fusion conference 2

The Fusion Conference is going very well. I had the chance to present at a session this evening and it felt like I connected with the people who were there.

Below are a few of the things I mentioned as I spoke about Risk in Ministry.

— Robert F. Kennedy “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

An encouragement to wise risk-taking.

Steps to Risk Management in Ministry
When taking a risk: (implementing change)
1. Conduct risk analysis: weigh it out, think it through, pray about it, discuss it…
What is the price? What potentially could happen? Who could get hurt? What is the personal cost?

From 1987 Terry Muck: When to Take a Risk

Categories of decisions (for Pastors):
Theological : questions of doctrine.
Institutional/Organizational (staffing, policy, structure),
Interpersonal (relationships).
What is the toughest ministry decision you have made?
What was the toll , the cost of the decision?
Personal, marriage, children/family, on the church, on the other individuals, on the community
Are there people who have yet to recover?
That’s what we mean by risk.


2. Seek counsel.
Wisdom comes with years.
There are a few short cuts: education, mentoring, coaching.
But there really is no substitute for experience.
Sometimes youth and inexperience gets us into trouble.
We are full of vision and passion and energy.
And sometimes we are full of arrogance.
And sometimes we have a tendency to discount the wisdom of others, especially is they are older (not cool).

I Kings 12:12 Rehoboam refusing to listen to older counselors, those of his father Solomon. He listened instead to “the young men who had grown up with him.” It got him into deep trouble.

There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors, not only those who agree with you.
If all of your advisors agree with you, you need new advisors.

3. Move slowly: (when possible)
Unless the building is on fire, wait a minute.
Make sure you have the credibility and trust of the followers prior to making a big change.
The “24 hours rule” for sending emails and letters.

4. Influence the influencers
(John Maxwell) this take lots of time. Focus groups work well. Let people talk through it.

5. Cast the vision
again and again (not necessarily a big fancy mission statement repeated until people are sick of it) but what God has called you and the church to do. Say as often as you can in as many ways as you can.

Specifically: what unique thing has God called you to do for Him?

6. Connect the risk …
of the vision to the essential core values of the organization.

7. Commit to see it through.
If you bring about change in an organization, stay around to help fulfill the change.

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