Risk /risk/ noun: a situation involving exposure to danger.
Where would we be in life if we didn’t take any risks at all? Not very far probably. There are risks all around us – we take risks every day with where we go, what we touch, and what we eat. Now, we usually take calculated risks, but they are risks nonetheless. Serving can be risky business. We might need to go well outside of our comfort zone to help someone else. What if we let someone borrow something and we don’t get it back? What if it takes more time out of our day than expected and we are late to something else? What if we get hurt? What if fill in the blank.
Sometimes we can talk ourselves out of doing something that is truly worth doing because we see too much risk involved. Imagine if the first disciples had decided it was too risky to share the good news of Jesus? What if the disciples had thought it was too risky to even follow Jesus in the first place? What if Jesus thought it was too risky to hang out with tax collectors and sinners? The Bible is filled with men and women who took risks for God. The reality is that we are all called to take a leap of faith from time to time and trust that God will handle those risky parts. That doesn’t mean we aren’t careful or that we don’t assess the level of risk before we serve. What it means is that we look for ways to be obedient to God when He puts it on our hearts to serve others and reach lost people for Christ.
About two years after being baptized, God put on my heart to reach out to other men and help them find and put Christ in the center of their lives. I thought the best way might be to hold a one day event using some curriculum called Stepping Up that I had been through the previous year with a men’s group. I had never run an event before nor even been to a similar one to use as a reference point. I jumped both feet in though, purchasing materials and promotional items with my own finances. I began planning the event months in advance. Two weeks before the event no one had signed up. I was nervous. I wondered if I had done things right. I prayed to God asking Him to make the event His and for His glory. I decided that even if no one came to the event that I would sit and watch the material because I believed God was trying to teach me something through my obedience. He was. He was waiting for me to accept the risk fully and give it over to Him. A few days after that prayer registrations began coming in and over 40 men attended the event.
When we serve we may need to take risks. We may need to put ourselves out there and let God catch us if we fall. Ultimately if we are serving God we have nothing to be afraid of just as Paul wrote to Timothy, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV)
Where can you take a risk by stepping out in faith to serve?