Why You Might Not Want to Replace Your Departing Staff Member

Before making your next hire, consider these factors. (Pixabay.com)

The scenario is common.

A church staff member submits his or her resignation. Perhaps the person senses God's call to another church. All is well, except now you need to replace the staff person.

Or do you?

Too many churches hire staff by routine and tradition. The process is predictable. We have a vacancy. Start the search process. Make tweaks to the job description. Find someone to do the same job as the previous person. Hire them. Done.

There could be a better way. Look at some of these considerations before your church gets in the rut and the routine of "we've always done it that way."

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Here are seven key questions you might ask yourself:

  1. Can our finances truly afford to replace this person with little change in responsibilities? Perhaps the answer is a resounding no. Or perhaps the new person can take on additional responsibilities. Doing things the way we've always done them does not allow for financial and stewardship questions.
  2. Have the needs of the church and the community changed significantly? For example, I am surprised how few churches consider bringing someone on the team to lead in evangelism and community outreach. Yet, it is an incredible need in many churches.
  3. Can the position be replaced with part-timers, a virtual worker or volunteers? This movement is growing. Don't ignore it. Our friends at Belay are leading a revolution when it comes to virtual workers.
  4. Does the open position complement the pastor's gifts and abilities? If the church had an administrative pastor depart, while the current pastor is a gifted administrator, it might be best to consider doing something else with those funds.
  5. Do we still want to put these funds in personnel costs? The church might be able to afford to replace the person, but there could be a wiser use of the funds. For example, if the church has not been setting aside funds for ongoing maintenance, it might be wise, if not imperative, to allocate the money in that direction. See my friends at CoolSolutionsGroup.com for great facility ideas.
  6. Is the position a legitimate full-time position? For example, the number of ministers of recreation in churches has declined precipitously. The need is not as apparent as it once was.
  7. Have we really thought outside the box? When a staff member departs on good terms, the church does not have a problem, it has an opportunity. Don't do business as usual. See what God might have planned for the next 10 years.

We get a lot of questions at Church Answers about staffing. Many of them focus on the amount of funds in a church budget that should be allocated for personnel costs. I am not sure those are the right questions. The better question is: How can we best use our funds for God's glory in our present context?

When you answer that question, you may respond by not replacing your departing staff member.

Let me hear your thoughts.

Thom S. Rainer is the founder and CEO of Church Answers, and online community and resource for church leaders. Prior to founding Church Answers, Rainer served as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Before coming to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for 12 years, where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism.

For the original article, visit thomrainer.com.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders