We all consider Hebrews 11 as the “faith chapter”. However, it is also the “risk chapter”. By faith, Noah risked scorn, ridicule and his possessions in building the ark. Unaware of where he was going, Abraham stepped out in faith and took the risk to live as a stranger in a foreign country. By faith, Abraham risked the life of his son, Isaac, on the altar. By faith, Moses’ parents risked their lives to save their son. By faith, Moses turned his back on the treasures of Egypt and risked all to obey God. By faith, Rahab risked her life and that of her family to hide the spies. And, it goes on, not only in the book of Hebrews, but throughout the Old and New Testaments: faith is the fuel for risk taking.
Christian history is replete with examples of those who have risked their lives and those of their loved ones, to spread the good news of the Gospel. These individuals forsake family, friends, comfort and their fortunes, and we honor them for risking it all.
Unfortunately, they are viewed as the few, “the called,” those God has chosen and empowered to reach every nation, tongue and tribe with the Good News. The vast majority of us sit on the sidelines in our three bedroom, two bath, homes with our 3.4 children, two cars, 401K’s, IRA’s, and other assets worrying about, “Will I be able to retire with sufficient assets to live comfortably, and have some funds left to leave to our children?” How do I know this? I’ve been an investment advisor to thousands (many of them Christians) over the past forty plus years. It has been my vocation to help them develop plans to achieve the goal of financial security. When you boil it down, the holy grail is the maximum return with the minimum risk exposure.
That goal is difficult, at best, in the world of investments. When applied to the spread of the Gospel into the difficult places in our world, it is frighteningly difficult. The amazing part of it is that despite the risk of even their lives there are many who are willing to go to these places and to live out the Gospel, not only as missionaries, where possible, but increasingly as business people doing real business with a missional purpose.
What is the greatest hindrance to seeing to the creation and support of these missional businesses? It’s not people willing to go nor is it the challenges related to doing business in these locations. It’s working capital – money – investment dollars. As long as we evangelical Christians keep believing that what God has provided us in the way of assets are to be stewarded solely as our retirement nest egg, the need for funding missional businesses will remain unmet.
Faith and risk are two sides of the same coin. Without faith, we are unwilling to take a risk. Many who read this have had the faith to send children and loved ones to dangerous mission fields.
- Do we have the same faith to risk a small portion of our investments, say 5%, to enable the creation and growth of missional businesses, especially in countries closed to the Gospel?
- Do we have faith that God might bless and that these missional businesses would prosper and provide reasonable returns on the funds invested?
- Do we believe that an investment made to aid the proclamation of the Gospel in hard places, to seek to provide needed employment and business ownership, to bring about societal change and to preserve our environment is worth the risk?
If Christians would be willing to risk only1% of their investments in missional business opportunities it would provide billions of dollars of capital. The means and opportunities are available. All that’s needed is the faith to take the risk and the right vehicle for the investment.
Is God speaking to you and stirring your heart and mind? Do you want more information on how to go about taking a faith/risk step by investing a small amount in missional businesses? If so, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.