Institutional Risks

That which is necessary is never a risk.
Cardinal de Retz1

Institutional decisions risk the health of the organization. They may involve finances, facilities, or personnel, but their common denominator is that if ignored, the institution will fragment, go bankrupt, suffer serious decline, or fail to realize its full potential.

Perhaps the toughest of these decisions is related to personnel, particularly when a staff member must be fired. There's risk in letting someone go. Drexel Rankin, minister of Carmel (Indiana) Christian Church, remembers firing an organist: "He possessed remarkable talent, but he was undependable. Occasionally he would show up fifteen minutes late for Sunday morning worship; I would already have winged a prelude and played the first hymn when he would walk in. After he did that the third time, I told him, 'Don't ever do that again. If you do, don't bother coming!'

"Then at the Easter sunrise service, he didn't show at all. No word from him. I tried calling him at home ...

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