Monday Morning Insights

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    The Top Ten Reasons for You Could Get Fired Today…

    The Top Ten Reasons for You Could Get Fired Today…

    A recent study provides the top ten reasons that pastors get fired.  I know that many who read this blog have been fired for one reason or another over their ministry career.  And for those who haven't been fired personally, they probably have had a role in letting someone on their staff go.  Take a look at these reasons and see if they ring true for you personally...

    1. Control issues (who should run the church)

    2. Poor people skills

    3. Church's resistance to change

    4. Pastor's leadership style (too strong)

    5. Church was already conflicted when the pastor arrived

    6. Decline in attendance and/or conditions

    7. Pastor's leadership style (too weak)

    8. Administrative incompetence on the part of the pastor

    9. Sexual misconduct

    10. Conflict with other staff

    Does this sound about right?  Have you been fired?  Was it for one of these reasons?  Have you had to fire someone?  Why?

    Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you!


    PS -- There are a few more reasons you could get fired here...


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    1. rob on Tue, July 06, 2010

      Hey John, I don’t find anything wrong (or sinful) with families working together in ministry necessarily either.  Except, everytime I’ve seen it, it seems excesive, especially if they fill the roles of paid staff. 

      For example - The Dad’s the Pastor, the Wife is the secretary, the son is the youth pastor, the daughter cleans the church, and on and on…

      I’d also like to hear the views of others on this.

    2. Jonathan on Tue, July 06, 2010

      Agreed.  In full disclosure…I worked with my father (S.P.) as the student pastor for a number of years.  My mother and sisters however steered clear of roles within the church for a number of reasons.

      My father struggled for a while with the idea of having me on staff b/c of the perception.  It lead to us putting some checks/balances in place via our advisory council.  Also, I made a personal decision to address him as ‘Pastor’ while at the office and in front of the congregation.  It went a long way as far as the perception of the relationship to the church.

      On top of that…I can say without a doubt that he required more of me than he did the rest of the staff.  Not in a spiteful way…but to take away any notion that special privilege was my ‘right’ as his son.

      I respect my father immensely and look back on my time w/ him with gratitude.  Not many people get the chance to experience that.

      We did face many challenges…but in the end…it all comes down to the Senior Pastor and his ability/calling to lead a community of faith.  I feel like I was an integral part of growing our church (father started it) in a way that no other person could be.  We did it as a family unit.

      With all the negatives about this type of thing…just thought I would share some of the positives.

    3. rob on Tue, July 06, 2010

      Hey John,

      I appreciate your comments, and I really appreciate the fact that your Dad was godly enough to set some checks and balances.  I’m not a Lead Pastor, but with God’s help I hope to be one someday.  I’ve worked on staff where the Lead Pastor hired everyone and anyone in his family.  In fact, I’d say that the only persons in his family that weren’t paid were those members that were too young for a job.

      Nevertheless, I wonder if there’s ever been a case when a Dad (Lead Pastor, for example) has fired his own family member, especially someone like a son?  Would these pastors actually put a family member out on the street or would they rather their church suffer?

      And if so, how can you keep that relationship in tact if you’ve fired them?  It seems to me that no matter how godly you try to be in this, you’ll always have favoritism because a non-family staff pastor could be fired, but a family member would be less likely.  If someone knows of a situation like this I’d like to know about it.

    4. BucketheadBaptist on Wed, July 07, 2010

      Hey where’s the list on “Top 10 Reasons your Pastor wants you to ‘visit another church’”?

    5. rob on Wed, July 07, 2010

      BucketheadBaptist - one reason your Pastor may want you to �visit another church’ is so he doesn’t have to be held accountable.  You may be the iron he needs to be sharpened by, yet he’d rather go around sharpening others as he overlooks his own dull spots.

    6. Jan on Thu, July 08, 2010

      Rob, I think you are naive in this.  Are you in ministry?

      We were fired from a church as youth pastors, because the parents were upset that their kids were “too committed” to the youth group and “church was becoming too important.”

      Essentially, these parents had power in the church and weren’t believers themselves.  They believed that the church should be a social activity and a place to schmooze and make business connections. The next guy they called had the title of “Youth Director” not “Youth Pastor”.

      Now, how were we not living up to what God called us to do?
      Kids were coming to Christ and now some of them in ministry.  I know that God called us there and that we did what He asked.

      Yes, God is definitely in control.  But sometimes He moves us on to other ministries through firing and through the wrongful actions of others.

      I know many people in ministry.  And many have been fired from churches for a lot of really sad reasons… one friend was a threat to the senior pastor who made sure he was gotten rid of when he got too popular and the people were responding to his ministry.

      The list goes on…

    7. rob on Thu, July 08, 2010

      Jan, Here’s the top ten reasons Pastors get fired according to this blog.

