The more I work with lead pastors the more I realize how hard it is for them to fire a staff person who isn’t performing, isn’t a team player, or is just downright disruptive. Too many pastors put up with so much crap from one or two on their staff that they shoot themselves in the foot.

On Firing Staff

Take a look at what keeping incompetent staff around does:

  • It says to competent staff that you really don’t care if the staff demonstrates competency.
  • It says to the staff that you either don’t realize how disruptive or harmful the person is or you don’t have the guts to do something about it.
  • It says to the staff that you aren’t a leader or else you would pull the trigger.
  • And guess what? Competent staff won’t stay around very long when the lead pastor allows someone to remain on the staff who is either incompetent or disruptive. Sad to say, incompetent staff will stay no matter what the lead pastor does.

Read what Dave Ramsey says in his book EntreLeadership about the leader who can’t pull the trigger and fire someone who everyone knows needs to be fired:

“My friend John Maxwell says that ‘Sanctified incompetency demoralizes.’ If you as a leader allow people to halfway do their jobs and don’t demand excellence as a prerequisite to keeping their job, you will create a culture of mediocrity. If you allow people to misbehave, underachieve, have a bad attitude, gossip, and generally avoid excellence, please don’t expect to attract and retain great talent.”

Lead pastors, post this quote on your fridge.  Read it every morning before going to the office. Paste it on your desk and read it every time you know you need to fire someone. And be a Nike person – just do it. NOW!!!

Question: What does firing incompetent staff communicate to the rest of your team? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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