When You Want to Throw In The Towel

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“…Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” ~ Hebrews 12:1, NASB

I have a photographer friend who is always the first to respond when he sees my perennial Facebook status posting, “I quit!”

“You can’t,” he reminds me in private messages, “People need you.”

Typically, he cajoles me out of my mood, also comforting and offering his support in Christian brotherhood when I struggle.  This friend knows the personal life I lead.  He has also seen many aspects of the ugly underbelly of ministry.  But more than that, he has seen the prevailing power of God.  He knows the Lord has a hold on me that I can’t walk away from.  Besides being a cherished family friend, I think this is why he is so invested in encouraging me when my resolve is fading.

Everyone in ministry needs a friend like this.  Frequently and more commonly, I think we need to provide this boost to one another as colleagues in ministry.  Each of us has times where we want to call it quits.  Spurring one another on to the “finish line” is definitely an essential aid to keep us hanging on.

Unfortunately, the Lord doesn’t always provide us with tangible evidence of our forward movement in His work.  Perhaps it is to train us to walk by faith and not by sight.  Regardless, working in the Lord’s service can be incredibly wearying and discouraging.  Those we serve can be unreasonably demanding.  Our training in given areas may have fallen short in preparing us to meet the challenges we face in special needs ministry.  And with so much need and too few serving in this type of work, it can drag a person down in a hurry.  This doesn’t even take into account those who fail to catch the vision of disability ministry and the lack of funds to support the work.

Because of all these serious leadership challenges in this unique field of ministry, it is more important than ever that we invest in relationships with one another in the community.  Interfacing as leaders, having good laughs together about the type of work we do, and encouraging one another to stick to this very worthy work is a must.  Mutual support in life is always important, but in special needs ministry, it is critical.

Who are you supporting with mutuality?  Do you find yourself feeling like you’re working in a ministry vacuum and need to connect to others?  Let us know!  Continue to spur one another on to greatness.  This is also an essential part of your call to leadership.

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  1. #1 by andrewjohnpalmisano on May 7, 2013 - 9:50 am

    Hey Barb, thanks for the thoughtful post. I have also thought about dropping out. A calling is a calling. Great disability ministry is possible and is being done. Unfortunatly so many churches are broken. Many churches are on auto pilot. They struggle to put forward basic functions. We have been thinking differently about what churches to partner with. It’s important to find churches who want to serve the disabled.

  2. #2 by David on December 15, 2014 - 4:55 pm

    It is not always easy to be a leader. Particularly in ministry where people choose not to attend some type of service. When I look at other people in industries outside of ministry frequently they quit to soon. When leaders are persistent and commit to a cause they will find a way to push through when the going get tough.

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