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Never Say Quit

Craig Jutila

I recently sent an audiotape titled What My Parents Taught Me About Leadership...Never Say "I Quit" to our children's ministry volunteers. I remember my mom continuously telling me, "Never give up; keep on trying; don't quit."

Why was this value so important to my parents that they ingrained it in me? They knew that if I just hung in there, I'd reap the benefits of not quitting and not giving up. They knew I'd come to understand the value of tenacity-the satisfaction of completing what I started.

Tenacity has gotten a bum rap over the last decade or so. In today's culture, tenacity is often viewed as being abrupt, even abrasive. Instead, tenacity and the will to continue should be construed as assertiveness, not aggressiveness.

Most people give up right before they see the benefits. They get discouraged, drained, and depleted. They view difficulty as a deterrent to continue. We need to remind our volunteers to never give up, never surrender, never walk away. We're making a kingdom difference by investing our lives in kids.

Cheer Them On

At your next training meeting, encourage your volunteers to be tenacious by cheering them on as they serve in children's ministry. Give volunteers pompoms (available at www.discountcheerleading.com under Promotional Items) and cards with the following reminders of why they should never give up in children's ministry.

I'm making a difference when I serve because...

  • kids' lives are at stake.
  • the children in this community need positive role models.
  • I represent Jesus to the kids in my class.
  • I can see changed lives as a result.
  • I learn as I give of myself.
  • I'm making a kingdom difference.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).

Close your training session with videotaped interviews of kids in your ministry answering the question: "What difference has your teacher (or small group leader) made in your life recently?"

The Bottom Line

As children's ministry leaders, we need to lead by example during the tough times. We need to model tenacity for our volunteers. This last week was a tough week at church, at home, and just about everywhere else. And when I listened closely, I could almost hear my mom saying...well...you know.


Craig Jutila is the children's pastor at Saddleback Community Church in Mission Viejo, California. Please keep in mind that phone numbers, addresses, and prices are subject to change.

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