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The Risk Profile

Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.
George S. Patton

Is there a way to tell how risky a decision is? Perhaps. At least we can point to the statistical probability that a particular ministry decision will ultimately cause a pastor to leave a church. Pastors indicated they make only a few truly difficult decisions in a year. Yet those are tough indeed. The average tenure of a pastor in a church is somewhere between four and five years. Often moves are made because of decisions that have led to disaster.

Although this is a scary prospect, it is not cause to run, but to take stock. Every pastor faces strong pressures and strongwilled parishioners. And every decision can involve hundreds of major and minor variables. Many of these cannot be quantified:

— how your particular church board operates

— the characteristics of every individual on your board

— the unique characteristics of the staff

— the number of powerful families in your church

— the characteristics of those ...

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