I’ll just say it: when a volunteer quits, it’s frustrating. Sometimes they move away. Sometimes they have babies and take off for months trying to adjust. And sometimes they just underestimate their capacity for serving and how much time it would take. Maybe they finally understand your vision and can’t get on board. There is a myriad of reasons, but at the end of the day, the result is the same: there is a hole in your team. Depending on the reason, it could be coupled with disappointment in the volunteer or yourself as a leader.

I wish I could say my default expression is faith, but it isn’t. It’s frustration. It’s faithless and selfish. When I succumb to frustration, I am demonstrating my belief that the I am the most important thing. My fears are on full display. I wish frustration wasn’t so natural for me. I want to be a bulwark of faith and trust, but I am not. I’m a work in progress. Thankfully, Jesus hasn’t given up on me and constantly reminds me of three things to lead me out of frustration and into a posture of trust.

God Wants This Church Planted More Than I Do

God’s plan to save the world is the local church. I’ve never seen in the Bible any other plan. There is no Plan B. Planting this church was not my idea. It was God who called me here. Why in the world would I think that I am doing this all alone?

Jesus Loves This Church More Than I Do

I didn’t bleed and die for this church. Jesus did. I am not as patient with her as Jesus was and is. Basically, she is not “my” church. The church belongs to Jesus. He has a plan for her and will take care of her. This is essential to remember because, even though I lead a local church, I am part of the church, the people Jesus lived, died, and rose again for. I need Jesus to do heart work in me, which he does through the Spirit.

The Spirit Is More Committed to My Sanctification Than I Am

Fear and frustration, as sinful as they may be, are opportunities to confess, repent, and believe the gospel. I typically don’t see it this way immediately. I normally worry and fret and wonder if the whole church will fall apart because so-and-so quit. Every single time I respond with fear or frustration, I demonstrate selfishness and lack of trust. Whatever is not of faith is sin. Neither God, Jesus, nor the Spirit

Neither God, Jesus, nor the Spirit was surprised when that volunteer quit. The sovereign Trinity has a plan. The Spirit of God calls us to trust that plan. He reminds us that a new volunteer now has the opportunity to be discipled and developed. The Spirit convicts us of our own self-trust and beckons us to trust he who is faithful, true, and in complete control. It’s best we get to it.

Cody Deevers

Cody Deevers

Cody Deevers is the pastor of Valley Life | Arrowhead. He is a regular writer for LifeWay Pastors.