I’ve lived way too much of my life in a rush: From one appointment, adventure, problem, project, sermon, service, pulpit, place, joy, job to the next. I remember in 1996 reading the words from Eugene Patterson’s article written in 1981: “The one piece of mail certain to go unread into my wastebasket is the one addressed ‘to the busy pastor.’ Not that the phrase doesn't describe me at times, but I refuse to give my attention to someone who encourages what is worst in me.” Of course, I am not a pastor, but his words stung and still sting me as a minister.
One of the primary mistakes I see ministers make is leaving a congregation too soon. It takes time to develop truth and relationships. It takes time to learn what the specific needs of a congregation are. It takes time for people to get used to your style (at least it does for people to adjust to mine). It takes time to build the credibility and influence to sway peoples’ opinions. It takes time for you to adjust to the “way things are done” that comprise the idiosyncrasies innate in every congregation. It takes time for you to learn the personalities of leaders. Don’t give up too soon, don’t quit too soon, remember that some of the best things come with patience. God may have you there even if it seems to be a very difficult place to be. Don’t quit to quickly.