- Many pastor firings occur because one or a few malcontents are spreading rumors. Please check the sources of these rumors. Please ask people other than the malcontents and bullies.
- A number of pastor firings occur due to underhanded actions by other staff. I know of one situation where the executive pastor did not like the leadership of the pastor, so he worked in darkness with the personnel committee to get the pastor fired. The personnel committee never asked for the pastor’s side of the conflict.
- Many pastors are fired without any explanation. I am surprised how often this reality transpires. Typically, the personnel committee or similar group tells the pastors they will not get a severance if they challenge them or question them.
- Very few pastors get adequate severance when they are fired. It typically takes several months for a pastor to find a job. Severance often runs out before then.
- Your church is labeled as a “preacher-eating” church. Your church’s reputation and witness are hurt in the community. You will wonder why other pastors decline to interview for the open position. They know. They’ve heard what you did.
- If you had been willing to be patient and Christ-like, pastors would likely seek another job without your firing them. If you let pastors know their job is in jeopardy and give them six to nine months to find another position, many will do so. Pastors can always find another church much easier if they have a church. And the church avoids the pain, conflict, and dirtied reputation that comes with firing a pastor.
View One: Hire from the OutsideThose who think first about hiring from the outside often do so because they value fresh perspective and fresh eyes. Those who prefer to hire externally have a fear that the culture will grow stagnant by simply recycling the same people into different roles. Jeff Immelt, who served as CEO of General Electric in recent years, increased external hires significantly during his tenure. From 2009-2016, external hires increased 60% at GE. Immelt believed a new type of employee and a new type of talent was needed for that important season in their company, so he ramped up external hiring.
View Two: Hire from the InsideAs I was writing this, I asked my youngest daughter, Evie, which view she thought was best. She said, “From the inside because you already trust the person.” Not bad for an eight-year-old, and she is exactly right. Those who advocate hiring from within point out that every hire is a risk, and hiring from within minimizes the risk because trust around character and chemistry has already been established. The person clearly already believes in the mission and has proven to be trustworthy. An additional benefit of hiring from within is the leadership development culture that is cultivated. Hiring from within can help send the signal that “we build our leaders instead of buying them.”
Past the Fork in the Road: Look at the ContextThe third view is to discipline yourself to think first about the context. While I lean toward hiring from within because I am committed to developing leaders for the future, looking at the context is where I believe it is best to land. Context should drive whether you hire internally or externally. The needs of the organization at the time, the focus of the role for the next season, and the desire for cultural transformation or cultural sustainability all impact the immediate context surrounding the hire. John Kotter has wisely offered, and I am paraphrasing, “If you want to change the culture, hire from the outside. If you want to sustain the culture, hire from the inside.” Read the full article 2 Views on Hiring from Inside/Outside that appeared first on EricGeiger.com. Used by permission.
View one: Stop paying the ministry leader immediately.Some have articulated cutting the leader off from financial support immediately. Multiple reasons are given for the approach. By cutting the leader off, the leader is forced to feel the weight of the sin and perhaps more likely to hit “rock bottom” more quickly. We have all seen leaders push through their fall with pride and blaming of others, so this approach holds that anything that helps a leader wake up to reality is a good thing. Another reason people hold to this view is the desire for justice among those who have financially supported the ministry. They discover that they have been financially supporting the leader while sinful and distracting behavior was consuming the leader, so they can feel as if their generosity was taken for granted. The leaders who remain feel they can regain some credibility with supporters and donors by not allowing any more financial resources to be invested in someone who took paychecks while living a double life.
