It didn’t work out…WHY????

Recently, it seems I’ve had more conversations with church leaders and staff who are saying things aren’t working out. Meaning, a church hires a new staff member, and within several months or years, they’re saying, “it’s just not a fit.”

Several of the reasons I hear:

  • We don’t fit culturally
  • He can’t do the job
  • The job is different then they said
  • Promises were made that haven’t been kept
  • Differing doctrinal/theological beliefs
  • We’re on different pages
  • There’s a problem with compensation

I could comment on how each of these, and many other s, are unacceptable and unnecessary – they should NEVER come up if the proper prayer, preparation, and screening happen. Before a hire is made, we often hear “He’s the one” or “God’s in this” Yet, after the fact, when we press in on these issues, we almost always find out they weren’t really discussed. Sure, there was some discussion, but rarely was there enough diligence in discussing and processing these types of issues.

Why? One reason is most don’t really enjoy this part of the process. Hard conversations aren’t fun. That’s our job at MinisterSearch, and we don’t really enjoy confronting or challenging, but we have to. And so do you if you’re considering making a new hire or moving your family away from “home.” Other reasons are “That’s not spiritual…” or “That’s too corporate…” – that’s code for “I don’t understand” or “we’ve never done it that way” The list goes on. The bottom line is a significant responsibility to do

If you’re looking to hire or considering making a move to a new position, be diligent! Ask the tough questions, then ask them again of others. It’s much better to find out things aren’t a match before the move…


Coming soon – What does a facebook/MySpace page say about a candidate and their possible “fit?”


About davidjlyons

grateful one who has learned many things the hard way - and expects there are many more lessons to come...
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2 Responses to It didn’t work out…WHY????

  1. Bob says:

    Thanks for your article! I have experienced this personally (as a staff person) and a solo Pastor. My contention is that sometimes churches are looking for a ‘quick fix’ and are too impatient to see changes right away. I don’t believe this is ‘God’s way!’ I wish some churches (if there truly is a problem) that they would attempt to ‘work it thru’ rather than toss a person out. Sometimes American Pragmatism enters into the church and I don’t believe their following God’s ultimate will. Now, are there sometimes problems? Sure! So, let’s dialogue (as a church and Pastor) and see if we can ‘work it out’ in time. And sometime denominational leaders aren’t helpful either. We need to seek alternative solutions (rather than just one–toss the person). When church leaders take a position, it’s sometimes a huge move to another state and it is a huge transition for the whole family. Our churches really need to apply the ‘Golden Rule’ in choosing someone–what they do they should consider if they’d like it done to them as well! We can seek a better way (and should)! Thank you for reading and publishing this article!

  2. Jim says:

    I have been a volunteer at my church (a rather large and cutting edge multi-campus one) for about 8 years now, and I have seen pastors and staff come and go, whether they were fired or have quit on their own, who knows? I will say that from my vantage point, our church’s leadership seems to always be switching things up, whether it be new service times, different types of worship services, TV broadcasts, you name it- they’ve tried it. I imagine they’ve had lots of churn in the process because they want their staff to be able to adapt to changes, and to always be growing. I imagine that culture makes finding the right person for the job just a little tougher.

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