Does your church leadership take risk? Are risk considered a good thing to do in a church? After all risk aren’t typically safe. As a matter of fact risk is an antonym of safe. After all if it was safe to make a change in the church, every one would do it, right? 🙂
If you’re a leader in any organization, including churches, taking risk are essential to learning about the organization, how information is communicated, and the nuts and bolts of the internal and external processes. Successful organizations encourage taking risk, even if it means a mistake is made. The guiding principle is that you will learn more from your mistakes than you ever will from successes.
Many famous people from inventors to musicians to athletes, were told time and time again they were a failure, until that one defining moment where their many failures brought a success. A small list of these famous people would include:
- Thomas Edison — failed many times before inventing the light bulb, or
- Elvis Priestly — actually was told he couldn’t sing by Jimmy Denny from Grand Ole Opry and was told to go back to driving truck, but later became the King of Rock and Roll, or
- Michael Jordan — cut from his high school basketball team, or
- Stephen King — his first novel was rejected 30 times and he threw it into the trash later retrieved by his wife and submitted and accepted on the 31st time, or
- Vincent Van Gogh — only sold one painting in his lifetime and was poor although he painted over 900 works of art, or
- Oprah Winfrey — was told she was “unfit for TV” and fired from her anchor position in Baltimore to later becoming on of the biggest TV moguls, or
- Albert Einstein — had speech difficulties and many people, including his parents, thought he had a mental handicap, and the list goes on.
Let’s remember what Albert Einstein said — “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” As you know all of these people are not only famous today or their works are heavily sought after, but have made remarkable contributions to their craft and society.
Is taking risk considered an act of faith? And if you don’t take risk does that mean you’re unfaithful? An example may help to clarify why faithfulness and risk are two keys to great leadership in organizations.
Three employees are entrusted with money from their company’s president while he is vacationing in Mexico. Upon his return from Mexico, two of the three report to their president they doubled what he gave them. However, the third employee just stows it away for safe keeping and returns the exact amount to the company’s president. The employee didn’t even put it in a bank to earn a small .25% interest. This would have been the least he could have done and was a guaranteed investment. In essence he did less than the bare minimum by not giving it to the bank to earn a paltry interest rate. Obviously the company’s president would be furious – not because he lost (failure) or didn’t lose (success) the money, but because he was not faithful with the resource given to him and at least ‘attempt’ some thing that would have made the company increase profits.
Any remarkable leader, knows that with risk there’s always a possibility of failure, however there’s also the possibility of great rewards. In fact, they know that failure is going to happen majority of the time. What they are looking for is that one time when it doesn’t fail!