Youth ministry risk management workshop august 2011
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Youth Ministry Risk Management Workshop August 2011. CMI Risk Management. Prepared By Christian Ministries Insurance PO Box 367 Welches, Oregon 97367 503.622.3255 www Bob Lilly COO – LaPorte & Associates Scott Stuart – Owner Christian Ministries Ins. CMI Risk Management.

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Youth Ministry Risk Management Workshop August 2011

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Youth Ministry Risk ManagementWorkshop August 2011

CMI Risk Management

Prepared ByChristian Ministries InsurancePO Box 367Welches, Oregon 97367503.622.3255www cmirisk.comBob Lilly COO – LaPorte & AssociatesScott Stuart – Owner Christian Ministries Ins

CMI Risk Management

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

CMI Risk Management

Proverbs 3:21-26

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,

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.


CMI Risk Management Youth Risk Management


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

CMI Risk Management Youth Risk Management


Stay Out of The Headlines

Youth Pastor Charged in Dodge Ball Rage Assault

Church sued for 2 million over dramatic youth service

Youth pastor resigns over misuse of funds

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Former youth pastor faces molestation trial

Parents claim child sexually abused in church

Pastor Fired Over Sexual Exploitation Charges

First Assembly Of God Church Fires Reverend


What Are The Consequences?

  • People injured

  • Claims paid

  • Church resources used

  • Time & expense are used

  • People question ministry

  • People leave the ministry

  • Youth pastors lose jobs

  • Ministry is damaged

  • Church receives bad publicity

  • Fewer people come to know Him or grow in Him

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Opportunity Lost


Ministry Assessment

CMI Risk Management Youth Risk Management


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.

CMI Risk Management Youth Risk Management


What Insurance Covers

  • What Each of These is Intended to Cover

    • Directors & Officers-______________________________________

    • General Liability-_________________________________________

    • Automobile Liability-______________________________________

    • Sexual Acts-_____________________________________________

    • Crime-employee dishonesty-_______________________________

    • Employment-____________________________________________

    • Pastors Professional/Counseling -____________________________

CMI Risk Management Youth Risk Management

Insurance does not cover intentional acts of stupidity


Just How Safe is Your Ministry? There are 10 Deadly Sins of youth and children's ministry

  • Top Ten Deadly Sins That Will Kill Your Ministry

  • Sexual Misconduct

  • Fallen Leadership

  • Misappropriation of Funds

  • Employee relations

  • Mission Trip Mishaps

  • Staffing Ratios

  • Lack of Planning

  • No Accountability

  • Lack of Paperwork

  • 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?

  • 1.

  • 2.

  • 3.

  • 4.

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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.

CMI Risk Management Youth Risk Management

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


  • 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 suit?

    • 1._______________________________________2._______________________________________

    • 3. ______________________________________

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What to Expect When You or Your Organization is Sued



  • COMPLAINT____________________________________________________

  • ANSWER_______________________________________________________


    • SETTLEMENT________________________________

    • MEDIATION_________________________________

    • CASE PREPARATION & DISCOVERY___________________________________

  • __________________________________

  • MOTIONS___________________________________________

  • TRIAL_______________________________________________________

  • APPEAL______________________________________________________

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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

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Group Exercise

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Use this form during the pre event preparation. -

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Do you think by doing these, your chances of injury are reduced or increased?


  • 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:

    • Provide the best possible protection

    • Show you are doing the prudent thing

    • Help communicaterisks with parents

    • Give a paper trail

    • Identify activities

    • Leads to parental involvement

    • Provide defense

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Keep copies for at least 2 years. It would be ok to scan and save electronically


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:

  • 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,

  • 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:

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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  • 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 hazards:

    • 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 ,

Sample Letter Home

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Lack of communication increases your chances of issues later. Communication increases your ministries effectiveness


  • 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

      • Completed for each event

      • Requires lots of paperwork and file management

    • Combinedrelease for all events

      • Completed annually

      • Just one doc on file

      • 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.

    • First aid training (Red Cross) CPR

    • General orientation to ministry

    • Review of church constitution and bylaws

    • Review of CE/youth policies & procedures

    • Review of sexual abuse & harassment policy

    • Training on abuse recognition

    • Safe driver training

    • Vehicle inspection

    • Activity planning training

    • How to respond to borderline kids

    • 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

  • 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

Utilize Covenanteyes or xxxchurch or other accountability programs on work and home computers

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2. Keep Written Records

  • Volunteer/employee screening

  • Injuries & illness

  • Discipline

  • MVR records

  • Notice of injury procedure

  • Chain of command

  • General safety rules

  • Behavioral guidelines


Five Keys to Protecting Yourself & Your Ministry

3. Communicate With Parents

  • At least annually

  • Have entire team involved

  • Show clear goals

  • Review incidents or accidents (no names)

  • Student & staff behavior policy

  • Parent notification procedure

  • Review what your goals/plans are

4.Review Each Activity With Safety in Mind

  • Will facility be adequate?

  • Review any incidents or accidents of past events

  • Who keeps camp facility safe?

  • Will any training be needed?

  • What are possible injuries?

  • Feedback form kids or parents

  • 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

  • Ask if they have any convictions of any kind

  • Ask if they have any sexual abuse allegations or convictions

  • Ask if they have had any kind of claims made against them for fraud

  • Complete bi-annual checks, keep on file

  • Do complete reference check, be specific…..

  • Who do you screen? EVERYONE

  • The cost of background checks and or screening can vary. Here are some examples.

  • Basic screening $20.00 National sex offender, national criminal, address check, one county criminal check

  • Upgrade$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 verification.

Brotherhood Mutual offers help in this area. Go to


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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?




Be prepared to enforce it consistently. Can be completed once then just reviewed annually

Student Code of Behavior

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.

    • Background check policy for all volunteers and paid staff

    • Sexual abuse and reporting policy

    • Child abuse policy including reporting

    • Safe kids training annually for all staff

    • Mandatory applications for all staff

    • Inspection procedures

    • Food handling procedures

    • Playground safety procedures & inspections

    • Parental consent to treat form signed

    • Computerized child check in and check out program

CMI Risk Management Youth Risk Management

Develop a safety manual, Review it on a regular basis


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 injury.


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 employees.

CMI Risk Management Youth Risk Management


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?

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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.


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 practicaltools

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration & Community Service

University of Oregon, 1979.Certified Business Consultant -Sedgwick University ,1993

Community Independent Agents/Brokers of Oregon Board Chair

Involvement: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

FeaturedNational Association of Church Business Administrators

SpeakerAmerican 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

PersonalBob 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) designation.

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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