Summary: Peter is given as an example of one of the first preachers who wanted to quit, from this text we can glean three questions that can cause us to desire to quit.
“When The Excitement Fades;
And you feel like quitting.”
[Sermon suggested in an article by the same name by Ed Underwood. (Kindred Spirit publication of Dallas Seminary, Spring 1992) pp. 10-13]
(All Scriptures quoted unless specified are New King James Version)
Quitters!!! Everybody knows one, almost everyone has been hurt by one, but nobody wants to be one. One of the most discouraging aspects of the ministry is the average church attender’s inability or unwillingness to stick it out. When the going get tough, they get going. When the way gets demanding then the ranks thin dramatically.
You may not be aware of it but the same temptation to quit is faced by the man behind the pulpit. I want to share with you the message I preached to the Arkansas Baptist Bible Fellowship preachers on Tuesday. I thought a first that I would change the perspective of this message being written to preachers, and then I thought that might be beneficial for you to hear it. You may are or may not be aware, Men are leaving the ministry at alarming rates today. At least part of the problem is the unreal expectations and pressures. That great giant of preachers Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “I feel as though I had created a great machine and it is ever grinding, grinding and that I may yet be its victim. No one knows the toil and care I have to bear.”
H. B. London and Neil Wiseman in their book Your Pastor Is An Endangered Species says that “Pastors dwell in a world of unfinished tyranny, where they can’t shut the door, walk out of the office, or know that something is completely finished. There’s always another Bible study, sermon, phone call, committee, hospital call, home visit, or gathering clamoring for attention.” [H. B. London and Neil Wiseman. Your Pastor Is An Endangered Species. (Wheaton, Illinois, Victor Books, 1996.) p. 31-32] The pastor is on duty twenty-seven hours a day, thirty-nine days a month, 412 days a year.
Lloyd Rediger in his book, Clergy Killers, says that Pastors are “…still expected to produce reassuring sermons, exciting programs and manage the church budget without causing discomfort to anyone but himself.” [G. Lloyd Rediger. Clergy Killers: Guidance for Pastors and Congregations Under Attack. (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997) p. 28]
As a result of those pressures and the amount of stress that is faced in the ministry statistics tells that 50% of ordained ministers across denominational lines are out of the pulpit within 5 years, that indeed 1,500 pastors leave the ministry each and every month in this country. [Focus on the Family].
Peter is given as an example of one of the first preachers who wanted to quit. Tonight I want us to see three questions that can cause us to desire to quit.
In Matthew 28:7 the resurrected Lord had promised that he would meet up with the disciples in Galilee. They went to Galilee and waited and waited and waited. When some days had passed and still Jesus had not shown up the disciples, primarily Peter became impatient. Peter, disappointed in the delay, announced that he was going fishing. Now there is nothing innately wrong with him going fishing, but problem is that was a sign that they were drifting away from the calling of God upon their lives.