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What Kind of Risk Is It?

Security is the mother of danger and the grandmother of destruction.
Thomas Fuller1

Ignoring risk can be fatal.

Misunderstanding the risks of ministry, if not fatal, at least leads to ineptitude and failure. Misunderstanding, in this case, means treating all risks as if they were the same, a mistake that greatly increases the chances of disaster. So first we must identify the nature of the risk in question.

A primary resource, of course, is Scripture. Although the Bible never uses the word risk, story after story tells of risks taken, risks that end in flaming disasters or inspiring victories. Principles emerge from these stories.

Fred Craddock, professor of preaching and New Testament at Candler School of Theology, tells of a sermon he preached early in his ministry based on Luke 15, the story of the shepherd and the sheep. Craddock says he used to preach the sermon as if the shepherd left the ninety and nine in the safety of the fold and went out to search for the one lost sheep. After many ...

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