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About ten days ago, I went on a short field trip with a few of our 8th grade Confirmation students.

Steve(left) at the Beacon.

Steve (left) at the Beacon.

We had some time to kill so we decided to head over to the Beacon of Hope, a men’s shelter in our town. We toured the facility and spent time talking with the director, Steve, the chaplain, Eric, and one of the men staying at shelter. It was a powerful experience. Continue Reading…

On March 9th, Rachel Ramsey Cruze spoke at our church.

Even Lylah likes financial peace!

Even Lylah likes financial peace!

Sara and I had an unforgettable weekend with her as we had dinner on Friday night, and led a Saturday event at my church for young adults, teenagers, and their parents. The event brought in over 200 young people and their families. It was a great success.

But it was also a big risk.

There were numerous details and financial issues to take care of in order to invite a great speaker like Rachel Cruze to our church. It took financial commitment from our church before we knew how the event would turn out.

We knew Rachel would be great, but we didn’t know how many would show up to hear her speak. After all, it’s tough to sell high school students on an 11am event about sound, Biblical financial practices, even though we said the event would free. And in Iowa, your best laid plans can be waylaid by snow all the way into spring.

So our church said “yes” to Rachel before we knew how to fill it with people.

As I said earlier, the event turned out great. People from all over Fort Dodge and surrounding towns came to hear her speak. It was advertised on local radio stations, on billboards throughout town, and in our newspaper. People from a multitude of contexts saw that our church was reaching out to the community, helping people take control of their finances.

I heard from parents that their teenagers started talking about money in entirely new ways after the event. Parents were thankful to have a common language for talking with their kids about honoring God with money.

But none of this would have happened if a few key people in our church hadn’t been willing to take a risk. One of our elders and some people from one ministry team shared their vision to bring Rachel Cruze to our church. They spent hours in planning meetings with church staff and myself to make everything work. Even more, they put their name and reputation in the church on the line to bring Rachel here.

As I stood in our Christian Life Center, introducing Rachel Cruze that morning, I felt so proud for the faith of these people in our church. I felt so proud to be a part of a church where people were willing to commit their finances, time, and reputation to organize an event that can impact a generation of young people in our community.

I’m reminded of Hebrews 11 that I read this past we. In this famous passage, the author recounts the stories of those who’ve gone before us, taking risks for God’s calling. They’re all commended for their faith.

And they lived out their faith by embracing God-ordained risks.

What risky thing might God be calling you to embrace during this season in your life?