Stocks, Bonds, Risks, and the Church

I don’t write many strictly business posts these days, even though I spent more than 20 years in that world. This article caught my attention though:

Bonds outperform stocks

(Click on the title to read the article. Basically, bonds are now outpacing stocks on a 30-year average return.)

I can’t help but believe this isn’t great news for a capitalistic economy. In a very simplistic view, stocks are based more on the assumption of risk. Bonds are based more on the assumption of security. When a capitalistic economy stops taking risks, it’s ceasing to live up to what it was designed to do. (I realize many times investors are looking for options other than stocks, but it doesn’t negate my point about a capitalistic society.)

What difference does all this make in terms of my calling now…as a pastor?

Well, I think the same is true for me (and those with similar callings). I see too many people in positions of leadership in the church who become comfortable and resist walking by faith.

When we stop taking the risks involved in fully surrendering to God’s will…when we become complacent or satisfied…we cease to live up to what we’ve been designed to do.

Is God placing something on your heart?

God calls us to things which require personal risk. Following God requires great faith, even more so the longer we follow Him. People don’t always agree when you step into “God-following” territory. It may even appear at times we are going to fail, at least in the short run. God callings often take years to see returns from the investment. Don’t settle for what appears secure at the time. It never really is!

If God says “Go”, do so in spite of your fears!

Be honest pastor,have you been settling for what’s comfortable these days?

Also, do you have an interest in business or politics, in addition to your God-calling? (Please don’t leave me alone here.)

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • It can be very tempting to get settled in our comfort zone. But, as children of God, we need to keep raising our bar whenever growth opportunity arises and be exceptional in our area of work (like the character of Daniel from Bible).

    Secondly, we can all be interested in business or politics and keep following it closely from wherever we are. But, if you decide to get into full time politics/ business, they you need to make a call. The principle should be “One at a time”. Either you can be a pastor or a business tycoon or be a politically elected leader. You can’t keep running for a senate/ congress/ state / local legislative leadership and continue to be a servant of God in a church as a pastor. You are bound to fail in both.

    Finally, I believe political leadership is one type; business leadership is another and spiritual leadership is yet another. You can’t be mingling it as you like.

  • Melissa says:

    I love this way of thinking….trust in the God and to lose the fear of failure.

    Thanks as always. See you tomorrow for my 2nd visit to the Kenwood campus….looking forward to it.

  • Chris Patton says:

    Ron, this is exactly what I was talking about in my post Goals: Get A Bigger Frying Pan! Too often, our comfort level prevents us from growing. We really need to take an inventory of the comfortable areas of our lives and ask whether small thinking has crept in.

    Thanks for the post!

  • brad gilbert

    Thanks, very timely meeting for me and some decisions we are facing ad a church. Will be sharing this with my men.

  • I think sometimes it can be dangerous to frame the debate in terms of risk. There are obviously times when risk can be an unnecessary and unhealthy thing. Risk for the sake of risk isn't wise.

    But you've made a crucial insight: You ask if we're comfortable settling. And that's what it comes down to. We must be ambitious and strive for the glory of God, accepting no more and no less risk than is necessary. It's about choosing him over comfort. It's about striving and pursuing instead of settling.

    Great stuff.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thanks Loren. I agree with you on the statement of risk. Risk, like fear, shouldn't be the determining factor in why we do or do not do something.

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