Firing your pastor isn’t a decision to take lightly. It’s important to thoroughly discuss it with all leaders before making a final decision.
Many pastors are fired, but they have no clear idea as to why. Often times, it’s just a conflict of visions for the growth of the church.
Even if you don’t always agree with your pastor, they might still be the perfect fit for your church. Use these guidelines and your faith to help guide you.
Consider Your Members
What positive effects has your pastor had on your church members? Are they volunteering more? Is there a wider variety of ages? Is attendance more regular than before? If the vast majority of your church members support the pastor, the issue might lie with the church staff or just a few people instead.
Firing your pastor in this instance could cause members to leave. If the pastor has zero chemistry with the members, then firing the pastor might be the best course of action.
List The Exact Reasons Why
A pastor works hard to following the call of God. This means they deserve to at least know why they’re being fired. Sit down and think of any reasons why they should be fired. If you have trouble coming up with anything or the reasons are flimsy, then it’s not the time to fire anyone.
Hear All Sides Of The Story
Perhaps you’re hearing several people constantly complain about the pastor. It could just be that someone’s jealous or they’re misinterpreting something. Instead of the pastor, it could the complainers that are toxic to your church. Take the time to hear all sides of the story before immediately giving your pastor the ax.
Talk with other church leaders. Get insight from your most regular volunteers. This is a decision that could potentially ruin ministry forever for a pastor. Despite how things might look on the outside, many great pastors and church leaders are fired for simple misunderstandings.
Talk It Through With Your Pastor
The one person you probably haven’t thought to talk to is your pastor. However, they’re the target of your decision. Shouldn’t they have some say or chance to defend themselves? Start by gathering some facts and list your concerns. Next, set up a meeting with your pastor.
Explain what you’re considering and lay out all the reasons why. Give your pastor a chance to explain the situation from their point of view. It’s actually possible that your pastor is suffering from burn out or having personal problems at home that’s affecting their performance in church.
After all, we’re all human and have problems sometimes. It’s possible your pastor may just need a temporary break or some extra emotional support from fellow leaders and members.
Make The Transition Easier
While there are some mistakes that make you want to cut ties with your pastor immediately, other issues make it more difficult to let go. For instance, maybe the pastor is great and has wonderful ideas for growth, but the current members want none of it. The pastor obviously isn’t a great fit for your church, but they might be ideal for a neighboring church.
Try to make a plan to make the transition from pastor to fired to new pastor elsewhere a little easier. Partner with a fellow church to have your pastor fill a leadership role there. Offer benefits if possible, especially for a long-time pastor.
You may even consider continuing to pay the salary for a younger pastor for a short while. After all, it’s often harder to find a new position when you’re first starting out. Another option is to volunteer to be a positive reference so other churches don’t think the pastor’s bad.
If you’re planning on firing your pastor, make sure it’s the right choice first. Consider using comments on your website and social media as a way to see how much members think of the pastor.