Matthew R. Perry

Top Reasons for Staff Termination in Churches

In Church Life, For Preachers/Pastors, For Seminary Students, Leadership on October 30, 2006 at 10:25 am

Chris Turner of LifeWay has posted a new article regarding the top reasons for staff termination in churches. And sadly, each of them deal with relationship issues — issues that have not changed since 1996.

The general inability to “get along” is again at the root of the top five reasons staff members in Southern Baptist churches are terminated from their positions, according to a recently completed study by LifeWay Christian Resources’ department of pastoral ministries.

Relational issues top the list for the 10th consecutive year, according to Bob Sheffield, pastoral ministries specialist. The top five are

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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  1. Matt,

    Obviously, as Christians, the gospel should be at the core of all we do. However, whether dealing in issues of evangelism, encouragement or discipline, RELATIONSHIPS are the fabric, if you will, on which the gospel gets displayed and communicated.

    In an age of skepticism where the Bakers and Olstens of Christendom have done more harm than good, the message of the gospel outside of a relationship, falls on skeptical ears at best. In a day where people become rungs on the corporate ladder, encouragement outside of an authentic relationship must have self-serving motives. To have correction issued under the guise of any other than a loving, intimate relationship, yields temporary program changes – not life change at a heart level.

    Why is this? What drew your attention to this article?

  2. Matt,

    Obviously, as Christians, the gospel should be at the core of all we do. However, whether dealing in issues of evangelism, encouragement or discipline, RELATIONSHIPS are the fabric, if you will, on which the gospel gets displayed and communicated.

    In an age of skepticism where the Bakers and Olstens of Christendom have done more harm than good, the message of the gospel outside of a relationship, falls on skeptical ears at best. In a day where people become rungs on the corporate ladder, encouragement outside of an authentic relationship must have self-serving motives. To have correction issued under the guise of any other than a loving, intimate relationship, yields temporary program changes – not life change at a heart level.

    Why is this?
    What drew your attention to this article?

  3. Bert:

    As a pastor who sees 1300-1500 ministers (depending on the poll) leave the ministry each week and as one who fears that “people skills” tend to diminish day-by-day drew me to this article. I hoped it would provide some discussion (thanks :)) as well as remind pastors that we are just that … pastors — undershepherds of the Great Shepherd whose main task is to guard the flock.

    Too many pastors have not been gripped by the calling of the Gospel, whether to salvation or to the calling by which the Gospel is preached. Granted, this article did not go far enough, as you alluded to in your previous comment. But one cannot get past the fact that if we are pastors and yet have little people skills toward the ones we are pastoring, then we are not pastors. Preachers, maybe. Administrators, sure. Pastors? By definition, no.

    It reminds me of the story of a young pastor who grew bothered by constant interruptions on the phone and people constantly dropping by. His comment to an older minister was, “These people are getting in the way of my ministry.”

    To which the older minister responded, “These people are your ministry.” “Prayer and ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4). We don’t minister in a void, we minister to God’s #1 creation, people.

  4. Well said!

    We are unequivocally called to make disciples and be prepared in season and out to share the hope we have. When guiding your sheep in the area of making disciples, how do you equip them for success in sharing the gospel? What role do relationships play?

    We interact a great deal with college students in our ministry. They hold authentic community and relationships in very high esteem. How do you keep your sheep from using “relational evangelism” as a crutch to never have to actually share the gospel? On the other extreme, how do you keep the street evangelists from alienating the cultural paradigm of community college students intrinsically cling to?

  5. The success is in sharing the Gospel. Too many folks believe that the only success there is is when someone comes to know Christ. Yet, 1 Corinthians 3:8 tells us that it is God who causes the growth — we just plant seeds and water.

    Nowadays, I think canned presentations will not work for most in my generation (I’m 35). They want to see how the Gospel impacts your life in how you relate to others, how you drive, how you work, do school, etc. They see too many who spout off the presentation, then nothing else is said to them regarding anything concerning their present situation. One once said that the loneliness is the modern day leprosy, especially for men. “Relational evangelism” I think is a bad term because now it means you’re converting them and sharing the Good News of a relationship rather than the Gospel itself. It’s gotten a bad rap — every time you encounter someone, that’s a relationship on some level.

    I tell my sheep that if you truly love these people, you’ll tell them the truth (Ephesians 4:15). You won’t see them as a herd of cattle to be branded, but as those with hearts needing a touch from Christ. That comes with compassion, caring, and never once compromising the truth. The speak the truth in love formula is power!

  6. […] Top Reasons for Staff Termination in Churches « Bro. Matt’s BlogIn an age of skepticism where the Bakers and Olstens of Christendom have done more harm than good, the message of the gospel outside of a relationship, … You can listen to Bro. Matt’s sermons at either his audio sermons page or for an RSS Podcast, click here to receive Bro. Matt’s sermons weekly in your iTunes or iPod. […]

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