ECCU Blog

by Jac La Tour

One of many memorable scenes in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia is in the first book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The four main characters—Lucy, Susan, Edmund, and Peter—had spent a day with two beavers, and the conversation had gotten around to Aslan. When Mr. Beaver informed them that Aslan was a lion, Lucy became alarmed.

“Then he isn’t safe?” she asked.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

When you follow your calling into ministry, the early days aren’t unlike these children’s early impressions of Narnia. You’re anticipating the upside. The idea of risk isn’t foremost in your thinking. But the longer you’re in ministry, the more acquainted you become with the fact that it isn’t always safe.

Of course, when you’re focused on ministry, protecting the people and resources God has entrusted you with can be a daunting, even distracting responsibility. So it’s good to know that some people are called to focus on managing risks. One of these people is Richard Hammar, the leading specialist in legal and tax issues affecting churches. And if you minister in Orange County, you might want to check out an opportunity coming up on November 9.

Richard will be in Yorba Linda that day as the keynote speaker for a Risk Management Conference for Ministries. This all-day event includes nine afternoon breakout sessions in three tracks—security, legal, and finance. In fact, one of my fellow bloggers, Mark Jones, will present on the topic “How to Keep Your Ministry’s Financial Assets Secure.”

Richard Hammar alone is worth the investment of time for this event. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is both an attorney and Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He is the senior editor of Church Law and Tax Report and Church Finance Today newsletters and has taught church law in a number of seminaries. He’s the author or coauthor of more than 100 books on legal and tax issues regarding religious organizations. And if these credentials aren’t convincing enough, you even get lunch with your $30 conference registration fee.

When you follow a calling into ministry, you say yes to many things, including the risks that come with the messy business of loving people. If you could use some guidance for managing those risks, follow this link to learn more about the Risk Management Conference for Ministries.

And if you’re wondering how to navigate safely around Narnia, give Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia another read.

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