For Travis Hutchinson, the life of a pastor in a small-town Georgia church is about preaching the gospel, ministering to the needy and, increasingly, figuring out how to handle an ever-growing list of risks.
Some new risks are real and demand vigilance, says Hutchinson, pastor of Highlands Presbyterian Church in LaFayette, Georgia. For example, conducting a criminal background check on everyone who works with children is a necessity.
Other risks are more remote, he says. Still, vendors stoke anxiety about everything from shooting sprees to federal audits.
“I get lots and lots of stuff that just seems like fearmongering, and apparently that’s taken hold in some places,” says Hutchinson. “One of the things we have to do as a congregation is ask ourselves: How much of our time is [risk management] eating up? And how much time are we spending doing what God wants us to do?”