I can’t or I don’t want to?

BY: Dietrich Kirk


“My dad always said, ‘99% of I can’t is I don’t want to!‘” said Bishop Jonathan Holston during his jurisdictional conference interviews.

As a side note, he quoted his dad three times in a 20 minute interview; clearly his dad was a significant influence on his life. I wrote this quote down immediately recognizing the truth in this statement. A Google search didn’t produce anyone else who may have said this over the years, so I will always give credit to his dad.

My children came to mind when I reflected on the soundness of this statement. “I can’t…tie my shoe, ride my bike, turn a cartwheel, do my homework, or ______!” Parents all across the country and around the world respond with a yes…you can!

But what about adults, who are less likely to speak the words, “I can’t”?  Does this statement apply to us, too? Are we more likely to say we don’t want to do something? As adults, our fear of failure kicks in and instead of saying we can’t do something…we simply don’t try to do it.

99% of I can’t is I don’t want to!

So as adults, it plays out more like this:

I can’t do it, because I don’t want to…

have to learn something new,

work hard,



be honest about my weakness, or

rock the boat.

Is the church being crippled by leadership that can’t do things or by leaders who don’t want to?


No comments found.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

CYMT Alumni still choose to engage with CYMT events and curriculum.


CYMT’s new partnership with CSM, City Service Mission, opens doors to impact more students across the country, and this is only the beginning. Continuing to believe that we are better together, CYMT has partnered with CSM to bring a “Collide-like” experience to cities across the nation. This partnership allows CYMT to live into our gifts of developing a theologically rich curriculum that enables students to reflect using the WOW Theological Method, ultimately creating a mission trip experience that is much more than a week of community service.


How to Have a Ministry Trip in 2021


Spring has sprung!  In many areas, the weather has turned warmer, which means summer is, well, “hot” on its heels. If your youth ministry might be looking to make a difference this summer. […]

A Deep Dive Into a God View on the Wow


A Deep Dive Into a God View on the Wow The fourth step in the Theology Together’s Wow Theological Reflection Method is “God.” After exposing youth […]