Happy 2015! It is a new year with new opportunities. It is a chance to try new things. Meet new people. Have new adventures. A chance to take new Godly risks!
For Kylie and I, 2015 is a BIG YEAR. We are making some moves that seem very risky. I must go back though and say that this comes after a stretch of “risky” activities in 2014.
Kylie and I made a commitment to God, each other and ourselves that we were going to really push forward into the calling we believe that God had on our lives – to be full-time illusionists. We had been taking on various jobs to support ourselves over the last five year (church staff, apartment event planners, media liaison for another show.) Even though these other jobs have been great and have certainly sustained us, it was really like living on life support. We had over-committed ourselves which really didn’t leave time, space or bandwidth to pursue our true calling. So, we agreed to make 2014 the year we “went for it.”
To start off, we plunged a TON of money into our show last year. Mostly in terms of business and marketing. We decided to overhaul our merchandise table and produce more effective, more interesting items to sell at our shows. We took on 2 high intensity courses to improve our approach in booking our show and to expand the opportunities available to us.
Then, we put more money into attending several marketing events/conferences to put us in front of people who could buy our show. Next came the expenditure of a local public show in a very nice venue to work with a phenomenal video team to produce multiple promotional videos geared toward different markets. That led to working with designers to create new websites and content. Lastly, we began the process of duplicating all the props necessary for our shows in order to create a more portable “fly show” to make us more marketable which also meant, in some cases, that we had to purchase all new effects and develop routines that could “pack small and play big.”
Toward the end of 2014 we left our apartment job. That was a very hard decision to make. You see, we really love the people and the organization we worked with for five years and were saddened to not be able to interact with them as we had before. Additionally, that job essentially gave us a free apartment. Now, we were back to being rent payers.
So, after all of that, what could be left to risk?
Well, as we begin 2015, we are continuing to push forward with our show by looking for more opportunities. We have been in conversation with several agents as well as other people to get us in front of more audiences and help us “play bigger!” For us, that is somewhat risky because we are allowing elements of our business and ministry to be out of our direct control.
Alongside that, we are stretching ourselves and our show by being open to more diverse types of events. This is a little scary because the conditions and expectations show to show can vary wildly.
Lastly, we are taking a step back from our “day job” as staff members of our church. We have operated for the last 7 years in a part time (32 hours combined) capacity with our church. This has allowed us some flexibility as we have received a steady paycheck as well as the opportunity to have a very accommodating work schedule. However, where this has caused some issues is with our responsibilities with the church on Sunday morning. We have only been allowed 4 Sundays a year to miss. With many of our clients wanting shows in other states on Saturday nights, we have had to keep a close eye on the dates of performances. So, in 2015, we will be dropping back to half of a part-time job with Crosspointe. This will dramatically decrease the stability of our finances.
So, why would we do this? Why would we take these perceived “risks?” What would compel us to take such financial chances?
Ultimately the answer is two-fold. One, we believe that this is the life God is calling us to. Two, we believe that they are not risks as long as they are grounded in Him. We have seen His provision and trust that He will be faithful in leading us through this next stage of our lives It is, in short, a leap of faith. It is a Godly risk.
Interestingly enough, as I started the New Year, I decided to embark on a Bible reading plan through the Bible App. I chose one entitled, “Living a Better Story.” It started off with the story from Matthew 4 of Jesus calling Peter, Andrew, James and John. Each one of them “dropped their nets” and followed Jesus. As fishermen, their nets were their livelihood. They trusted in Jesus more than they trusted in their “careers.” They took Godly risks for Him. In the same way, we are trusting Jesus. Believing that what He has in store for us is way better than what our own plans might devise.
I love how the devotional for my Bible plan puts it:
To live a great story, we need to take Godly risks. We need to venture out into the unknown and trust God that He has a plan and purpose for our lives.
So, what Godly risks are you willing to take to live the life God is calling you to? Where can you step out of your comfort zone and into His grace and love? Leave your comments here. We would love to read them!
Joel Osteen says that if you love God, and He knows it, you are fully blessed before you know it. All of the “riches” and dreams you attempt to accomplish will be yours as He has ordained. Your blessings are laid before you and your shortcoming will only be because you did not ask for them. ” So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10. Or, in the vernacular of our culture, “Git ‘er done”.