If you don’t take some kinds of risks, your advancement will be non existant or slower than others. I would also say that if you don’t take risks, you will most likely will not experience anything new, exciting, challenging, amazing, devastating, or outrageous. Most people will take small and calculated risks. But those aren’t so challenging.
I have read in more than one place that the truly wealthy have two or three failed businesses on the journey to their success. That’s crazy right? A failed business was initially a risk. And with each failure comes an enormous amount of information, experience, pain, loss, insight, and probably even humility. The fact is, if you don’t take risks after you have failed, you are wasting all the resources that failure has produced. In other words, if you quit after failing at risking, you have only learned how to quit.
So there has to be an acceptance to risk. And their has to be a failure friendly environment for risk to thrive. Companies have huge budgets for Research and Development. Might as well call it the failure department. I worked at a company where daily they lugged out large amounts of material that essentially was a failure. But the company was making room for risk. They were making room for experience, loss, insight, intuition, and even humility. But almost always, through the production of risk, new products were created that garnered more sales and improved on their current product lines.
Risk, in an organization like a church, could be categorized as low, medium and high. And I believe that the church should be stretching in all these categories. The high degree of risk should be not very often as it will require huge investments of time, energy and money. But low and medium risks should be taken all the time. Why? Because God took a risk on everyone of us. And we should be taking risks that reach people, help people, bring innovation to the church, and make something happen.
The downside of risk, to me, is not failure. No, the downside is having people question the risk rather than the outcome. The outcome is where the information is. The outcome is where the progress can be measured. If we question whether or not the risk should be taken, we train the risk takers not to take any more risks. To clairfy, I am not suggesting we prop up stupid risks and stupid risk takers. But I am saying that we need to endorse risks and make room for risk taking opportunities. We will move forward faster when we are out there taking risks instead of sitting inside hoping things will move forward by themselves. I love Legacy. They let me take risks. And I like it when our people take risks. Jesus took loads of risks for the sake of others. We should go and do likewise.