Monday, 17 March 2014

Innovation and Risk-Taking

In "The Permanent Revolution" Alan Hirsch and Tim Catchin say some interesting things about innovation and risk-taking – “A willingness to take risks does not equate to being reckless. People who take risks for no other reason than to experience a rush of adrenaline or to get accolades from overly bored audiences are rightly called gamblers and thrill seekers. It is hard to see how this can do anything but harm our cause. However, innovativeness and risk taking find their greatest potential for entrepreneurial impact when they intersect and fuse together.”  They also say – “Mission is dicey because of the real possibility that things will not go as planned. And it is precisely this uncertainty, the contingency of it all, that makes investing in a mission risky business. Yet there can be no avoiding it: God’s people are called to be a missional movement. This means we must act even when it seems to violate our penchant for safety and security—and perhaps especially then.”
So, risk is needed, but not just for its own sake.  The risks that count, and that are appropriate, are those that engage us in Gospel challenges.  Showy risk is like the temptations of Jesus - what's the point?  It is not something to be pursued.  However, the kind of risks that crossed the path of the apostle Paul as he undertook his missionary adventures offer an example of what we might just be called to do - difficult things for the sake of the Gospel. 
Are there risks that we are taking and, actually they are not worth it, and we should not be engaging with them?  Equally, are there risks from which we are walking away, even though Jesus is calling us to 'give it a go'?

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