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    Blessed Reductions:  Parting Ways With Those Who’ve Already Been Hired

    Steve Sjogren writes, "As painful as it is, along the path of progress to get to where we are aiming, there will always be a need to part ways with some who have already been hired. In troubled marriages I have heard hundreds of couples say, "You have changed! You aren't the person I married years ago…" To that I always interject, "Duh! Where did you get the idea that this person or anyone would not change? Not changing is the beginning of death." Unfortunately, due to many factors, some we have hired end up taking a different path than we had initially hoped..."

    Steve continues…

    I am not going to say here “That’s all well and good—we all leave blessing one another as we skip down the path holding hands.” Things often don’t end that way.

    What causes that? In a word - “hoodabada!” That’s a term my publishing friend Charlie Wear coined to mean all that is the opposite of love. If love “believes the best, hopes the best” (1 Cor. 13), hoodabada comes along in close working relationships and due to a lack of communication, people begin to assume the worst, believe the worst possible scenario about others.

    No matter how you are wired, it is virtually impossible to continue to work with others who don’t respect you. Likewise it is very difficult to continue to work with those you don’t respect, for whatever reason. The issue of respect is the “fatal” issue, the hemlock that puts an end to any hope of salvaging a relationship in the near future.

    For those who cling to the Matt. 18 principle (I walk in that) there is a difference between living Matt. 18 out and continuing to employ someone with foundational respect issues toward you as either the senior leader or the organization. Letting them go is absolutely called for – then, later, begin to work on the Matt. 18 end of things.

    Most non-growing churches don’t understand this simple idea. In the kingdom we don’t have the luxury of living in a completely ideal environment. Yes, Jesus will be glorified and we will be biblical, but we cannot spin our wheels and de-motivate many others in the meantime while this darkness continues.

    FOR DISCUSSION: Agree or Disagree?  When you comment, please tell whether you’re a staff member or a senior pastor.  I’m wondering how differently these two different groups view this issue.

    You can read more thoughts from Steve here...


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    1. Rich on Thu, April 12, 2007

      I would agree, mostly with this.  I am not the senior pastor, but have been in positions of having to fire and hire as a pastor on the leadership team in more than one setting.  Firing people is never fun—from either side of it—but sometimes has to happen. 

      I believe one thing missing here is the work of actually building respect that me the leader needs to own.  That is harder sometimes.  This short-sighted approach offered here leaves no room for this.  It basically assumes that there are no weaknesses on the leader’s part that might be causing the lack of respect.  Is it ever kosher to earn respect, or should us leaders just demand it and go unquestioned?  It is expedient to fire the uncomfortable and then hire yes-speaking-pansies, but rather difficult to herd hard-core leaders.  That point is missing in this conversation. Is leading about creating and protecting a cult of personality or is it about shaping the thinking, character and vision of a community of leaders that reproduce other leaders?


    2. Sue on Sat, April 14, 2007

      Having been a part of one church firing, it is awful.  People choose sides and the pastor and his family are damaged forever.  However, in two other situations, the pastor should have been fired because he went on to split the church as he wasn’t mature enough to allow disagreement.  He insisted those who disagreed with him needed to leave.  In both instances the man leading was narcisstic and did not have the “body of Christ” as the focus but his own private issues.

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