During the final session of Flinch Conference, the national conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC), Ed Lewis challenged conference attendees to take risks to share the gospel. He stressed that safety should not be our focus and we shouldn’t be intimidated to use God-talk. “All people matter to God,” he said.
He also challenged all people to take risks to reach people, including those nearing or in retirement. “Sprint to the finish,” he said.
As he concluded, Bartley Sawatsky, executive director of the FGBC, took the platform. He invited the audience to the front to take one of five wrist bands. Each had the hashtag, #myflinchrisk, imprinted on it. There were five colors, each representing a type of risk.
“We’ve got to be willing to take risks,” he said. He encouraged the young people in the audience to establish themselves as risk takers, while echoing Lewis’s words to those who are older. “Sprint to the finish.”
He outlined the five risks according to color:
- Red – I will get comfortable living in liminal spaces. (Speaker Alan Hirsch earlier in the week had defined liminal spaces as those moments of transition that involve adventure, risk, journey, engagement, and courage.)
- Orange – I will make a tough ministry-related decision I’ve been avoiding.
- Yellow – I’ll start treating a current relationship as a missional opportunity.
- Green – I will FISH someone regularly. (Ed Lewis defines FISH as F-Friendly, I-Initiate, S-Share your story or serve, and H-Hope: Jesus is the answer.)
- Blue – I will attempt to go on a short-term missions program that allows me to share my faith.
He encouraged the audience to share what their Flinch Risk is on social media using the #myflinchrisk hashtag. Those hashtags on Twitter and Instagram will appear on the #MyFlinchRisk wall at graceconnect.us (see the upper right of the page).
Check out Ed Lewis’s talk and Bartley Sawatsky’s challenge in the video below.