Tag Archive - jason taylor

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Risking Crazy

I recently had the opportunity to connect with Jason Taylor, Lead Pastor of The Vertical Church in Yuma, AZ and talk about his new book Risking Crazy. The following are highlights from the conversation. You can follow this link to get your hands on your own copy of his new book.

In a world where following Jesus increasing looks crazy, Jason’s personal story of planting Verticle Church in Yuma, AZ challenges readers that following Jesus is still the best way to live life.

Paul: Where did the idea for your new book “Risking Crazy” come from?
Jason: Ever since a young age, I felt a deep desire to be a part of something bigger than myself.  Acts 17:6 where the Bible speaks of the early disciples having a reputation of “turning the world upside down” really resonated with me from an early age.  I know that I have not risked as much as those early disciples or even what believers around the world are risking everyday; however, I began to think what would it look like if every Christian took the words of Jesus to “deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him” seriously.  From that thinking came the term “Risking Crazy”. Everyone risks at different levels for Jesus; however, for all the idea of doing what Jesus is asking you can sometimes seem crazy.
Paul: You talk about calculated risk in your book. Some may ready that and respond by saying that, “calculated risk isn’t risk at all.” What are your thoughts on that?
Jason: The calculation part comes into play knowing that God has already calculated the cost and outcome of the risk He is asking you to take.  It is not that you calculate yourself and know the outcome, but that you are trusting in God who has already planned your life in advance for His glory.  Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us that if we “Trust in the Lord”, “lean not on our own understanding”, and  “in all our ways acknowledge Him” that He will “make our paths straight.” I truly believe that this is a promise that God has already calculated the risk for us and we can trust in His calculation for the outcome.  Knowing and believing this can help you take the “calculated” risk that God has planned for you.
Paul: How do you view the connection between faith and risk?
Jason: They are deeply connected. Godly faith leads you to take the risks that He asks of you.  You can risk in your own strength all day long.  But, if Godly faith is not involved, you are not risking for Jesus. There is a self glory that takes over.  Some people just love the feel of adrenaline.  What I am talking about is different.  It is trusting in Jesus for the outcome while doing something you never dreamed possible.  People might want to ask themselves “Is what I am risking so big that unless God does it I am doomed to failure?” If you can do it in your own strength you do not need faith in a big God to do the big thing through you.  So faith and risk are deeply connected if you are doing it for the glory of Jesus.
Paul: In the book you tell the story of the start of Vertical Church, the church you’ve planted. What did you learn about your own ability to “risk crazy” during that time?
Jason: Church planting is hard.  We parachuted into a place neither my wife nor I had connections in and from day one had to learn to step out of our comfort on a minute by minute, day by day basis.  The book Risking Crazy speaks about much of that experience.  I learned that God wants us to surrender, but at the end of the day, the outcome is not ultimately up to me.  To truly make a dent in a city for the glory of Jesus, the Holy Spirit has to be your senior partner on a daily basis.  Learning to commune with the Spirit and listen to His voice and then obey that voice was the risk for me.  It seemed like once we conquered one risky hurdle, the Spirit of God was asking us to jump another.  Thankfully, He has and still gives us the power to jump those risky hurdles.
Paul: What do you hope readers walk away with as they read “Risking Crazy?”
Jason: After reading Risking Crazy, my dream is that readers will look at the world around them differently.  That God has placed each of them in their corner of the world for one reason: to take risks that bring glory to the name of Jesus.  I am praying that people will read this book and walk away saying “yes” to the call to plant churches, feed the homeless, care for the sick, reach out to a neighbor, and impact their pocket of the world.  Last, I believe if the readers take the words of Jesus to “deny self and follow Him” seriously, together we can “turn the world upside down”.

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation