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In their book, Ten Steps for Church Growth, Donald McGavran and Win Arn said, "New life and growth are more likely to be experienced when a church (or individual Christian) is willing to

risk and move from the known to the unknown. Such a move, however, is threatening. Not all . . . are willing to assume risk. Such fear of failure has laid to rest many attainable goals and buried many magnificent visions" (p. 122).

In considering whether risk will work for others, the authors included this story from Dr. Arn’s experience:

"’Jump . . . go ahead . . . jump!’ The words flew upward from boys and girls some sixty feet below. High above, I clutched the bar of a trapeze swinging back and forth in great arcs. At the apex of each swing, an empty trapeze bar came temptingly close. ’Jump . . . go ahead . . . jump!’

"How did I get in such a predicament? A fine group of talented teens had formed a youth circus. They presented a varied and unique program of tumbling, juggling, and trampoline, all with humor, costumes, and equipment.

"The suspense-filled climax to the performance was the high trapeze act where performers flipped, twirled, and twisted in an aerial extravaganza which brought gasps from the audience and thunderous applause. "This talented group formed the cast for a film I was producing entitled ’Circus.’

“One afternoon while waiting for the photographer, one youth turned to me, pointed to the high trapeze, and said, ’Why don’t you try it?’ I quickly changed the conversation, but other youths heard the challenge and joined the growing chorus. ’Try it . . . try it!’ Eyeing the large safety net under the paraphernalia, I cautiously replied, ’Well . . . why not?’

“Very slowly and very carefully I began to climb the small rope ladder. Twenty feet . . . thirty feet . . . thirty-five . . . forty thousand . . . fifty thousand . . . finally I crawled onto a minuscule platform which seemed miles above the assembled crowd.

“I looked down. The once large safety net had shrunk to unbelievably small proportions. A slight breeze caused the platform to sway and the wires softly sigh.

"’Go ahead; you can do it!’ the youths encouraged. Taking the trapeze bar in my perspiring hands and steadying my shaking knees, I prepared to jump....

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