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Tony Morgan: Stop Paying People to Be Nice

A couple of years ago, we were riding down the road in our family minivan. In the front of the van, Emily and I had been discussing the “church consulting” part of my ministry. Among other things, we must have talked through some of the recent staffing conversations with one of the churches I had engaged.

From the back of the van, one of the younger Morgans piped up. “Why is it that churches let people stay on staff when they don’t do a good job?”

It’s always interesting how children view life. Out of their innocence, they’re not afraid to ask the politically incorrect questions. The fact is, though, because we are a people of grace, we tend to enable poor performers in the church.

Part of the reason we do that is because we’re afraid to engage conflict. However, coaching and redirection typically require conflict to generate honest, healthy conversation that ultimately leads to better outcomes.

After the coaching and redirection takes place, though, we can’t continue to let people stay on staff who aren’t getting the job done. It’s a poor stewardship of both people and financial resources. We can’t just continue paying people to be nice. We have to use our resources wisely to accomplish God’s purposes.

And we can’t just pay people to perform tasks. We have to use our resources to find people who will equip God’s people to do the work of God.

Being part of a church and leading ministry at a church are two distinctly different roles–they come with two distinctly different standards established in God’s Word. We need to apply the right standards to the right groups of people.

Stop paying people to be nice.