Monday, December 07, 2009


Was meeting with an associate pastor recently, who had been in business for himself prior to entering vocational ministry. He expressed interested in becoming a senior or lead pastor. When I asked him why he wanted to take that step he said, "Because I have some entrepreneurial instincts, and I'm afraid that if I am not in a position to take risks that those instincts will atrophy and I will lose them." I found that to be a very insightful answer. Faith is a muscle that needs to be exercised or else you'll lose it.

The way to keep walking by faith is to keep walking by faith. If you succumb to fear, you will become more likely to succumb to fear. Harry Truman said, "The worst danger we face is being paralyzed by doubts and fears." If fear takes over, paralysis sets in. There is actually a "fear cycle": Fear leads to Inaction; Inaction leads to Inexperience; Inexperience leads to Inability; Inability leads to greater fear, and the cycle repeats and reinforces itself. If you feel this cycle setting in (as this associate pastor did) you need to take action. You need to take a step of faith.

Jim Collins has written a book called How the Mighty Fall. A few years ago he wrote a hugely popular book entitled Good to Great, about how good companies became great companies. This latest book is about how good companies have become bad companies, that have trended downward instead of upward. Why? Because they were unwilling to take risks. Why? Because they were afraid. The president and the board went into protective mode and were no longer willing to step out. In the process, they lost it. Reminds me of what Jesus said, "Those who save their lives will lose it. The one who loses his life for my sake will find it." Fortunately there are warning signs. Before you die, atrophy starts to set in.

No comments: