The alarm breaks through the early Monday morning mental fog. As you roll over in bed to hit the snooze button you audibly groan and think, “Maybe it’s time to quit and let someone younger teach those rowdy kids on Sundays.”
Maybe your defeated feelings don’t wait until Monday to awaken. As soon as the last preschooler is picked up from your room on Sunday morning you think, “I don’t think the children learned anything today. Perhaps I should quit.”
STOP! I’m serious! From where do you suppose those negative thoughts come? They definitely don’t come from the One about whom Paul says, “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).
So, what should be your response when you are ready to quit kids ministry? Whether you’re a volunteer or a paid church staff member, you might benefit from some of these suggestions:
- In the name of Jesus, tell Satan to leave you alone!
- Recognize that your discouragement is real and you’re not the first person to want to quit your place of service. Even Elijah wanted to give up. (1 Kings 19:3-4)
- Read, meditate on, and memorize God’s promises in Scripture such as Psalm 23 and Galatians 6.
- Rest. Eat healthy food. Elijah did. (1 Kings 19:5-8) Go ahead and take a Sunday off from teaching (Gasp!) and attend adult Bible study and worship, instead.
- Call out to God in prayer and ask Him to affirm your call to kids ministry. Tell God you’re frustrated and tired. Then, listen. (1 Kings 19:9-14)
- Reverse your focus from internal to external, and enlist a ministry partner. Again, that’s what Elijah did. (1 Kings 19:15-21)
You may be thinking, “So, is quitting ever the right thing to do?” Most of the time, God doesn’t call us to quit. However, God may call us to do something else. Until then keep moving forward, remembering Jesus’ warning: “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Landry Holmes leads Lifeway’s Kids Ministry Publishing Team and is a kidmin volunteer at his church. He is a husband, dad, father-in-law, and dog person.