The Rewards of Risk


Taking risks on Capitol Hill, and doing so by rethinking how we live out our faith in Jesus (if you are a follower, although these ideas seem valid for everyone) would be dramatic. We’ve noted in prior weeks a congressional staffer’s ideas of more collaboration and a better rhythm of work and rest. I’ll add a third: no more using fear as a motivator. Each of these would require an element of risk, but they also present new opportunities, so let’s take a look at each:


(including with the other party, state or regional delegations, committees, leadership offices, and natural friendships)


  1.  Policy influenced by staffers not tied to a Member’s district
  2. Greater work-load in a culture already prone to overwork
  3. Many ideas, creating a lack of focus, clarity, and purpose


  1. Better policy decisions factoring in the nuances of more areas of the country
  2. Focused work-load that thrives on more human interaction
  3.  Ideas filtered through clear objectives lead to greater creative breakthroughs  and bolder solutions


(including health, nutrition, fitness, and time away from the city)


  1. Less immediate productivity
  2. Harder to find time to connect with coworkers
  3. A work culture with a bent towards laziness/unprofessionalism (Although as my editor rightly noted, Americans have a very long way to go before this would actually be a culture-wide problem).


  1. Longer-term productivity, including staff retention and institutional knowledge creating room for bigger policy solutions
  2. Interactions with coworkers are significantly more meaningful
  3. Greater focus and clearer objectives instill energy and passion in the workplace, making time for rest more defined and more productive because of the ideas that come out of it



  1. Grassroots less motivated
  2. Losing elections and issue campaigns
  3. Less short-term progress


  1. Grassroots more inspired
  2. Winning elections and issue campaigns by appealing to a broader audience, including millennials and others who are dissatisfied with the status quo
  3. Meaningful solutions, greater national unity, and a deeper sense of accomplishment and American greatness

As I’ve jotted these down, I don’t even think there’s a choice here, really. It’s time we tear up the old script we’ve been handed and write a new story of freedom. I’m also confident that this list is just the beginning. There are more ways we can pursue Truth and Beauty and creativity, and it’s time to discover them.

“Once you know what it takes to live a better story, you don’t have a choice. Not living a better story would be like deciding to die, deciding to walk around numb until you die, and it’s not natural to want to die.” –Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (p. 66).

Finally, as we think about how each of these could play out in a congressional office, on the campaign trail, or elsewhere, there are several good ideas outlined in the article Live Life at the Limits: How to Hack Your Flow from The Art of Manliness. There isn’t a set formula for how to live life authentically and adventurously, and so I recommend this article without comment, leaving each of us to think about how to bring creativity, collaboration, and flow into each of our workplaces. If we are intentional about doing so, I am convinced it would make a tremendous difference. I am convinced we could look at our political culture not out of fear and anxiety, but out of relief, and rest, knowing that LIBERATUS—we are set free.


In talking about risk, a closing note should be added about the work of LIBERATUS itself. We all know with certainty that Truth and Beauty are not the leading characteristics of our political culture. LIBERATUS is a journal because we need to begin a journey of thought to shift the paradigm. No one is really satisfied with the status of American politics. It’s time to change the story. A belief in freedom could and should be reflected in our work culture, our communication, and personal lives. If you agree with our message, share it with your friends! LIBERATUS is a journal, but it’s more than that. It’s a vision, a movement, an entirely new way of seeing all political engagement.

Take a risk with us, and contribute to LIBERATUS. Subscribe to The Journal. Apply to write, as part of our writing team or as a guest contributor. Our campaign for LIBERATUS Founders ends on October 31. Join the pursuit with us, and empower writers in American politics to engage culture by telling the story of healing through freedom. We're just starting this adventure; you can be part of it from the beginning.