Six Considerations to Firing a Staff Member Who Is Not a Good Fit

Thom Rainer
Thom Rainer

It’s one of the toughest parts of church leadership. You feel like a staff member is not a good fit. Or the elders or personnel committee feel the same about the pastor. You are confronted with the reality that you might need to ask that person to step down.

What’s next? Many churches, unfortunately, believe you should never ask a person to leave unless it’s a moral failure. “It’s just not the Christian thing to do,” they might say.

But good stewardship requires leaders to ask what is best for the entire church. In reality, such a move is often best for the person affected.

I have seen these situations handled poorly.

One pastor let a staff member go after telling the staff member that he, the pastor, and his wife had prayed about the decision. Really? The pastor’s wife was a part of the decision?

In another church the personnel committee let a pastor go without any due process. The first time they let him know there was a serious issue was the night they fired him.

But other church leaders have handled these situations with wisdom, grace, and compassion. I have learned much from these leaders.

Here are six key lessons they taught me.

1. They prayed about it fervently.

They did not act impulsively. They sought God and His wisdom.

2. They made certain the “bad fit” was real.

Sometimes the issues are not what they appear to be on the surface. There may be some other person or persons who are the real problems.

3. They sought input from others.

They really listened to wise counsel. They sought others who would really be objective.

 

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Dr. Thom Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.