7- Things to Do When You’re Ready to Quit – Words to Live by
By Pastor Lonnie G. McCowan
Have you ever felt like quitting your job, family, school, marriage, dreams or your goals? Sure you have … we all have at some point. I was talking to a Pastor recently who is ready to quit. The church he is at. He said being there is causing him to experience depression, It’s severe frustration, the kind that keeps you up at night, even for weeks.
The truth is we can’t control our environment. We can’t control other people and their reactions to us. We can only control how we respond to life.
Here are seven things I encouraged you can do:
That’s an obvious answer, but it’s the most powerful answer. The question I had for him is: Have you really prayed? Have you prayed for God to change the circumstances or for Him to change you? There’s a huge difference in those two prayers.
2. Remember the good times.
I keep a file of memories. Notes I’ve received of encouragement. Emails that came at “just the right time.” I store them in a special file and, on especially difficult days, I pull out this file and review better days. My life has been filled with seasons. Some good and some bad. I want to remember the good times when I’m experiencing the bad. And I’m always encouraged, looking back, that better days are ahead. Again.
3. Share your burdens.
Now is not the time to be proud. You need some people with whom you can share your burdens. Be honest. Listen, pastor, don’t believe the lie that pastors have to live life alone. You don’t. Find a trusted leader in the church. Don’t share with a motive to stir trouble and don’t gossip, but be honest. Share your side, not anyone else’s. The goal is to get the support of a listening ear you need. (Don’t be afraid to get professional help, if needed.)
Many times, in my experience, these days come most when we are tired. Would it be better to disappear for a short time or disappear altogether? Of course a short time you can’t sustain your best work long when you are experiencing these emotions, it will only make your life more miserable. Get away and rest. NOW!
5. Renew your heart.
Remind yourself of the vision to which you were called. You weren’t called by man but by God. He loves you and wants to invest in you. He has a plan for your life. Lean into Him again and allow Him to restore your passion for Him that is bigger than the place where He has you now.
6. Do what you can.
Do the best work you can within the church context you are called to do it in. You may not be able to impact the entire church, but you can impact some, You’ll need to find your fulfillment in smaller wins right now, but allow those moments in ministry to fuel you and keep you going.
7. Learn all you can.
We learn most in the hardest days. Those aren’t necessarily helpful words to hear in times like this, but they are so incredibly true. Keep a journal of your experiences; what happens and how you feel about them. You will use these insights in the days to come and look back on this as a significant growth experience personally and professionally. If you learn things that make you better later, this won’t be a wasted period of your life and ministry, but may even prove to be a valuable period.
Lonnie G. McCowan is pastor at The Miracle Center of Ventura, in Ventura, CA. He can be contacted through email firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.miraclecenterventure.com.