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4 Things Not to Say When Firing Someone on Staff

Many churches today are being forced to let staff members go.

This is a tough call, one no senior pastor wants to make. But senior pastor, if you do have to let go of a staff member, I’d suggest you realize that there are some phrases that sting when voiced, phrases that are often misconstrued as lessening the blow.

1.”This is going to make it possible for you to find the right place for you at this time.”

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What the staff member is probably thinking is, “I thought we all prayed about this when you hired me. You even asked me if I’d be a long-timer or if I’d be moving on when something better came my way. We both thought this was the right place for me. Please don’t act like God has a greater plan for my life. You’re just using God-talk to rationalize the decision you and the elders have made.”

2. “This really hurts me to have to do this.”

When a senior pastor says this to the person they’re dismissing, it sounds as though they’re asking the person being dismissed to minister to them.

The person who needs to be ministered to is the person who’s already wondering what their family will do when the severance package runs out.

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rhowerton@churchleaders.com'
Rick has one passion… To see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.” He is presently pursuing this passion as the Small Group and Discipleship Specialist at LifeWay Church Resources. Rick has authored or co-authored multiple books, studies, and leader training resources including A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic, Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual, The Gospel and the Truth: Living the Message of Jesus, Small Group Life Ministry Manual: A New Approach to Small Groups, Redeeming the Tears: a Journey Through Grief and Loss, Small Group Life: Kingdom, Small Group Kickoff Retreat: Experiential Training for Small Group Leaders, and Great Beginnings: Your First Small Group Study, Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making. Rick’s varied ministry experiences as an collegiate minister, small group pastor, teaching pastor, elder, full-time trainer and church consultant, as well as having been a successful church planter gives him a perspective of church life that is all-encompassing and multi-dimensional. Rick is a highly sought after communicator and trainer.