No leader wants to be a quitter but every leader often thinks about quitting and starting something different. I know leaders think about quitting because I’m a leader and I think about quitting at least one a month. I know there’s a time to walk away and there are times when the best thing to do is quit because God is leading you to walk away, but there is something powerful that can happen when you bravely choose not to quit. When you choose to stay…stay focused, stay determined, stay engaged, and stay dependent on God you fuel stability and consistency in the organization you lead.
I was watching a documentary about Coach Steve Spurrier on the SEC Network and I was reminded of the power of not quitting by the “Old Ball Coach.” When Steve was a kid he was an amazing basketball and baseball player and he was an intense competitor. Steve won the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback at Florida but he did not start playing quarterback until his junior year in high school. With football Steve saw the need for consistent leadership while he was on the field. On the documentary his teammates in high school said during every game at halftime he had one message he would push. Steve would look into the eyes of each player he could and remind them that the game was not over and they should keep playing. When Steve Spurrier became Coach Spurrrier that same mantra held true. No matter what, keep playing!
I’m not sure about you but I need to hear that often. No matter what is happening in ministry we have to keep playing, keep engaged, keep moving. There are three things that happen when you choose not to quit…
- When you choose not to quit you choose to depend on God’s strength and not your own. // Every time I want to quit and I don’t is another opportunity to lean in to God’s strength. By staying focused I am also trusting God to do what I can’t in my own strength.
- When you choose not to quit you build trust with those you lead. // You will never be able to substitute the trust that comes with being locked in with a ministry. People respect ability as a leader but it’s the battles won over time that build trust.
- When you choose not to quit you embrace God’s call over selfish fantasy. // We all can become trapped by watching other churches and other people through social media and think that ministry and life are better somewhere else. That’s selfish fantasy and our culture thrives on it. We are always chasing something better. When we stay we choose to trust in God’s call and wait on him to tell us when to move on. Never walk away from a calling from God unless God has clearly led you to make that move.