View two: Be as generous as possible, especially to the family.While I understand the motivation and the thinking behind the first view, I land on the second view, which is to be as generous as possible to the fallen leader and the leader’s family, even if the leader is not yet fully repentant. (Some have articulated generosity if there is repentance as the third option.) I hold to this view for multiple reasons. For one, it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), and I hold to the hope that God will overwhelm the fallen leader with His grace, and perhaps, depending on the offense and the process of restoration, restore the leader to some type of ministry position in the future. Also, I think of the family of the fallen leader. They are in the midst of extreme pain as their world has been radically impacted. Most of the time they had no clue of the disqualifying behavior and are holding on moment by moment after hearing the devastating news. In many cases, they have depended on the ministry leader’s role for food on the table and clothes on their backs. They are suffering immensely, and I want the ministry to think about them as the leader is removed from the role. I wish we did not have to wrestle with this topic, but if you are leading a team you will likely be confronted with the issue of severance for a fallen leader someday. Regardless of which view we hold, we surely find ourselves saying, “Come, Lord Jesus, and fix this mess.” Read the full article Two Views: Severance and Financial Support for a Fallen Leader that appeared first on EricGeiger.com. Used by permission.
“Don’t hire anyone you can’t let go.”
“Life is too short to serve alongside people you don’t like. So, yes.”
“You can’t be friends with people you lead.”
“You must be friends with people you lead.”
“It works great. Until it doesn’t.”
“Trust makes teams more effective, so hiring someone you trust is great.”Thoughts about hiring friends are typically passionate thoughts because leaders have benefited greatly from doing so or been hurt deeply by doing so. This is a subject where there is little middle ground. So here are the two views, presented as objectively as possible, followed by my personal take. As a leader, you are responsible to form your own thoughts on the matter:
View One: Hiring Friends Is a Big BlunderThose who view “hiring friends” as a mistake can arrive at that conclusion practically or experientially. Practically speaking, those who oppose hiring a friend believe objectivity is lost if you do so. You won’t be able to hold the friend accountable, they argue, in the same way you would hold someone else accountable. Or you could even overcorrect on decisions regarding salary and other benefits to prove you are not showing favorites, which in turn isn’t fair to the person. Those who get to the conclusion experientially have been hurt. Perhaps a close relationship is no longer as close after the hiring. Great friends, they argue, don’t always make great coworkers.
View Two: Hiring Friends Is a Big BlessingThose who view “hiring friends” as a great opportunity likewise can arrive at that conclusion practically or experientially. Practically speaking, those who advocate hiring friends, point to the importance of trust on a team. In many cases it takes years to build solid trust among leaders. Hiring a friend, they believe, can speed that process up exponentially. Teams who trust each other move exponentially quicker. Those who have hired friends and have enjoyed the experience are likely to advocate for the practice. They point to the healthy relationships, the memories, and the blessing of being able to work alongside people you will know and love your whole life.
So Where Do I Land?I understand the view of not hiring friends and have heard that view articulated well many times. I am not saying there are not risks involved. But I believe that the risks are worth it. Hiring friends is a blessing. Trust is high and you are able to enjoy life and work together without needing to view life and work as overly distinct (they have never been for me). On my team now are several friends with whom I have served in multiple cities. I won’t hire all my friends (some would never work for me), but I love it when I can. Read the full article 2 Views on Hiring Friends that appeared first on EricGeiger.com. Used by permission.
1. Moral FailureCoaches, politicians, teachers, pastors, and other leaders are routinely disqualified because of moral failure—failing to live up to the moral standard of the office they hold. Often those who own their sin and turn from it later confess a slow and consistent weakening of their character before their moral failure was fully born. The moral failure is the outer manifestation of a heart that has wandered from a deep commitment to leading oneself. Billy Graham’s commitment to his own personal integrity was applauded by some and mocked by others, but the fruit cannot be denied. The practice of avoiding being alone with someone from the opposite sex other than your spouse has been called “The Billy Graham Rule” because of his commitment to do all he could to avoid even a hint of questioning his character or his commitment to his wife. Because our hearts are prone to wander and none of us are above falling, we must daily turn from trusting ourselves and turn to trusting the Lord to keep us pure.
2. Ethical FailureLeaders often disqualify themselves for ethical lapses. It is common to read of a leader who has been released from his or her duties for violating policies, for lying about one’s educational or professional accomplishments, for using the role for personal advancement, or for abusing the power of the office. Those who ask the leader to step down know that when a leader loses trust, the leader loses the ability to lead effectively. And seemingly small ethical lapses will likely degenerate into larger ones. Perhaps the best counsel I have received came in terms of ethical decisions in a leadership role from a Christian CFO of a large company. It is a cliché but true: “If it is gray, stay away.” In other words, don’t risk your leadership for something that is unclear.
