Risky Business

25 05 2011

When someone chooses to invest money, whether is be in an RRSP or on the stock market, it is considered best practice (and can be required by law) for the financial advisor to conduct a risk tolerance assessment of the investor, to basically determine what their viewpoint is on losing money while on pursuing a return on their investment.

The outcome of a risk tolerance assessment is the determination of the investor’s risk category or style, traditionally ranging from conservative to aggressive. The conservative investor generally never wants to see less money then their original investment, while the aggressive investor realizes that hanging on through short-term losses can often lead to significantly higher gains.

So you’re asking… “what’s all this about investing, Travis!? Are you trying to sell me life insurance or get me into some kind of pyramid scheme or something?”

My purpose in bringing this all up is fairly straightforward. What if you were to conduct a risk tolerance assessment on your walk with the Lord? Do you take a conservative position and stay satisfied with maintaining your nest-egg or will you take on a more aggressive portfolio, with higher short-term risk and the possibilities of a much greater reward? The parable of the talents comes to mind…

Now, what if you conducted a risk tolerance assessment of your church? If the church was the investor, it’s members the shareholders, and the pursuit of Jesus the asset being invested, what would the outcome be? How aggressive is the pursuit for growth? Is the expected ROI (return on investment) numbers driven or is there a deeper purpose?

Do you notice a conservative, controlled growth plan (keep it on the safe side) or do you see an aggressive, passionate – even maverick – vision to go deeper, to go further, even if it means risking short-term numbers for long-term success?

Sometimes the best move an investor can make is to diversify or strengthen their portfolio, rather than to try to hit a home run with a single strategy or property.

What would a successful return on investment mean to you? A full church? A full heart? A fulfilled life?

Will we bury what the Master has given us, to ensure it stays “safe”? Or will we ready ourselves, move out of the rut and risk the criticism of man to experience a real relationship with God and with each other?

I, for one, am going all in…all the way. What does that look like? I can’t wait to find out.



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