Theology of Risk

This article, by Glen Volkhardt, was originally published for Paraclete Mission Group (www.paraclete.net). Glen is Paraclete’s CEO.

Feeling overwhelmed with weighing all the risks of a pandemic?  We don’t have to depend on contemporary understanding alone. Christians can use their beliefs to drive an approach to danger, starting with the conviction that our Father is sovereign. Christ our Savior created all things, and moment-by-moment, he sustains the created order. Here’s a simple eight-point Theology of Risk that can help us weigh responsibility and opportunity in a time of uncertainty.

  1. God invites us to be stewards of resources, not risk-avoiders.
    The desire for personal security and safety does not control us. We are already secure in our Lord.a Until he returns, the world will be a dangerous place. In the parable of the talents, the risk-averse servant loses his stewardship.
  2. God offers us wisdom in our planning and choices.
    Scriptural examples guide us. In Matthew 10 and 28, Luke 10 and 22, Jesus taught his disciples how to deal with danger. They used tactics of vigilance, evasion and escape as well as boldness, confrontation and defiance.
  3. Jesus sends us into danger.
    The way he put it was “as sheep among wolves.”  His strategy for us in that reality comes in the same verse.  We are to be like the serpent and the dove–shrewd while innocent, smart while pure.
  4. Disciples are authorized to prepare modest deterrents.
    Two swords were enough for 12 disciples, for instance.  With Christ’s power we can deter harm and defend the treasures over which we have stewardship.
  5. Death is sometimes service.
    Jesus’ death gives us this example.  We don’t seek martyrdom, but we know that it may be required of us.
  6. The church is worth protecting.
    The fact that Jesus paid the ultimate price for his church shows us that it is worth protecting.
  7. Jesus taught his disciples to pray for his kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth.
    Until that prayer is fully answered we will accept the risks associated with going into all the world to make disciples, as he commanded us.
  8. God tells us not to fear because he is with us.
    Nothing can separate us from the love of God. As a result (and because we are commanded), we will not fear danger.

Our thanks to Crisis Consulting International who encouraged us to create a theology of risk, and trained several of our associates in managing crises as stewards.

This post is derived from the Paraclete Crisis Management Policy.  Related: Planning a Mission Trip During COVID?  25 Questions to Ask First.


This article is submitted by Rebecca Hopkins of Paraclete Mission GroupParaclete Mission Group is a Missio Nexus member.  Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

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