Would you buy a cookbook authored by a celebrity chef who failed Onion Chopping 101 in a cooking demonstration on national television? Would you rush to acquire the latest health and fitness book if the author looked decidedly unhealthy and out of shape? Of course not.
So who, exactly, is Jessica Bealer, co-author of the book Don’t Quit: The Best Things in Ministry Come Over Time, and is she qualified to write a book on such a relevant—and potentially sensitive—topic?
First, you need to know Bealer was raised to appreciate the value of hard work. About herself she says, “Probably more than anything else, I want to be known as a person of character who works hard. That was definitely instilled in me by my dad, who is the hardest worker I’ve ever met.”
You might also want to know how she’s handled particularly difficult seasons of ministry. Like the time that, due to circumstances beyond her control, she worked 60+ hours a week for months on end. As she elaborates on the many things that collided to create this workplace perfect storm, Bealer doesn’t place blame or complain or even make excuses. Instead, she vocalizes concern for the team she was leading at the time, hoping they didn’t feel abandoned and alone until the workload eased and became more manageable for everyone involved.
And then there are the other “interesting” ministry moments. Rest assured she has weathered many over her 17+ years in multisite ministry. One occasion involves a volunteer, an angry parent, and Bealer acting as mediator. A vigilant police officer who was working church security that day was nearby and happened to witness the scene as it unfolded. This story didn’t end well for the parent, who was ultimately arrested for assaulting an officer.
Another ministry memory involves two toddlers, urine, and Bealer left trying to explain to the parents of Child A how Child B happened to “go potty” on Child A’s head. And this needed to be done with at least a modicum of solemnity, maturity, and remorse. Bealer describes this particular recollection as awkward-funny.
Within the pages of Don’t Quit, Bealer repeatedly reveals herself to be a more than qualified and credible subject matter expert on ministry, perseverance, and the inevitable highs and lows that come with the territory. Her seamless collaboration with co-author Gina McClain results in a book packed with solid information, insight born from hard-won experience, and a true passion for seeing ministry done right and well and for the long haul.