Diversify! Diversify! Diversify!

And no, I don’t mean your financial portfolio.  We like diversity and variety in a lot of things.  When going out, we like to go to a variety of places, doing different things.  It might be to the movies one time, out to eat, to the park, to the museum, etc.  We like to eat different types of food.  We would complain if every day we had to eat the exact same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We definitely like a variety of styles of clothing and even have them categorized; casual, business casual, semi-formal, formal, after five, etc.

I could go on and on about how we diversify our lives in so many ways.  So now, I would like to talk about how we diversify our financial portfolio.  We diversify so that we can have the greatest yields from our investments while minimizing the risks.  Risk and profit should be shared among a large group.  A typical portfolio will include 1) stocks, 2) bonds, and 3) short term investments.  Stocks have the highest risks but also the highest rewards.  Bonds have lower risk, so lower rewards but are more predictable.  Short term investments have the least risk (such as money market funds) and yield the least return but are the safest.

We could compare this to diversifying our congregations.  The higher risk individuals to welcome into our congregations would be the ‘other’ who is not a believer and is of a cultural group that our denomination has shunned or criticized in the past.  Those of lower risk would be the ‘other’ who is a believer yet also of a disparaged cultural group.  The least risky individuals are those like us but they are not welcoming to the ‘other.’

A friend talks about a church that he belonged to that practiced radical hospitality.  It was an imperative to them that they welcomed all of God’s creation through their doors.  Amazing!  You’ll notice that I don’t speak about the returns or rewards in regards to diversifying our congregations.  That is because our job is to welcome people in and share the good news.  God gives the increase.  God provides the return.  In the end, the ministry yield is fruitful with a variety of fruits of all colors, types, sizes, tastes, etc.

So, I say:  Diversify!  Diversify!  Diversify!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy Ford
    May 27, 2014 @ 16:45:38

    Very well said! Could we also apply this to our friendships? We often feel safer in friendships with those that are most like ourselves and therefore “safer”. However, how much return do we pass up in the form of enrichment, and blessings, when we don’t cultivate friendships with those “others” that are seemingly different from ourselves. Thank you for a thought provoking post!


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