Calculating risk is a good thing.
You may be a risk calculator. You may err on the side of caution. Good – the church, your organization, what have you – we need you.
Or, you may be like me: I tend toward pioneering, Han Solo style: “Never tell me the odds.” Risk? I don’t want to hear about it. The more risk, the better.
But I need risk calculators, and risk calculators need pioneers. Why?
Because risk calculators help us assess our values. Pioneers know that everything worth doing is a risk. But risk assessors know not everything risky is worth doing.
If we’re looking to spend our church savings account on a $1 million bowling alley, that’s risky. A risk assessor will say, “Hey, that’s got all kinds of pitfalls.” That’s a good and helpful observation.
Now the pioneer must ask: “Is this worth the risk?” In other words, “Is this at the center of our values? Are we really that passionate about a bowling alley?”
On the other hand, there are plenty of things I’d be willing to stick my neck out for: justice, mercy, community, truth. The risk assessor will rightly give us pause on those issues: “You know, pursuing justice in this particular way has a lot of potential pitfalls.”
To which the pioneer says: “True. And in this case, it’s worth it.”