Many people are not by nature risk takers. In church leadership, the word risk is nearly a curse word. Some will do anything and everything to keep from taking a risk.
When God was looking for our first parents, He asked a question: “Adam where are you?” God asked not because He didn’t know where Adam was, He asked the question to see if Adam knew where he was at that moment! God knows where I am and He knows where you are, more importantly, do we know where you are?
Where are you? Are you flowing in the stream of excellence? Are you marinating in mediocrity? Are you operating according to the status quo? Today the status quo is not acceptable. It is not acceptable when there are so many who need to hear the Gospel and need to experience the transformation of God’s grace in their lives. We must follow His vision. Leader by the very nature of what you do and who you are, you will cause disruption. People do not like being disrupted. They like the things the way they are or have been. The Gospel is a disruptive force. Do not hear me saying ‘throw all caution to the wind, act and be crazy wild.’ What I would ask is, are you willing to have “obedient risk” in your life? Not just change for change sake. Willing to risk it all, that the Gospel might impact our world, one neighborhood at a time?
I have wondered what this might look like where we live?
• People who are not here are as important as the people who are here. Yes, we must care for and nurture and love the flocks where we serve. We need to remember and live in such a way that we never lose sight of the fact that God loves the whole world! He loves the people who are not yet committed to Him. We can do no less. The obedient risk would be remembering the lost matter! And that this must impact what we do!
• God’s approval is better than the applause of the people. Being a people-pleaser is easy. Our calling is to be pleasing to the One who called us. What does God think of all that we are doing?
• We can not allow the vision to be hijacked by our relationships in the church. The Mission is: “to go into all the world with the gospel.” God gives the vision to see people transformed. Having a vision means taking some obedient risks to reach people in our culture. Many times we back away from a God-given vision because it may upset some of the people. Too often an unstable minority put a lid on what a church can accomplish. As a young pastor, I was told that the church is a living organism and therefore the question isn’t why isn’t the church growing, but rather what impediments are present that keep growth from occurring? I did not particularly like the issue, but it did force me to evaluate what was transpiring where I served!
• Give permission! Many times leaders and boards feel that their job is to say no to everything. It is okay to exhibit an obedient risk culture by saying “let us try it and see what happens.” If it does not work, we will do something else. Everything does not work, but doing nothing works all the time, it produces nothing!
By now I have sufficiently made enough people mad that many will have stopped reading by now. I merely want to ask a couple of questions: Why are you here? Why is the local congregation you attend there? Are you ready to trust God and move ahead?