Let’s remind ourselves of what we said in our first session:

  • We know that the time is short
  • We see that the church has become weak and compromised in the face of the increasing ungodliness of the society in which we live
  • We recognise that we need to repent of the silence of the church which has allowed society to lose its Christian values.

And so our 2022 Vision is to become RISK takers, RESIST the pressure of society to conform or keep silent and REBUILD the church to be what it should be.

Looking at our first challenge – to become RISK takers – we said:

  • It is time to make a stand.
  • It is time to “Be bold, be strong, for the LORD our God is with us” (as the old song declares).
  • It is time for us to step out in faith and be the people God has called us to be.
  • It is time for us to step out in the safety of our church family and begin our boldness here, in the church family.
  • It is time for us to learn the lesson of the story of the prophet Ezekiel who was called to step out boldly and risk everything – whatever the consequences – because risk-taking is what we are called to do in Christ.

Thus we have seen the “what” and the “why” of our 2022 Vision…it is time now to look at the “how”…


Talking with Jim late on Sunday night after our “2022 Vision Overview” impressed on me the need to make the following statement over-and-over again during our breakdown of the Vision:

The time is short. The church has become weak and compromised while a godless society moves further and further away from a Godly economy or lifestyle. So, HOW should we respond to this?

Not by moaning or criticising; not by crying out “you are wrong” to a godless people. No! All this is negative. Rather, we must be positive. It is not by saying that “the things you do and believe are bad” but by living, and speaking, and showing all the things that are good – so that, not only are we living Godly lives, but also, that through our Godly lives, we are showing a “better way” to a world that is lost and dying.

Our focus must be that advocated by Paul to the disciples in Philippi:

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things (Philippians 4: 8)

This word “finally” is so important – it means “when all is said and done…whatever else is happening…despite all other things”. For, if we truly take the risk of focusing ONLY on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable – rather than on the evils and distractions of this present age – then we are indeed showing a better way to all those around us.

And what will this actually look like? Well, the world will not see an angry, judgemental, finger-wagging, out-of-touch, out-of-date, irrelevant church. Rather they will see a people who bear the “fruit of the Spirit” –

love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23)

And what they see, they will like; and what they like, they will want. And we shall truly be the “light of the world” (Matthew 5: 14-16) that we were being challenged to be over last Christmas.


Any risk means “stepping out of our comfort zone” – even putting our ease, our jobs, our relationships, even our very lives “on the line” for Jesus. This is what we are asking you to do for Jesus in 2022.

And be of good comfort – He will be very near to you as you begin to take risks.

And be encouraged – you are safe in His loving arms as you begin to take risks – as this very well-known story reassures us:

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

28 ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

29 ‘Come,’ he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ (Matthew 14: 22-31)

We don’t take risks when everything is calm and easy in life – but when times are harder. We don’t take risks when we remain in the safety and security of whatever our “boat” happens to be – it could be our home and family, our work and friends, even our church meetings and times of worship. We take risks when we decide it is time to step out of our “comfort zone” and do, or say, or be, things that we would not normally do, say or be.

Jesus is encouraging us to get “out of the boat” to take risks. He promises us that we can do so and “walk on the water” – how??? Because we can do all things through Christ! That’s how!

And what is the water that Jesus encourages us to “walk on”? It is life – REAL life – hard life. It is opposition from the world. It is society demanding that we keep quiet about what we believe in. The world is quite happy if we stay in the boat!

It is natural to get anxious when we are taking a risk – just like Peter did when he saw the waves.

But don’t worry…if we begin to “sink” then He will catch us and help us and save us – though He will rightly challenge us with “why did you lose faith when I promised you that I would be with you as you risked all?”

So let us take risks in 2022.