Risks are often worth taking.

(More often than we tell ourselves, at least.)

When you’re part of a healthy and strong Catholic community, there’s a natural desire to grow and to sustain the beautiful, God-given gifts of that community for newcomers and neighbors alike.

Yet even in great communities, there needs to be a certain openness to the sort of risk-taking that might allow the community to thrive in an unexpected way.

For instance, a Catholic elementary school welcoming a refugee family, and a nearby Catholic parish willing to raise the funds to pay for that family’s tuition expenses. These are risks, in their own way, but they’re the sort of risks that can inspire and grow a community. Not to mention, they’re the sort of risks that are a mandate of Christian life.

On the other hand, there’s a sort of risk that too often characterizes Catholic community life. The risk of complacency, which is the attitude that “things are good enough as they are.” A great college football coach once observed that, “you’re either getting better, or you’re getting worse.” To plateau is against our natures.

There’s a need for new risk-taking in many Catholic communities—perhaps chiefly there’s the need to risk new habits and rhythms that will reshape our approach to authentic Catholic content, to real encounter with Christian perspectives for Catholics and strangers alike, to new approaches to website content and communications and community engagement, and above all for a habit and rhythm to keep getting better, every day, in the religious and lay leadership life of our communities.

We’re called to a different sort of life as Christians. Let’s take a risk and start showing that we’re serious about that baptismal call in everything we do.

What’s the worst that could happen?