Friday, April 4, 2008

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly About Minister Terminations

The good news about pastor and staff terminations is that there were fewer in 2006. The bad news is that the number of terminations is still far too high. And the ugly news is that for many ministers, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” they might be terminated or need to choose to cut their tenure short due to problems or conflicts within their churches, even if not by their own doing. Been there, done that, got more than the T-shirt to show for it.

However, there is some really good news from a recent study done about pastor and staff terminations. (See the full article @ But first, here are the summary findings: (1) Their findings from 2006 show that control issues were the top reason for staff dismissals, the same reason that has topped the surveys since they were initiated in 1999. (2) The second through fifth most common reasons were the church’s resistance to change; poor people skills of the pastor; a pastor’s leadership style being too strong; and the church being in conflict when the pastor arrived. (3) Reasons six through ten were the same as the previous year: decline in attendance; a pastor’s leadership style being too weak; a pastor’s administrative incompetence; sexual misconduct; and conflict with other staff.

Doesn’t sound like such good news does it? But stop and think for a moment. Almost all the identified factors can be focused upon for learning and improvement by pastors and staff ministers, and even congregations themselves. If these are the specific issues and skills that top the list for terminations, then these should also become priority for staff and church development in order to promote longer tenure among ministers. And of course, the assumption here is that longer tenure contributes to greater minister effectiveness and church health.

So, how do you rate yourself on these issues? How do you rate your church? Maybe it’s time for a little “continuing education”. There are lots of sources for help and encouragement. Put it on your “to do” list today!

Until next time…share the journey and enjoy the ride!


Read the entire article entitled Fewer Pastor/Staff Terminations Reported @