Thursday, September 4, 2008

Christian Leader, Do You Fire Graciously, or as the World?

A friend of ours was laid off from a large Christian organization. He was one of the top men in the ministry but was given no notice or warning at all.

 He was followed to his car by one of the executives at the end of the day’s work. The executive simply informed him that the ministry was going in a new direction and his services were no longer needed. He was not allowed to go back to his office as they would box up and send his items to his home by courier!

 Another acquaintance was at the airport when he received a telephone call from one of the vice presidents of the ministry, located in several major cities throughout the United States. The phone call from the main office was to inform him that he was terminated, effective immediately. This was quite a shock as he had just received a wonderful commendation from the president and had excellent reviews of the effectiveness of his ministry for Christ.

 My wife and I were counting up similar stories of friends and acquaintances. Even the organizations of the world do not treat their people this way.

What is so amazing about the stories above is that in each of these ministries, their leaders teach Christian management seminars throughout the world and write books on Christian leadership principles.

 So, as Christian leaders, pastors, etc, what can we learn from this in our everyday lives, ministry and activities? When we are faced with the need to “let people go,” we should follow the principles of the Word of God, “…as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:10-12).

 Yes, sometimes we may need to fire someone, but do it graciously and kindly, helping them move on to another ministry for the glory of God.

1 comment:

Dr Steven Ibbotson said...

A truly sad, yet all-too-familiar occurence, Doug. Even more "ironic" is that many of these Christian ministries do so because they supposedly "have to run things more like a business..." and yet their "business practices" would never be accepted in the corporate world as "good business." They wouldn't dream of treating staff this way... or else they would face a lawsuit.