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On Taking Risks

 —  August 8, 2012 — Leave a comment

I consider myself a risk-taker…especially in ministry contexts. But this past week reminded me that a more accurate statement may be, “I am a highly calculated risk-taker…I mostly take risks I’m fairly certain will succeed.”

Last Friday night, in our high school ministry, I witnessed the results of true, “never-done-that-before”, risk-taking. And it was in the form of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Several months ago, one of our high school Pastors had the idea of creating a massive capture the flag meets, tag, meets hide ‘n seek meets amazing race meets air soft wars meets zombies type of event. Josh Griffin said okay…..and they were off to the races. One guy had a vision in his head of how it would all go down, and worked diligently for two months to make it happen.

On Friday night, over 400 high schoolers….dressed up as zombies, survivors, medical personnel and military peace keepers roamed our campus for 4 hours. It was CRAZY, it was AMAZING, it was FUN…..and it almost worked like they planned. There were a few key mis-steps here and there that kept the massive, highly complex, game from unfolding exactly the way they wanted.

Hearing about the idea, watching how hard the team worked to pull it off, seeing the “buy-in” from our students and leaders, and watching the event as it unfolded Friday night left me with a TON of random questions about risk-taking.

Here are a few I’m pondering:

* Why don’t we take more risks of the “I’m not really sure how this will turn out” nature?
* Is it because our churches have created atmospheres where only a home run is celebrated? Is a foul ball never acceptable? Our Zombie night wasn’t a home run…but at least they “got a piece of it”.
* Am I, as the leader of our ministry, creating an environment that encourages or discourages risk-taking?
* If I knew I wouldn’t fail miserably, what is a new ministry idea I would try?

As the summer wraps up and fall peaks around the corner, lets determine to try something new; to take a risk. I highly doubt it will result in a zombie apocalypse!

Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston


Kurt Johnston leads the student ministries team at Saddleback Church in Southern California. His ministry of choice, however, is junior high, where he spends approximately 83.4% of his time.

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