The Harshest Response I've ever Received from a Risk.


The other day I was driving to the airport when I unintentionally, unknowingly cut the person off behind me. I heard the loud honking of a horn and when I looked in my rearview mirror, an otherwise charming young man was very aggressively holding out his middle finger coupled with the most offensive scowl possible. I mouthed the word, "sorry" while gesturing praying hands to boot.

Neither seemed to sway my enraged motorist toward grace. 

This unfortunate occurrence (which I'm sure was all my fault) made me think of a question I was recently asked about the absolute worst response to a risk I've taken. It didn't take long for me to recall the harshest response I’ve received in over a thousand risks taken (other than the one time someone offered to sever my head from my body - more on that one another time).

I once approached a middle-aged man at a restaurant with the sense that God wanted me to encourage him. This man was seated alone when I sat myself down across the table from him. Obviously, I was completely violating his private space, and have since learned, that if I do feel something from the Spirit for someone, I would approach the individual, kneel down next to the table, then ask if it was OK that I share what was on my heart for them.

In this case, before I could even share the thought, the man told me,

“I am only going to say this one time. Back the f**k away from my table right now or I am going to beat your a**!”

Now, that’s a harsh response - one likely a bit harsher than even my actions deserved.

Still, I invaded his space.

I, of course, did just as he suggested.

I said,

“I’m very sorry to have bothered you and will respect your desire to be left alone. God bless you.”

I felt horrible after that and wondered why in the world I chose to sit down at his table, which was arrogant of me to do. But I asked God to give me a heart for that man and to pray for him even though not there present with him. And I pray for him now. Jesus, touch his life and deliver him into the fullness of a calling which could only have come from you. Raise him up to be a true leader.

You may have just read this story and take it as confirmation that you should never risk, ever.

But, when you mathematically consider that the worst story I can think of - out of hundreds upon hundreds of public risks with strangers - the next closest rejection scenarios are, “Oh, I’m not interested.” or “Thank you, but I’m doing OK.”

It’s extremely rare that I’m rejected in a harsh tone even, let alone a harsh way. Please don’t allow one (or even many) discouraging rejections from keeping you from living love toward people who are amazing and fully worth loving.

I've spent considerable time, energy, and money working on several significant resources that I'm super thrilled to share along with One Thousand Risks. Next week, cool things are coming. Pay attention to your inbox (if you're not on my email list, scroll this page up or down and enter your email to join). Next Tuesday, I'll have some special bonuses that will be a tremendous pre-Thanksgiving encouragement.

Make sure you check your email from me then.

P.S. Read below for what Joel Richardson, Toby Morrell, and Andy Byrd had to say about One Thousand Risks, as well as a brief excerpt from the book. 

Kind Words from Friends:

Joel Richardson, New York Times Best-selling author, speaker, filmmaker, missions catalyst.

"One Thousand Risks is a great reminder that God rewards faith, is ever-present in times of struggle, and truly desires to continue working through us, even as He works in us. Any follower of Jesus who wants to develop a life of greater risk in God needs to read this book. Chad Johnson is fighting fear for a messy, extravagant life with Jesus. Now you can too."

Toby Morrell, Co-Founder /

"Chad is the most innocent, naive, generous, friendly criminal you could ever meet. This guy is just wild. In the same sentence, he’s totally sold out to God and Christ and yet also struggles with everything that everybody else does––almost like there’s this attraction that he has to darkness and light that just wars inside of him. You don’t feel more encouraged than when you’re around Chad. There is a real spirituality to Chad that makes you believe. Chad makes you feel great even when you’re saying the worst things about yourself."  

Andy Byrd, YWAM / Circuit Riders / Fire & Fragrance Ministries

"It is amazing to watch how God is raising up so many unique voices with a passion for Christ-centered living and cultural reformation. Chad shares my heart to raise up a revival generation that lives in the confluence of a zealous love for God and a sincere love for others! May Jesus work through One Thousand Risks to equip you for a life more extravagant than anything you could imagine." 

One Thousand Risks, an Excerpt:

A devilish lie may tempt you while reading these chapters: Chad is special. He’s someone with a unique gift for stepping out of the ordinary, making the uncomfortable look all too easily alluring, able even to pull rabbits out of his spiritual top hat. This is precisely why it’s critically important for me to share with you that I still fall to unremarkable old sin. I’ve included successes and failures in an effort to impart to you everything I’ve learned about developing a life of risk, and to prove that success rarely makes an appearance without failure somewhere nearby. If God can move through me to touch those He so dearly loves, then I need no more evidence; He can—with equal parts compassion and power—flow through you. It’s only grace dispensed from a good Father that any of us have made it this far. If these pages don’t declare what the Holy Spirit aims to accomplish—convict sinners, empower saints—they and I will have done you no service at all. 

I’ve included a selection of risks in the chapters that follow with the hope that my stories will serve your story. The risks with a number and date mark those that occurred during my dare, along with several taken before and after the one thousand risks time frame. Stepping out of comfort for a prolonged season was a vital start. Blossoming into and equipping you for a life of risk is what I’m striving after and praying for. One Thousand Risks is proof that God is still setting you up for adventure.