Over the past several years, I've paid more attention to reasons pastors—including some of my acquaintances and former students—have been fired.
In some cases, the congregation has been a "knucklehead" group of people who've treated a leader poorly, but I've also seen some leaders who invited trouble by doing the following:
- Leading too quickly into change. It wasn't that change wasn't needed; it was that leaders pushed change so hard and so quickly that the church wasn't ready to move in that direction.
- Pushing one theological agenda. Here, I'm not talking about somebody promoting heresy. In these cases, it's been leaders who think their particular "ism" is the only correct one within the realm of evangelicalism—and they crusade for it.
- Being lazy and unaccountable. This would include leaders who view ministry as only a 40-hour per week job, with little or no willingness to work beyond that limit. It also includes leaders in small churches who answer to no one and often do ministry alone.
- Plagiarizing sermons. This approach to sermon preparation has always been a bad one, but access to sermons on the internet has now made it easier to do—and easier to get caught.
- Creating conflict with other staff members. Some leaders are great at things like casting vision but not so great at leading a staff. When the staff are longer-term, beloved members, conflict can lead to the new guy's departure.
- Falling morally. Many of us don't have to look very far to find someone who's walked this painful path. Some folks make decisions and take actions that cost them more than they ever gained by their faulty choices.
- Failing to shepherd the people. When this failure has led to dismissal, it's most often been when pastors see their role almost exclusively as the one who studies the Word and preaches—so much, in fact, that they see little need to walk with the people.
- Mismanaging funds. Perhaps it's been spending the church's money in frivolous and wrong ways, or maybe it's been spending without accountability. Either way, financial issues have led a church to distrust their leader—which makes it difficult for him to lead.
What other reasons would you add to this list?
Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is team leader for theological education strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
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.