The Risky Business of Ministry

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
Helen Keller

We are not used to thinking of ministry in terms of risk. Risk implies an element of doubt and uncertainty. It suggests dangerous initiative. Risk is a frontier word, a word borrowed from the arenas of war and business.

Religious propagators, on the other hand, tend to present the church as a risk-free zone, a haven of rest floating on clouds of salvation. This view has understandable roots. God has promised us the security of eternal life. Where is the risk in such certainty? Many of us have sung the Daniel Whittle hymn: "I know whom I have believed / and am persuaded that he is able / to keep that which I've committed / unto him against that day" (italics mine). No uncertainty there. With such an absolute theology, it is only natural to think that ...

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