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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

November 15, 2018

Taking the Risk of Faith

Jesus summoned a crowd with his disciples and said to them,

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this faithless and sinless generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels

                                                                                                --Mark 8:34-38

To follow Jesus means to take a risk.

Help your students determine their “risk quotient” before they take up the questions of the risk of faith. Make a worksheet with the following items and have the students circle their responses.

  1. If I lost my way I would
  1. Stop and ask directions
  2. Check the GPS
  3. Keep driving and follow my hunches
  1. On the menu, I look for:
  1. Something familiar I know and like
  2. Something special, a little different
  3. Something I never have tried before.
  1. In playing Monopoly, I usually
  1. Play it safe and hide money under the table
  2. Hang loose, but save a little back
  3. Go for broke and gamble everything
  1. I would prefer to get
  1. An “A” in an easy course
  2. A “B” in a so-so course
  3. A “C” in a tough demanding course
  1. In choosing a job,  I would prefer
  1. A boring job with security and benefits
  2. An interesting job with some security
  3. A job with endless possibilities but no security
  1. At the amusement park I
  1. Stick to the bumper cars
  2. Get jittery on the double Ferris wheel
  3. Ride no-hands on the fastest, highest revolution roller coaster
  1. At a party, I usually
  1. Talk only to the friends I came with
  2. Get to know a few new people
  3. Try to meet most everyone who is there
  1. When I have a problem with a teacher
  1. I complain, but not to the teacher
  2. I ask a parent to talk to the teacher
  3. I talk to the teacher myself
  1. I would break off a two-year relationship
  1. Online
  2. By phone
  3. In person
  1. As a parent I would probably be
  1. Very protective
  2. Firm but fun
  3. Very permissive


Low Risker                                                           Medium Risker                                                  High Risker

10           12           14           16           18           20           24           26           28           30

When they are finished tell the value of the letters: each A=1 point, each B=2 points and each C=3 points. Have them add their point to figure their RQ scores and circle it on the scale. Tell them to share their scores with a partner.

Then divide the room by putting the high riskers in one group, the medium riskers in a second group, and the low riskers in a third group.

Have each group discuss and come to a consensus on the following questions:

  • Would you leave your parents and family to be a Christian missionary?
  • What would you give up to follow Jesus?
  • What would cause you to lose your faith in Christ?
  • What motivates you to follow Christ?

After the discussion, compare the group’s answers. Note similarities and differences between the way the different kinds of “riskers” answered the questions.

Have the students all answer in writing the following question:

  • What does it mean to risk your life in faith for Jesus?

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