Site term 2 session 3: ‘Risk management for dummies’. (Inc. devotion.)

Devotion: [management by God] risk management. by Dan King | Nov 30, 2010 |

Being an effective leader includes the need to measure and assess risk in everything you do, and to develop the strategies that may be needed to overcome them should they arise. As I continue looking at leadership lessons from Biblical leaders, I come across an interesting event in the record of Gideon.

Shortly after he was called by the Angel of the Lord to, “go… and save Israel from the hand of Midian,” he was instructed by God to do some other work first. God told him to tear down the altars and idols to other gods there in his own hometown, and to set up an altar to the Lord (Judges 6:25-26).

Then in verse 27 we see that Gideon had done as the Lord commanded him, but there’s one statement that I found quite interesting. It reads, “But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.”

While some may say this points to a lack of trust in his God to protect him, I think it’s a better example of great wisdom applied to his job.

Gideon was given a project, but also knew that he was going to be needed for other missions later on. Therefore, he had to evaluate and determine the best way to work through this task while maintaining the integrity of the “organization” and the “mission”.

Term 2 2016 session 3; Risk management for dummies.

RM funny

  1. What is risk management?

Risk management is identifying possible dangers and working through practical ways to either eliminate or eradicate them.

But I like this definition better: Loving our neighbor. In one sense Churches should be the most enthusiastic risk managing organizations on earth, because we are here to be the expression of God’s love to the community. And God’s love is never indifferent.

  1. Risk management matrix (Thanks to Lance for this bit.)

We use a think called a Risk management matrix to calculate the level of risk, by which we can

  1. Evaluate the likelihood of a risk occurring, according to the ratings in the left-hand column.
  2. Evaluate the consequences if the incident occurred, according to the ratings in the top row.
  3. Calculate the level of risk by finding the intersection between the likelihood and the consequences.

Using the risk matrix on the next page we might find the following when applying the example given about the 2 inch nail:

Where the Nail is 8 feet above the floor the potential consequence is 2 (first aid), but given the location the likelihood of this happening is rare, therefore the risk rating would be rare “D”: LOW

Where the nail is 3-4 feet from the floor, the potential consequence is still 2 (first aid), but the likelihood has increased to almost certain “A” High Risk


High     An extreme risk requires immediate action as the potential could be devastating to the organisation.

Significant      A high level of risk requires action, as it has the potential to be damaging to the organisation.

Moderate        Allocate specific responsibility to a moderate risk and implement monitoring or response procedures.

Low       Treat a low level of risk with routine procedures.

RM Matrix

As we walk through the risk management matrix for each possible element of risk during an activity, we can begin to plot the points on a risk management graph.

  1. Risk management Graph.

The first task of completing an RM graph is brainstorming all the possible risks of a certain activity that you are running and then listing them. For example: For a kid’s craft club:

  • Paper cuts
  • Swallowing paints/glues/chemicals
  • Scissor cuts
  • Falling off chairs
  • Spills (slippery floor.)
  • Bumping head on tables.

We then run these factors ‘thru’ the risk management matrix and then plot them on a RM graph. In the end it will look like this. The great news is, that I have saved an electronic template containing up to variables that will be emailed out as an exel file. All you guys will need to do will simply complete the data entry for your desired ministries/activities, save the filer as such and email a copy back to me with the attached report. (We’ll get to that.)

The more emails we get back, the more we’ll be able to build up a ‘risk management database’.

Anyway, the completed graph will look like thus (note how it follows the same color pattern as the matrix.:

RM Graph

Once we have the above graph completed it reveals that there are some risks verging on the ‘red zone’ This is why (and where) we come up with our short action plan eg:

Risks 3 and 4 are encroaching on to the red zone of the schematic and therefore the following steps are to be taken to eradicate these risks:

  • Children will be monitored by approved adult supervision throughout the activity.
  • Adults will be responsible for handling scissoprs and to also ensure all caps and lids a re-placed on all paints/glues.
  • First aid qualified individual to be present at activity.
  • Children will be required to sit on the floor if caught swinging on chairs. (See behavior management strategy.
  • All supervising adults to be made aware of where first aid supplies are kept.

Person Responsible_________________ Signed________________ Date_________20

  1. Case studies.

Split into groups and choose one of the following examples to discuss and fill out a risk management graph:

  • Friday night youth night for teens playing nerf wars.
  • Mum’s and bub’s morning tea fundraiser in the hall.
  • A Sunday morning service. (Really!)


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