      1. Control issues (who should run the church)

      2. Poor people skills

      3. Church’s resistance to change

      4. Pastor’s leadership style (too strong)

      5. Church was already conflicted when the pastor arrived

      6. Decline in attendance and/or conditions

      7. Pastor’s leadership style (too weak)

      8. Administrative incompetence on the part of the pastor

      9. Sexual misconduct

      10. Conflict with other staff

      I didn’t see anything about people wanting a social club in that list.  What happened to you is sad but it may be a rarity, not the usual.

      —- I am in ministry and I wasn’t fired but I left a church because the Lead Pastor probably saw me as a threat and did things to make me believe that someday he would try to fire me.  Did he himself need to get fired?  I think so (for many other reasons).  Anyhow, I can’t agree with you more when you say that God may use these opportunities to move us in ministry.

      And in your situation, that Senior Pastor probably needed to get fired if he allowed his church to control him to that degree.  Also, let’s keep in mind that different denominations have different church structures.  Iin my denomination the pastor pretty much rules (although, they’d never say it that way).

    8. Jan on Sat, July 10, 2010

      I would say that it was a control issue:  #1.  Should the Christians or the non Christians have control in this church?  Unfortunately the non Christians won because the pastor valued peace at any price.

      I see many pastors fired because of this… people in the church who want the pastor to pander to their specific issue, or to keep people happy, or to water down the word, whatever…

      I agree that God is in control of our ministry.  And it is very freeing to come to the place where you are confident that people do not determine whether we have ministry in a certain place.  They do not determine our calling.  God will just use their sinful behavior to move us on to a new calling elsewhere. 

      But I do believe that the American church is full of spoiled brats who don’t really care about God’s agenda, at least in our community this is true.  They just want what they want, which means for the most part that they want to live their life without challenge and lots of comfort.  They want others to do the hard work of reaching the lost, discipleship, etc.

      And there are even believers who believe it’s the church’s job to raise their children.

      I know I’m in a cynical place right now!

      I will say that we don’t have this kind of church member here any more.  They’ve gone elsewhere, where they can keep on with what they’ve always done and not face a challenge to that.

      But it’s a sad commentary on the comfortable way of life we have and the resources we can use, but the lack of willingness or passion for God’s truth and His call on our lives.

      I think pastors are only going to experience more firings in our comfortable church culture.

      And unfortunately, I see pastors who are willing to go along rather than take the risk of being fired because they take a stand.

    9. rob nieves on Sun, July 11, 2010

      Hey Jan,

      I don’t disagree with a word you said, I’m in total agreement and I have seen the bratish, comfort church you’re talking about.  Firings are never good.  And yes, they’ll be times when a firing is completely uncalled for, but I still see that as the exception and not the usual. 

      I may be completely wrong in this, but I think that a good leader knows how to challenge a church and still keep his job.  And if a pastor can’t do that successfully then he should be fired in my opinion.

      To me, Pastoring is mostly a balancing act.  You have to balance things between God’s will and the will of sinful people.  A successful pastor can get those two to align while an unsuccessful pastor will either overburden the people or completely ignore God.  Again, if I were ever fired because I was calling people to God and the church refused I’d leave with my head held high.

    10. Brandi on Fri, August 06, 2010

      “...a good leader knows how to challenge a church and still keep his job.  And if a pastor can�t do that successfully then he should be fired in my opinion.”

      I encourage you to read the book Loving the Church You Lead by David Hansen…

      There are churches out there that are indeed ‘pastor killer’s’ and they have lost the true love of Christ to govern them.

      I guess Paul was pretty much the worst Pastor/Planter/Missionary ever, because when he challenged some churches they stoned him or ran him out of town, or simply turned their backs on him.

      I am sitting this morning in a Borders with my husband who worked tirelessly with a good attitude, the love of God and the Word at his lips…he was fired yesterday from an Associate pastor job for having too many ‘outside youth’ involved in the ministry.  We were the only ministry of that church to see salvations in the past year. 

      It is easy to give a pat answer like ‘someone who cannot handle a challenge should be fired’ but it’s hardly what Christ would post on a website that hurting people could find the morning after the worst night of their lives.

      Think about it, ok?


    11. BucketheadBaptist on Fri, August 06, 2010

      Hey Brandi,

      I’m sorry that the sneakin’ deacons got your husband.

      I’ve got a Pastor friend that tries to help folks that have been through this…

      Jeff LaBorg at Second Baptist in Warner Robins, GA.

      Just google him and contact his office… they may have some contacts for your husband to connect with.

      I think Focus on the Family runs a service called Pastor 2 Pastor where they work with folks like you too.

      I’m sincerely sorry… but I know what its like to be run off by Pastors myself… I can empathize.  Its all about control.

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