1.  God can take hubris, turn it into humility, and then transform it into trust.

I continue to be amazed at the grace of God that woke me up in the middle of the night, had a serious conversation with me, and then transformed my pride into trust in Him that enabled us to take the risk He was calling us to take. Only God would redeem pride in such a way.

2.  Unless leaders take risk with God, followers won't experience the fullness of  His faithfulness.

Our people were as committed to Christ as they could be at that point in their lives. Virtually none of them had ever taken this kind of risk before, and if the elders and staff of our church had not taken the steps we did, they would never have seen God work in such a great way. Celebration Sunday meant so much to us that, at the suggestion of one of our staff members, we placed rocks in front of our new building that were rocks of remembrance, just as Joshua did in the Jordan River.

3.  Once people learn to take risk with God they become hooked on it.

Since then South Hills Community Church has built two more buildings and developed a beautiful campus that God has used in powerful ways. And it's all paid for. Risk with God is a high that people want more and more of once they experience it.

4.  The door to rest is marked risk.

God has a rest for us, a place of security, strength, and blessing, that we only enter through risk. That's why He became so angry with the generation that refused to mix faith with His word and take risk with Him. They never knew what it was like to rest with God. Don't make that mistake—you miss too much!

The only way to know God is through risk. Take risk, enter into rest, and know God.

Bill Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International, Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he served full-time for more than twenty three years (1981-2004). During this time he also served as the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership for twelve years. Bill is the author of two books: Beyond the Bottom Line—Where Faith and Business Meet, Moody Press and Effective Pastoring, Word Publishing. Bill served twelve years as founding pastor of South Hills Community Church, San Jose, CA (1969 to 1981). He has also been the Interim Pastor of Northwest Bible Church, Dallas, TX, on two different occasions.

Original publication date: January 11, 2010