As I do church consulting with congregations that are often unhealthy, I wonder why more pastors don’t just quit. On the mission field, I wonder why missionaries don’t just come home when the soil is hard. What I’ve learned from leaders is that they stay in tough places because of:
- Calling. They can’t deny that God called them there, so they’re not willing to leave until they sense His call elsewhere.
- Conviction. That is, they deeply know they are where they’re supposed to be. They might try to ignore that conviction at times, but they come back to it.
- Commitment. These leaders just don’t run easily. When they make a commitment, they keep it.
- Compassion. The work may be tough, but leaders who stay love the people they lead.
- Companions. Friends—genuine, deep, lifetime—friends are there. Thus, leaders don’t walk on hard soil alone.
- Courage. They aren’t afraid to confront divisive people or issues, and they’re unafraid to stand strong when others fall around them.
- Character. These leaders have a commitment to godliness—and that godliness won’t let them leave without God’s clear command.
- Contentment. They’re unusual, but some leaders like the challenge of a tough place. They would never be happy in waters that are only smooth.
- Compensation. I know no other way to say this: some leaders stay because of the money. They tolerate a lot to keep money in the bank.
- Closure. God gave them a vision for their ministry, and the vision isn’t fulfilled yet. So, it’s not time to go.
What other reasons would you add?