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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

04 Mar '13

Leadership and risk

Posted by T.J. Addington in Healthy leaders, leadership, risk

When was the last time your organization did something that was truly risky for the sake of seeing accelerated ministry results?

Here is a principle to consider: The greater the risk taken, the greater the potential ministry return. Because most ministries are risk adverse and would rather tweak endlessly they give up far greater returns that could have been had.

What keeps us from taking risks - making radical changes that can bring accelerated ministry results?

There is the comfort of the status quo! Most of us gravitate toward the comfortable rather than the unknown, risky or uncomfortable. However, that tendency is exactly why many congregations, for example see little or marginal ministry progress from year to year. The status quo is actually the enemy of progress.

There is the lack of ministry evaluation and the time to ask critical questions! Perceptive leaders never assume that the way we do things today is the best way to do them. Rather they ask questions like, "Are their alternative ways of doing what we do that would accelerate our results?" But that takes time to think, evaluate, dream and consider alternatives. I am convinced, for example, that much of our western missions paradigms are woefully inadequate because assumptions are not being questioned and new opportunities are not being exploited.

There is inadequate commitment to mission! Ministries that are truly passionate about the mission God has called them to will naturally take risks because their passion for God's call outweighs their comfort with the status quo. Frankly, I think many ministries exist with little or no real passion for the mission that they claim to have. And staff are comfortable with their roles more than driven by the mission. Too often we live with comfortable ministry rather than passionate ministry. Find a ministry that is truly passionate about what God has called them to do and you will find a ministry that regularly takes risks.

Often ministries are unclear about what they are really about except in general terms! Lack of clarity prevents organizations to take risk, try radical new approaches or be entrepreneurial because there there is no compelling reason to do so. It is very hard to be passionate about an unclear or uncompelling mission, or to take risks for a diffused vision. The greater the clarity of what the ministry is about, the greater the tendency to take risks to accomplish that clear, compelling vision.

If your church, mission, team or ministry is risk adverse take a look at the issues above and ask if they apply to you? If they do, are you comfortable living in your comfort? Or are their issues you need to address in order to take more territory for Christ?