A Pastor Should Have a Risk-Taking Leadership Style

Taking Risks as a Christian Leader

praying christian man
Opportunity is knocking...will you answer the door?

Risk-taking, for leaders, does not mean recklessness, nor does it imply a compulsion, as with heavy gamblers. The greatest successes in history, from Christ's decision to teach His way to America putting a man on the moon, have all come from a willingness to take risks.

A leader must learn to develop his insight, carefully weighing potential gains against potential losses when counseling the members of his organization or making decisions for his group.

Recognize Opportunities
This style of leadership is all about taking the right risks when good opportunities come along. Recognizing and capitalizing on those risks requires both foresight and courage, but, of the two, foresight is far more important for successful leadership.

Develop Your Knowledge
Developing this sort of vision requires knowledge of ourselves, knowledge of others, and knowledge of the world. Say, for example, that you were offered a better-paying job in another city -- one that was related to your skills but outside your area of expertise. How would you decide whether or not to take it?

You'd think about where the new job was located:
What would the potential benefits of living in a new place be?

You'd think about monetary concerns:
Could you really use that extra money to pay down some debt or to make a nicer home for your family, or are you living comfortably enough as it is?

You'd think about your own happiness:
Will you be better satisfied with a new job as compared to the work you're doing now?

You'd think about your involvement in your community:
Do you like where you're currently living? Do you have many friends? Would you miss the church you're a member of today?

You'd think about practical concerns, like the move:
Do you want to go through the rigmarole of packing up all your possessions and moving them to a new place?

You'd think about your family, their well-being and happiness, and ask them what they would most like to do:
How will they react to leaving their old lives behind?

Weigh Your Decision
For every opportunity that comes along, we must take many factors into account in order to come to the best possible decision. By weighing the potential benefits (higher salary, more comfortable lifestyle, the excitement of a new city) against the potential costs (an uncertain future, the hassle of moving, your family's current happiness), you would naturally come to a decision. Maybe you'd take the risk; maybe you'd decide it wasn't worth it, this time around.

The key is to know the people in your family, group, or organization and to try to figure out what's best for all of you, together, for the long term. Taking the proper risks when opportunity knocks is what good leadership is all about.

Written by: Bob Robertson