Some of the time, the issue is simply that entrepreneurial church-planting pastors have a hard time staying in one place for very long. One of the reasons pastors want to quit is they are more likely church planters than long-term pastors.
“Restlessness and feeling a desire for another city,” was one pastor’s response to my question.
5. Coveting Others’ Gifts
Even though only a small percentage of the churches in the world see rapid numeric growth, it is these stories of fast-growing churches that get promoted the most in the church world.
Add to this, because of the connectivity of the Internet, that everyone has access to the most gifted preachers and teachers around. One pastor named his struggle for what it is: “coveting others’ gifts, leadership, fruitfulness.” If you are a “normal” pastor of a “normal” church, this can lead to great discouragement. It can cause you to question if you alone are struggling with difficult people or a difficult context.
One pastor responded (ironically, via Twitter) to my question on what’s made him want to quit recently: “Twitter. Following people who always seem to have the momentum and success and few struggles. Seriously—it has gotten to me.”
6. Lack of Change
“Stagnation in the church that won’t change gets me down a lot,” was one pastor’s response to my question. One of the discouraging reasons a pastor wants to quit is a sense that things in the church are not changing or progressing. One pastor cited a “lack of change … doing the same things the same ways without vision for the why behind it all.”
Pastors are pouring out their lives in order to see transformation—change in people, a neighborhood or an entire city. When things seem stuck, it can feel like it’s time to throw in the towel. One pastor described it as a “lack of mission: feeling as if we’re just spinning our wheels. Spiritual apathy among leaders who were ‘with’ us.”