top of page


Church Security / House of Worship Security Risk, Threat and Vulnerability:

Risk is not an easy concept to understand. To better understand the definition of risk consider the below illustration:


  • Risk is the probability of a loss event occurring that could lead to damage, injury, or something hazardous to related concerns of your House of Worship.

  • Threat is any loss event. An event that creates loss or harm.

  • Vulnerability is anything (Asset) unprotected, defenseless, or exposed to a loss event.

Elements of Risk


The three words in a simple example:

  • Members (assets) of a place of worship park their vehicles (assets) in the Place of Worship parking lot.  

  • The Place of Worship has night time services. The vehicles are parked in an unattended parking lot without surveillance and/or proper illumination (vulnerable).

  • In nearby locations, there have been car break-ins (threat). 

  • A break-in, theft and/or vandalism (threat) can happen to the members and/or vehicles (assets), and the possibility of its occurrence is high because the vehicle is unprotected in a high-crime area (vulnerability).

  • Sponsoring an event at this place of worship under these conditions, creates the risk of theft, robbery and vandalism

If you can identify it, you can measure it. If you can measure it, you can improve it. 

  • The House of Worship Vulnerability Assessment program, provides a structured assessment process that guides you through identifying the risks at hand by understanding the assets under your responsibility along with the threats and vulnerabilities associated with the House of Worship. 

  • After you answer the specified questions of the assessment, you'll get a posture snapshot to help you measure your vulnerability posture and better conceptualize the relationship of Risk, Threat and Vulnerability.

  • Following the guidelines, you can then plan countermeasures and corrective action, to manage and improve or reduce the risk (mitigate) loss events. 

Different Types of Church Security / House of Worship Security - Risk Mitigation:

  • You can avoid the Church Security risk, completely, by not getting involved in the activities that are related to the threat creating the risk.

    • For example, a Place of Worship may choose to discontinue night time events due to the theft, robbery and vandalism occurring in the area. Avoiding risk generally impacts the purpose of the mission. Is the mission more important than the risk? If so then these other types of mitigation may apply: 

  • You can transfer the risk to someone else (like a contractor) or an insurance company.

    • For example, a Place of Worship can hire off duty police officers to patrol the parking area at night. In the service agreement, you agree to pay someone else and they assume responsibility for the risk if they did not do their job.

  • You can reduce the church security risk. If you can’t avoid the church security risk completely, you can reduce the probability of its occurrence. This is usually done by implementation of integrated countermeasures (physical, technical and administrative security). Improving illumination. Installing a surveillance system and having an usher, trained in parking lot security to monitor the parking are good risk reduction examples.  

  • You can retain the church security risk. You own the risk.

    • By retaining the risk, the security plan would include a process for assuming responsibility for that particular risk, being "Self-Insured". This is generally applicable to low impact low probability events.

Place of Worship security plans should include a combination of any or all of the above mitigation types. 


Our Place of Worship Vulnerability Assessment Program will help identify assets, threats, vulnerabilities and the risks.

Questions? Contact us

bottom of page