There will be multiple times in your career when you are going to want to quit. it is natural. we want to run away when life gets the hardest. but that is when you need to hang in. there will be times when you feel that ministry is not fair, that you are not making a difference, that you are not appreciated. Times when you question your calling and your ability to lead. this is what builds character.
no one said it was going to be easy. if you have chosen to be a youth pastor or some sort of lay leader then you gave up your right to a lot of stuff. you gave up your right to whine, complain and make excuses - at least that is what John Wooden says. the guy is one year short of a hundred and he is still spreading that message. what a lot of peeps know about him is that he won ten NCCA college basketball championships in his career. what most peeps do not know is that he had to work up to that feet over a long period of time. in his books he talks of the hard times and that it was not always an easy road. but the guy always stuck with it.
you may be in a church of ten students or a thousand. but we will all deal with the same thoughts, doubts and realities of youth ministry. you as the leader cannot quit. you are the only one who cannot quit. peeps will come and go in your ministry. many will say that they do not share your vision or do not think that you are going in the right direction. of course they are going to say that. that is why they are not the leader of your group and you are. leaders see things the way they should be and not as they are at the present time.
you have to stick to your guns and know that you are on the right track, no matter what. and you may be asking, “MO, sometimes i don’t know if i am even on the right track - what then???” well, my thought on that is that if you are confiding in men and women who are advising you, those more wise than you and further along in years as a Xtian, then that will up your chances of being on the right track. don’t cop out and not take chances. make assessments, get advice, and move forward. but don’t quit... ever!
sometimes you will have to cut your losses. there will be peeps in your ministry who do not get the vision and want to do stuff their way. now, if you are very clear about the way you are going in your ministry then you will not have any problem standing up for your principles and decisions. but this is where you need to be completely focused, knowing that you are on the right track. seek advice often and do not be afraid to be wrong.
a leader gives away all the credit and takes all the blame. it comes with the territory. peeps will talk crap about you and your failures, and most of the time they will be right. but if you fail forward, as John Maxwell says, you will not make that mistake again and your ministry will continue to grow. part of being a leader is making bad choices. but as you move on in experience you will do that less and less. you will become more intuitive and gain a better understanding about how to avoid the pitfalls. but you will not be able to do this without first failing.
the bottom line though, through all of this, is not never give up. Conrad Hilton once said, “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit.” so there you have it. if you dare to call yourself a leader, then the only time you should ever speak of quitting is when you are telling someone else that they should not do so. get out there and fight.