I think the reason that people are fine with things the way they are is because they are afraid of risk. And more importantly they are afraid of failure. I have stuggled with that fear. I used to always want to be other people, or have their ministry or their giftings. But God has really called me to be me. And I know that sounds really simple but it’s true.
If you are going to be completely authentic, and completely real you are going experience pain, rejection, failure, and whatever else you might be trying to avoid, but that doesn’t mean you are wrong. I have been challenged lately with the path that our ministry has been taking. To be honest we have been shrinking. Our summer was really rough on attendance and we haven’t really bounced back.
We took some hits with different leaders leaving, and students moving, and some students doing really stupid stuff and getting in trouble, and other students just drifting away from God. And all this happens and is fairly natural for a ministry to experience. And the truth is we have parrelleled some of the things that our church has been going through. And so while I can take some comfort in the fact that we are not alone, it still hurts and it still stings the ego to see faces either disappear or become apathetic toward what we are doing.
But I think if you are going to really try to be real to what God has called you to do, you’re going to have to take risks and experience that kind of pain. Our Church is moving, and over the past year we have seen many people uproot from our church to go to another, some have felt God leading them and they usually tell us what’s going on but others have just left, and it seems that they were upset by our changing the status quo. They saw the tremendous risk that we were taking and thought it was too hard or ridiculous and the left. I don’t know if we are done with that exodus but I look at the people at Creekside now and I see people who want to own this church, and really make it succeed, so that’s encouraging.
This post may be a little ramble happy and I’m sorry but I’m just processing some thoughts.
My thinking was sparked by Seth Godin and his book Small Is The New Big. In a Section titled, “Camp, Mickey Rooney, and Your Marketing Problem,” Seth says this.
“If you’re not growing now, playing it safe isn’t going to help you grow tomorrow.”
“Be fearless, but wear a life jacket.”
I don’t know how many times I have to be reminded that God did not call us to do what was easy. God did not call us to do what was safe. He’s called [commanded] us to trust him. And he wants us to take the risks that he lays out in front of us. And he doesn’t want us to be comfortable.
I was reading in ecclesiastes, and it said, ” . . . the fool folds his hands and brings ruin on himself.” [paraphrase] That means, that it’s foolish to stop working on what God wants us to work on. It’s foolish to give up. it’s foolish to seek comfort. God has so much more for us than we can even begin to dream of. And We need to stop playing it safe, and we need to be fearless in Him.
So I’m debating some stuff, some ideas, some thoughts I’m wrestling with them in my mind in my heart, I’m praying through them, and I’m wondering if it’s the right thing to do, or me just being desperate. And I encouraged that risk is really a good thing, and how will I know if I don’t try.
Maybe God’s got more in store for all of us, but we have been just too afraid to try. If you’re reading this, what risks are you avoiding? Are you trying to hold on to status quo? Are you trusting God?
One thought on “Risk-a-phobia”
I love the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel. Man, he was a wanted man with a death penalty, but yet he put his life, his faith and God’s reputation on the line. He risked everything for God and, through prayer, God came through big-time! I hope I can have the guts Elijah had for God.