Why I Quit A Perfectly Good Job

I recently quit my job. I just walked away. What is weird is that it was a really good job at a church. Sadly, the words “church” and “good job” usually don’t go together. Just ask anybody in ministry.  

For almost nine years I served as the minister to families at a large, healthy megachurch with plenty of resources. My pastor was a man I respected (and who is widely respected by others). There was plenty of freedom to develop programs that made a difference in the lives of many people. I loved the team I worked with. The church even paid me generously.

Still, this great job didn’t stop me from taking my boss to lunch a few months ago and telling him, essentially, “I quit.”   

Why would any sane person abandon an opportunity like this? A job that I truly could have stayed at forever?

It’s not because I won the lottery or got an inheritance from a rich uncle. And I haven’t been socking away surplus cash from our 25 years of ministry in an attempt to retire early and move to the beach somewhere. (I said I was in ministry, not television ministry. There is a difference.)

I quit an important job to do something that Jenifer and I feel is far more important.

For the past 25 years of ministry, we have worked mainly with youth and families. About four years ago, we taught on an issue that we had never heard anyone address before. We taught several hundred parents about what it looks like to help their kids navigate the hyper-sexualized culture in which we live.

While the parenting of our five kids (now aged 7-22) has been hit and miss, one thing we feel that God has helped us do well is to lead our kids to think biblically about their sexuality. We have tried to communicate that it is one of God’s most wonderful gifts but that it needs to be guarded and protected. So far with our kids, God has been faithful.

As we taught those several hundred parents over those four Sundays, we realized that most people feel ill-equipped to talk with their kids about sex and relationships. Either due to brokenness from their own pasts or a “head in the sand” ignorance about what their kids are dealing with, most parents have not given much thought to helping their kids make wise choices about this stuff. Or they get there too late and don't start thinking about it until their kids are already way over their heads, something that is happening younger and younger.

We felt like God was leading us to develop the teaching materials a bit further. Opportunities to speak to church and community groups started opening up. We started writing about a parent’s responsibility in this area on our blog. We published a book back in February called “The Talks.” With a zero marketing budget, we have sold nearly two thousand copies.  

Fast forward a few years and we find God blessing the content of our “Critical Conversations” workshop for parents. The more we have taught it, the more people we find who are feeling empowered to step into this part of their kids’ lives. In addition, many adults are seeing God bring healing to their own brokenness. God is doing amazing things to bring joy to an area of life where many people have experienced nothing but pain.

The more that we talk about it, the more we realize that there is a significant void of help in this area. Few others in our churches and communities are coaching people to figure out exactly how to help their families navigate our hyper-sexualized culture.

A few years ago I heard somebody say: “Find the thing that God has called you to do, that if you don’t do it, the body of Christ will suffer.”

For nearly a quarter century, I have done an important job in the local church, but it is a job that just about anybody can do. Jenifer and I feel that if we don’t step out and give our lives to this issue, the body of Christ will truly suffer.

Today, INFO for Families is a ministry committed to helping people start their marriages right, keep their families strong, and (mainly) to guide the next generation to discover that God created sex for their good.

And if you haven’t figured it out yet, INFO is an acronym for Imperfect & Normal Families Only. We like that because it describes all of us. None of us has things figured out, but we are looking for help and guidance from a God who does.

As Jenifer and I transition from a stable job at a church to the establishment of a fledging non-profit, there are days when we are scared to death. But it is incredibly exciting. We have an overwhelming peace that comes from a clear calling by God to do something that matters. After all, if there weren’t any risk, we wouldn’t need Him.

So that’s why I quit a great job: to do something we feel is far more important.

As we start this new work, there are some ways you can help us.

Pray for us. Share our site and our blog posts on social media. Tell your pastor or church leaders about what we do and invite us to speak at your church. Leverage your connections in your PTA group to get us in front of parents of elementary and middle school students. Pray about partnering with us financially in this important work. Pray for us some more. Yeah....we definitely need that.

God is up to something big. Our family is just thrilled to be along for the ride.

Barrett JohnsonComment