Servant leaders must not be risk averse.
When we attempt to count the costs of a calling, we have already missed the point of the call. We've been instructed to "take up our cross and die daily." What has more risk than to die daily?
When we fear risk, we present a selfish motive. We fear loss or embarrassment. Even if we rationalize our unwillingness to take risks for fear of how it might affect the organization, the fear of risk still seems to indicate a crisis of faith.
Why is it that as we age we tend to welcome less risk? Could it be that we are fearful of losing something we have stored in our U-Haul? Are we in asset-protection mode?
Opportunities to serve are filled with inherent risk. We fear criticism, rebuke and isolation. Mostly, we fear exposure to the elements. The juniper tree offers peace and only the risk of the bite of a bug.
But just when the rest becomes comfortable, an angel of the Lord will appear and ask a penetrating question such as, "What are YOU doing here?"
Are you afraid of that Jezebel? Has the risk moved you off mission? I thought I heard you singing, just last week ... "I shall not be, I shall not be moved."
I've heard many sermons on why Elijah fled from Jezebel to hide under a tree and then a cave. Most people tend to suggest that Elijah was afraid that Jezebel would kill him as she promised. Perhaps he had only lost his zeal to lead. His experience under the tree was preceded by one of the highlights of his leadership career. Attacks often follow a big win.
Truly, the riskiest moment of leader's life is the moment that risk freezes his walk. Friends caution me frequently that if I keep up this pace, I will burnout. I tend to swat away that risk as a pesky tree bug.
When I see through the eyes of my body, it is easy to identify many layers of risk in almost everything I could attempt. I took a lot of risks just driving to my office this morning. Someone could have run a red light.
When I see with the eyes of the Spirit, my vision is corrected to 20/20. I see godly outcomes and know in whom I put my trust. God called me to this great opportunity. He gifted me for just this moment. I know that God is for me. Who can be against me? I walk in favor.
Join me as I eat a big bowl of risk for breakfast!
"But he went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a juniper tree and asked that he might die, saying, 'It is enough! Now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.'
"As he lay and slept under the juniper tree, an angel touched him and said to him, 'Arise and eat.' He looked, and there was a cake baked on coals and a jar of water at his head. And he ate and drank and then lay down again.
"The angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, 'Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.' He arose and ate and drank and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.
"He came to a cave and camped there, and the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, 'Why are you here, Elijah?'
"And he said, 'I have been very zealous for the Lord, Lord of Hosts, for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, thrown down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword, and I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.'" (1 Kings 19:4-10).
Platform Tip No. 26 (this is a repeated tip)
Think of developing content for your platform as adding pieces to a puzzle.
In past platform appearances, you have probably showed the box cover of the full puzzle picture. Do that regularly.
As you progress through multiple platform appearances, shuffle through the puzzle pieces to find the best piece today. Then, connect it with the other pieces.
Add a piece to the puzzle every day.
Note: The box cover indicates, "This puzzle has an infinite number of pieces."
We better get busy.
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Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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