3. Relational FailureIn recent years more and more leaders have disqualified themselves for leading with anger, for manipulating, and for creating relational strife and disunity among those they lead. In leadership, healthy relationships matter. Without them, trust quickly erodes. If you sense yourself waning in patience with those you serve alongside, get out of the office and take a break. If you sense your heart growing cold, don’t ignore it. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Forgive and seek forgiveness. Read the full article 3 Common Ways Leaders Disqualify Themselves that appeared first on EricGeiger.com. Used by permission.
Four kinds of persons: zeal without knowledge; knowledge without zeal; neither knowledge nor zeal; both zeal and knowledge. The first three condemned him. The last acquitted him, were excommunicated by the Church, and yet saved the Church.Clearly Pascal was affirming those who are filled with both knowledge and zeal. Those with both knowledge and zeal, according to Pascal, are the ones who saved the Church, and those without both qualities are the ones who condemned Jesus. Applying Pascal’s framework to leadership, there are two essential qualities in all great leaders: Intentionality (knowledge) and intensity (zeal). In your context, you have met these four types of people. And only one of them is really effective.
1. The Internal Consultant (Intentionality without intensity)I have been a consultant and benefit currently from utilizing consultants, so I am not bashing the discipline. Consultants help you with clarity and with understanding that leads to an intentional direction. They are valuable. But internal consultants attempt to speak into the work without doing any of the work. They come with ideas but lack the intensity to implement any ideas. You don’t want people on the team who offer their heads but not their hearts and their hands.
2. The Chaos Creator (Intensity without intentionality)The chaos creator wakes up ready to execute something today. And something entirely different tomorrow. Sometimes the “something different” is actually in the opposite direction, but the chaos creator does not care. A person on the team who is passionate yet lacking in wisdom easily creates unnecessary work for everyone else.
3. The “Why Are You Here?” Guy (Neither intentionality nor intensity)Once you see a person without intentionality or intensity, it is hard to un-see what you have seen. Neither great ideas nor passion for the mission are brought to the table. Meh. You can’t help but wonder why the person is still around. Surely there is some mission or cause in the world that person can be excited to join.
4. The Person You Trust (Both intentionality and intensity)Intentionality coupled with intensity makes a leader very credible. And not only the leader but any person on the team. The person you trust, the person who adds incredible value, who makes everyone else better, is the person who is both intentional and intense. This person deploys thinking, energy, and skill in the same direction. People who are passionate about what matters most are highly effective. Read the full article 4 Types of People on Your Team (Only One Is Effective) that appeared first on EricGeiger.com. Used by permission.
1. Remind others on the team to pursue.The leader who brings the person to the team is typically the first one to pursue the new team member, the one to share vision and values, the first one to establish a relationship, which will be important for working together. But a new team member is not only joining the leader; the new team member is joining the team. A healthy team will pursue relational connections with new team members, but the leader should encourage the team to do so.
2. Assign new and existing team members to solve a problem together.Solving problems together builds trust and unity more than trust falls and retreats. When a new person joins the team, assign a problem to the new person and others on the team to solve together.
3. Invite new and existing team members to pursue a goal together.Similar to solving problems together, pursuing a shared goal together will unite a new team member to those who have already been on the team. Because the existing team has been together, the new member is going to hear inside jokes, past stories, and important tales from the group’s history. If there is not a new goal, that is all the person will hear. So going after a new goal together helps the new person understand there is a place for him or her.
4. Establish early wins.When someone joins the team, have the conversation with the new team member about what the priorities should be the first few months. While there is nothing magical about the length of the “first 90 days,” leaders use that phrase for a reason—starting well is important. Read the full article 4 Essentials When Bringing New People on a Team that appeared first on EricGeiger.com. Used by permission.
- Learning agility
- Cultural acuity
- Execution without authority
- Desire or hunger
- Ability to develop others