A few days ago, I was sat in a day long seminar about risk management run by a guy from The Sally Army’s national HQ. Pretty unremarkable stuff, to be honest, just another one of those fun things you have to do when you’re on a HQ appointment. However, one thing has stuck with me…in our society where we are striving to protect ourselves against litigation by assessing the risk factor of each of our programmes and strategies, we appear to be realising that we failed to be a risk taking movement years ago.
At some point, we decided it was more comfortable to play it safe, to think and plan way ahead. To get ‘professional’ and embrace the corporate concept. At some point we lost focus on the big picture, and started to think about the little details a bit too much. Now, I’m not one to say that we shouldn’t plan ahead, or be as professional as we can be, but I am thinking more and more that somehow we’ve managed to get ourselves so sidetracked from the path God set out for us that he’s seriously thinking about calling it a day for TSA. I know that there are places where we’re doing incredible things, and I know that there are social expressions where we’re giving people a second chance at life…but we’ve got so much excess fat hanging off us that we’re in danger of overeating ourselves into an early grave. Things like departments at HQ which are all about empire building rather than mission. Tiny, silly issues like music styles and uniforms…frankly I couldn’t give a monkeys what I wear and what I sing as long as God is at the centre. Churches which are only open for the benefits of their members…not having anything to do with the community that surround them.
The big picture we lost sight of…that God has a plan for this world, and I believe, one which The Sally Army has a part to play in. We’re not any better than any other church, but, somehow, God wants to use our mosquito sized bunch of loons to change this world. But I get the feeling there’s gonna have to be some serious weight loss before we move on.
So, it’s ok to risk assess, to think ahead, but I think it’s time to start risk embracing…if that’s a phrase! Taking risks in what we do and say, encouraging our members to take risks with their faith. God wants us to abandon ourselves to him, to be prepared to take whatever risks he calls us to. Scary place to be, but I’d rather be scared than comfortable…after all, we claim to be a ‘radical, spirit filled movement’…lets start being and doing that and stop just talking about it. Starting with me.