Home Pastors Articles for Pastors 5 Reasons Why Playing It Safe Is Not a Good Idea

5 Reasons Why Playing It Safe Is Not a Good Idea

We all desire momentum, something most leaders are praying and working hard to regain in their church. Playing it safe rarely regains momentum.

Taking a risk to regain momentum is not about a big, crazy, and wild move; it’s about regaining belief in and clarity of your vision in a time when that’s difficult to do.

Any time you make a decision that causes you to keep moving forward and making progress, you have stopped playing it safe.

3) You send a message to the leaders around you.

Playing it safe communicates an unintended message to the leaders around you.

Holding back right now is understandable; in many ways, it makes sense. But leaders move things forward even when it’s difficult to see around the corner.

When you play it safe, the unintended message is that you stopped leading, even though in your heart, you haven’t stopped at all.

For a very short period, playing it safe has relatively low consequences, but over an extended period of time, the sharp leaders around you may begin to lose confidence.

The remedy is not to hide what you are feeling (you aren’t really hiding); instead, bring a few top leaders close to you and talk about it.

Vulnerability has power in the right moments with the right people. Breakthrough often comes!

4) Playing it safe doesn’t fully engage trust in God.

Trusting God for a big, bold move isn’t meant to be a case for reckless leadership. Trusting God is not about a lack of willingness to plan or pray or about being lazy. It’s about trust in achieving a vision bigger than you.

Fully trusting God in difficult times is something most leaders struggle with, I sure do. I tend to take things into my own control even though I know that’s not smart and doesn’t work.

It’s a panic moment. If you’ve led for any length of time, you know what that feels like.

The important thing is to move as quickly as you can from panic back to trust no matter how bumpy the ride.

God doesn’t always answer our prayers as we want, but He always answers them in the right way at the right time.

Believing that’s true is core to trust.

5) Playing it safe often requires hard work but without results.

One of the greatest pitfalls of playing it safe is that you work just as hard but with little to no results.

That’s true in life and church leadership. You may be playing it safe, but life keeps moving forward full speed ahead. So is culture and the impact on your church.

When you play it safe, you still go through all the motions of everyday life, solving problems and dealing with the day’s conflicts.

You still expend your energy.

The issue is that expenditure of energy made little difference. Nothing changes when you play it safe. You have to tackle the big things, and they are never safe.

  • What are one or two things you need to tackle head-on to move the ball down the field?
  • Who’s help do you need?
  • What is preventing you from starting? Start there.

This article originally appeared here.

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Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.