Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company insures America’s churches and related ministries. This website contains FREE resources: safety and risk management library, church security section, background screening information, and legal assistance.
Articles & Checklists
Prevent Holes in Your Criminal Background Check
A background check is an important step of the hiring process, but not all background screening services are created equal. Choose a reputable company to obtain accurate results and comply with the law.
Hiring: Considering Background Check Results
What happens if a potential employee has a criminal record? Does the law allow you to eliminate the candidate? Where do you draw the line? It requires a delicate balance to protect your ministry against potential harm while helping someone with a criminal background make positive contributions.
Prevent Child Sexual Abuse in the Church
Child sexual predators exist, and no church is immune to the problems they present. Fortunately, you can take preventive measures to help strengthen your defenses. Use the suggestions in this article to better protect the children in your ministry.
Basic Security and Preparedness (Teams, Plans, Equipment, Violence Prevention)
Safety 101: A Church Leader’s Guide to Risk Management
The essence of risk management is preventing problems before they happen. By using the proper safety and risk management techniques, church leaders can help protect their ministry and keep it moving forward.
Keeping Your Ministry’s Property Secure
There are many ways to make a thief or vandal’s work more difficult. It’s also wise to know how to deal with a crime in case one occurs.
Protect Your Church with a Security System
Installing a security system is one of the best ways to reduce the chance of fire or burglary at your church. Know what to look for in a security system and the company that monitors it.
Security Terms Explained
There are plenty of different types of locks, fire extinguishers, alarm systems, and other security hardware designed to keep your church safe. Understanding the jargon can help you make informed decisions about protecting your ministry.
Church Vulnerability to Violence: Causes and Cures
Violence has made its way into churches. By understanding why churches can be vulnerable targets, you can begin to implement policies and procedures that limit this vulnerability. (By John Nicoletti, Ph.D.)
Develop a Volunteer Safety and Security Team
Your congregation expects to be protected while in church. How should you proceed in forming a safety and security team? Should the team carry firearms? What actions can team members take without carrying firearms?
Preparing for the Unthinkable
“[Church violence] is kind of like lightning,” Brock Bell, senior manager of risk control at Brotherhood Mutual, says. “You know it’s out there, but you never expect it to hit you.” Fortunately, you can take steps to prepare for many situations in a way that will improve your ministry’s ability to respond quickly and appropriately.
Verbal Conflict Resolution: A Valuable Tool (with video)
When serving in ministry, workers will likely deal with conflict. Whether you’re a volunteer on the church security team or the ministry secretary, it’s crucial to know how to defuse a situation verbally, resolving the conflict before it escalates.
Checklist for Responding to Violence in Church
Use this checklist to help your ministry improve its readiness when it comes to handling a violent attack.
Surviving a Violent Attack at Church
According to research by John Nicoletti, Ph.D., there are five options for survival in the event of a violent attack at church. The key is to know how to respond ahead of time, because relying on instinct can often result in panic.
Church Security and Armed Security Guards
Does your church allow its security team to carry firearms? If it does, you’ll want to consider the security guards’ background and level of training.
A Look at Less Lethal Devices
Less-lethal devices are designed to deter or incapacitate a person without necessarily causing death or serious bodily injury, although both can still occur. These devices may be viable for churches where the congregation feels uncomfortable with armed greeters. (by Adam Weitzel, Attorney, National Association of Church Security)
Rate Your Security (Quiz)
Take this brief quiz to help you assess your church’s security status.
Disaster and Emergency Preparedness
Creating an Evacuation Plan
An evacuation plan is a major part of being prepared for a variety of emergency situations that your ministry may encounter. How do you design a versatile plan? Who should be in charge of key duties? How often should you practice with the congregation?
Disaster Ready: Developing a Plan for Your Church
As a church leader, you’re responsible for nurturing people’s spiritual lives. In an emergency, you may be responsible for protecting their physical lives. Form a team and a plan to help prepare your ministry for various situations that may come up.
Developing a Disaster Plan Checklist
This checklist can serve as a starting point for your ministry as it prepares for emergencies and disasters.
Preparing to Minister When a Disaster Strikes
Plenty of ministries want to help their communities cope with disasters, but it takes ample planning to do it right.
Effective Crisis Communication
A sudden life-threatening situation involving a large group of people will tend to create some degree of chaos. By planning communication efforts for before, during, and after the event, the level of chaos can be minimized.
How to Survive the Media During a Crisis
Handling a crisis can be difficult enough. What if media members pick up the story?
Ministry Security Operations Optional Coverage
Is your ministry’s security team covered by the church insurance policy? Learn more about this coverage from Brotherhood Mutual.
Brotherhood Mutual’s LegalAssistance Q&A Section
Find a variety of security-related questions and answers.
Temporary Restraining Orders and the Church
In some states, churches can get a temporary restraining order (TRO) against a person who makes threats against the church or its staff members. Learn the ins and outs of TROs and how they can help keep your ministry safe. (by Adam Weitzel, Attorney, National Association of Church Security)
Create a Medical Emergency Response Team
If someone passed out during a ministry event, would your church know what to do? A medical emergency response team can care for ailing church members until outside help arrives.
First Aid: Equipping and Training for Safe Use
Assemble a qualified team and the proper supplies to help your ministry give basic on-site medical attention.
First Aid Training Resources
If members of your medical response team don’t work in the medical field, here are a few places where they can obtain training.
Accident and Medical Emergency Guidelines
Many ministries aren’t sure how to deal with accidents or medical emergencies—then, they’re faced with an actual case. Don’t get caught off-guard. Consider these six steps when creating guidelines.
Setting Up an AED Program
There’s a big difference between having an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and being ready to use one. Check out these five tips for safely setting up an AED program in your ministry.