Quiet Quitting and the Church

What do you think about “quiet quitting“? Is it:

  • a lazy, bored, don’t-do-more-than-you-have-to, take-the-money-and-run attitude toward work?
  • a necessary self-care corrective to a workplace and culture in overdrive that pushes us to do more and more, faster and faster?
  • “a step toward quitting on life” as Thrive founder Arianna Huffington has called it?
Image by mohamed_hassan from Pixabay

I suppose quiet quitting can take any of these forms depending on the person and situation. And although the term may be relatively new, the experience of quiet quitting isn’t—including in the church.

Like the church member once active in ministry who gradually withdraws from leadership and then quietly stops volunteering altogether. Like those who used to participate regularly in worship Sunday after Sunday but never returned after the lifting of pandemic restrictions and are now worshipping elsewhere or not at all. Even pastors might exercise a form of quiet quitting due to low salaries, high stress, or a mismatch between their ministry goals and those of their congregation.

One of the ironies about quiet quitting is that now it’s been named, it’s not so quiet. It’s raising some good questions about the nature and place of work in our lives, about healthy and unhealthy ways of engaging and disengaging in life, about meaning and relationships, priorities and passions, and whether we’re simply going through the motions and marking time. Quiet quitting is not so quiet now—and that’s a good thing.

Recommended articles:

Quiet Quitting, Vocation, and Values
by Judy Allen

From the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics, a quick overview of the “cultural chatter” around quiet quitting, the questions of value and vocation it raises, ending with three questions to consider: (1) “Why am I in this job?” (2) “What do I value?” (3) “How do I feel about those who are quiet quitting or, conversely, heading toward burnout? Am I threatened by either one?”

Pastors Are Quiet Quitting Their Churches
by Greg Smith

I appreciate the examples in this article, the author’s own experience, and some practical ways the church can respond, like praying for your pastor, advocating  for appropriate remuneration and time off, caring for the pastor’s family, giving your pastor breathing space to continue growing spiritually.

Are Christians Quiet Quitting?
by Trisha Taylor

This article offers some thoughtful reflection and a practical response:

The pandemic may have helped people recognize two things: they still sensed a connection to God even when they weren’t hustling—or—they actually hadn’t sensed a connection to God even when they were.


According to Gallup, one way to re-engage those who are quiet quitting is to have real conversations lasting at least 15 minutes with real people who are still in the organization. The idea is that we could talk with each other with curiosity and openness about what people are experiencing and what they need.


For more encouragement and resources on doing ministry better:

Author: April Yamasaki

I currently serve as resident author with a liturgical worship community, edit a quarterly devotional magazine, write online and in print publications, and often speak in churches and other settings. Published books include On the Way with Jesus, Four Gifts, Sacred Pauses, and other books on Christian living. Websites: AprilYamasaki.com and WhenYouWorkfortheChurch.com.

4 thoughts

  1. Quiet quitting is a wonderful gift Gen Z/millennials are giving to society. Gen X, for example, was supposed to grind themselves into the ground for a crumb from the boomer’s table. Work harder. Work longer. Maybe one day you’ll get a job you actually like. Grind. Grind. Grind. We had to take jobs we didn’t want to survive. Work long hours. Beg. Suck up. THANK YOU TO GEN Z AND MILLENNIALS for correcting how out of balance society has become with work. There is more to life than work and they are leading the way on this. This is not being “DONE”, this is a natural response to the society of self-indulgence and greed created by the boomers, and then perpetuated by Gen X out of desperation. It’s wonderful! What do you think is going to happen when you destroy the environment, make home ownership out of reach, and take away hope? People aren’t going to grind themselves for those reasons. God can take care of His Church. He can figure it out. God created Church.
    God created LIFE. God created existence. There is a culture of utter greed out there, and greed takes many forms, including working extremely long hours to feed the ego. Quiet quitting is an awesome social movement. I think it makes boomers feel uncomfortable as they so defined themselves by work, inside and the Church, and outside. People have a hard time with just “being” and filling those hours with the simple joy of being alive. Great discussion.

  2. Thank you for sharing these thoughts – definitely “there is more to life than work.” The rhythm of work and rest is embedded in creation. Both contribute to human flourishing–work as purposeful, creative, caring, and life-giving activity and rest as worship, joy, celebration, and knowing our limits. We would do well to reflect more on work and rest and live them out more fully.

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