practical tools
Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration & Community Service
University of Oregon, 1979.Certified Business Consultant -Sedgwick
University ,1993
Independent Agents/Brokers of Oregon Board Chair
Past Wood Village Baptist Church Elder
Gresham Barlow Education Foundation
NW Medical Teams volunteer
Gresham Barlow School District Budget Committee
Active in Leadership at Good shepherd Community Church,
Boring Oregon
National Association of Church Business Administrators
American Association of Architects - Oregon
Society of Design Administrators (SDA)
National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED)
Gas & Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA)
Public Risk Managers Association
Western Seminary
Guest lecturer at Lewis & Clark College
Bob lives with his wife Jacqueline and five children in Gresham
Oregon and enjoys golfing and fly fishing.
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Scott Stuart
Scott started his career in the Insurance industry October 1, 1981. He joined
North Pacific Insurance Company where he trained as an Underwriting
Assistant. He began his career as a Producer with his family’s insurance
agency in April of 1983. On August 1, 1998, Scott joined the firm of LaPorte &
Associates, Inc.
Scott attended the University of Oregon, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in
1981. He majored in Business Administration with a minor in the French
Language. Scott is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and has completed
6 of 10 parts of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)
Scott's area of responsibility at Christian Ministries Insurance is in the
placement of Church and related ministry insurance. Scott specializes in Risk
Management techniques in the areas of Pastor’s Professional Liability,
Employment Practices, Children’s & Youth Ministries and Foreign Missions
Liability. He also provides Workers Compensation and Employee Benefits.
Scott is currently the Volunteer in charge of Operation Zero Debt at Good
Shepherd Community Church in Boring, Oregon. This is a financial ministry
utilizing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University curriculum to teach
people how to live debt free.
Scott has served on 5 short term mission teams. Three in England working
with sister churches and two in France sharing the Gospel with Arab Muslims.
Scott and his wife Cyndy have three daughters. They live in Welches,
Oregon. Scott enjoys sports and has spent many hours coaching his
daughters various basketball teams over a 12 year period. He also enjoys his
Scottish heritage while playing the bagpipes.
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Portions of this material were provided by
Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co.
Guide One
Church Mutual
Better Safe Than Sued by Jack Crabtree
Church Business
Non Profit Risk
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