Most of what I've read and hear from Carey Nieuwhof, I really like. He gives some good advice that I will offer a little later in this note, but specifically, he focuses on the following:

29% of Pastors want to quit: 

How to keep going when you’ve lost confidence in yourself? Carey Nieuwhof using George Barna as a resource.

I was a pastor of churches for a long time, four years, nine years, four years, and then 21 years. This adds up to 38 years. I wanted to quit many times. I didn’t keep count, but those feelings were there more often than I care to admit.  Being a pastor and leading a church is difficult.  Someone once asked me, after I came on the cabinet if it had been fun.  I had to give the answer as no, rewarding yes, meaningful yes, but fun, no. It was a lot of work and required many sacrifices.  I am glad I didn’t quit.  Many things that seemed so big at the time I barely remember, but I remember well the relationships, the mission, the lives that were touched, and the tremendous faithfulness of God and the way God worked in my own life and family and in the lives of many others.  It has very much been worth it. 

If we are thinking about quitting or if we’ve lost confidence; it could be very easy to feel this way after the last two years.  Ministry is difficult enough without the addition of a pandemic, political turmoil, and denominational division.

Carey’s Advice:

1) Look to the confidence of others when you’ve lost confidence in yourself.

Find those people and hang on to them. Every leader needs someone who believes in them when they’ve stopped believing in themselves.

2) Know that the greener grass you imagine is spray painted

You know that green grass you see when you think about what you’ll do next?  Its spray painted. The moment you get into that perfect job/career you’ll discover that it’s got a whole host of problems you didn’t anticipate.  And you’ll soon realize you brought another problem with you --- you brought yourself into the new situation.

3) Leave on a good day, in a better season

Its not that you can never leave…. it’s just if you step back, do it after you’ve prayed, consulted with the wisest people you know, considered all the options carefully, prayerfully considered it some more, and developed a well-thought-through plan for yourself and your church.

I’ll add the reason I never quit. I always felt that I was doing what God wanted me to do. This was a constant source of strength and courage.  When things were going well, or things were going bad, I had a consistent sense from the beginning of a ministry that I was doing what God wanted me to do, be a pastor.

When I did step out of pastoral ministry into my role in the conference, I left on a good day, in a better season.

Rev. Mike Ramsdell, Executive Director
Center for Evangelism, Mission & Church Growth