According to the dictionary, risk isn’t definitively good or bad. Rather, it’s defined as “exposure”—exposure to the chance of injury or loss. One equation puts it this way:
Risk = Hazard × Vulnerability
Most people undertake risks for the possibility of reward. They weigh the possibilities of both, then either take the plunge or step back from the cliff. For some people, of course, the only reward necessary to make a risk worthwhile is simply the thrill involved. But what about those who aren’t thrill-seekers? Or those whose potential risks don’t involve bungee cords but ministry opportunities?
For every opportunity to see a life changed, we must weigh the accompanying risk to our ministry. So in this issue of EFCA Today, we’ll be speaking quite practically about policies and procedures. We’ll consider spiritual risks, personnel risks and property/liability risks. Admittedly, it’s challenging to think of any risk to a church that doesn’t involve people. That’s because when we don’t adequately plan to mitigate risk, we risk our people and our ability to minister to those people. We even risk damaging Christ’s reputation.
In researching this issue, we turned again and again to leadership at the EFCA national office, because they observe and evaluate risk across the movement, rather than only in one church. And they will be the first to acknowledge that a life of faith always involves risk. After all, “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” (Hebrews 11:1-2, emphasis added).
Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of risky situations highlighted in this issue. May the stories motivate you, and may the resources help you determine where to start.
Every day you face choices—choices that open possibilities for great spiritual growth and some that expose you, your ministry and your people to a bit too much risk. Choose well.