Seth Godin’s little book, The Dip, addresses the question of when to quit and when to stick. The subtitle—a Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) –is really what caught my attention. I’ve been wondering lately if it’s time to quit.
We all find ourselves at various points in our life questioning whether it’s time to quit something—a new endeavor, a relationship, a job—or stick it out. Is it worth the hassle? Is this a dead end? Or is success just around the corner if only I will persevere? Complicating the dilemma is the way most of us are conditioned from childhood to avoid quitting. We’ve been told again and again that quitting is bad, that no one likes a quitter.
Godin defines a Dip as “a temporary setback that you will overcome if you keep pushing.” He points out that successful people know the difference between a Dip and a dead end, and they are not afraid of quitting when they realize that they are facing a dead end. They ignore the childhood voices and unabashedly quit—fast and often. By quitting, they maintain their focus and motivation for what really counts. Consequently, they have what it takes to stick, to push through the dip and taste success.
Just this week I was speaking with colleagues who, like me, are challenged to infuse life and energy into their equipping processes. Some of the realities we contend with include our nation’s bent towards consumerism, the preoccupation of many with how they are going to provide for their family, and calendars that are so full there is no margin for serving inside—let alone outside—the church. It’s enough to make an equipper wonder if it’s time to quit.
And maybe it is time to quit… quit so that we can stick! When was the last time you took an objective look at the efficacy of your equipping ministry? Consider…
- asking for feedback from people who have recently gone through your equipping and assimilation process.
- ruthlessly evaluating each and every step of that process. What are its strengths? Where are its growing edges?
- fearlessly quitting those practices that have lost their effectiveness or have become stale from years of use.
- researching fresh ways of equipping. Talk to equipping leaders from other churches… from other denominations… from other parts of the country.*
As equipping leaders, our call is to guide believers into a right understanding of their place in kingdom service. Quitting some of the old programs, processes, and applications in order to live into that big picture just may be the means by which we can ride out the Dip and stick… stick to our God-given ministry of equipping the saints for service!
*Where can you connect with equipping leaders from other churches, denominations and parts of the country all at the same time—and receive fresh training for your ministry? At the LifeServe National Conference! I’ll be there, and I’m looking forward to having an equipping conversation with you!