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Old 04-12-2019, 12:45 PM
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Default Firing a Pastor

Under what circumstances should a pastor resign or be fired? Does your church have bylaws and ruling elders/deacons/trustees? If so, what is their authority?
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Old 04-12-2019, 2:19 PM
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I have personally seen one fired and one forced to resign simply because some of the people in the congregation didn't like him. Wrong in my books.

Another in a different church for cheating on his wife. A valid reason in my books.

Is he/she teaching heresy? Are they practicing sin?
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Old 04-12-2019, 3:05 PM
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I would prefer not to say on an open forum. I’m more interested in the process and structure at other churches.

I agree, the political power trip stuff is not a good reason to fire a pastor. Sin problems certainly are.
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Old 04-12-2019, 4:54 PM
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Check your by-laws, the employment contract (if any) and any other governing docs. That should tell you the process if they were drawn properly. I attended one church that removed a pastor who had not been there too long because he wanted control of everything as senior pastor and was not really competent at running the business side of the church and refused to consider a business pastor reporting to him. This was a large church here in So Cal.
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Old 04-13-2019, 5:17 AM
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First, you should go talk to your pastor privately per Matthew 18:15-21; 1 Tim. 5:19; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1, etc. Share your concerns.

If it's a sin issue, get another elder and go to Matthew 18 step 2 if he doesn't repent.

If it's a qualification issue per 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, then work through the other elders PER the constitution / bylaws to find the best solution.

The key is NOT to gossip. These processes take lots of prayer and often take lots of time. You don't want to hurt/scatter the sheep.

Become an expert on your constitution/bylaws AND study to determine if they are biblical. Most Christian church constitution/bylaws state that the Bible is the final authority.

Go soft and gentle and privately with the pastor as long as you can.

Obviously, you have wisely chosen not to give details, so it is hard to give details in return!

I'll be praying for your pastor, your church, and for you!

God bless!
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Old 04-13-2019, 5:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eta34 View Post
Under what circumstances should a pastor resign or be fired?
Unrepentant sin
Criminal activity
Heresy
Letting the WL sing about a "...sloppy wet kiss"

Quote:
Originally Posted by eta34 View Post
Does your church have bylaws and ruling elders/deacons/trustees? If so, what is their authority?
We have elected elders that serve a staggered two year term. (Titus 1:6-9, 1 Timothy 3:8-10,12-13) I guess they could replace the pastor for any of the above if in 100% agreement.
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Old 04-13-2019, 6:17 AM
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Issue was addressed with him directly. It is now in the hands of the elders. Sin issue. Sorry to be so cryptic, but I appreciate the help.
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Old 04-13-2019, 6:18 AM
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One thing I have noticed through the years, and I think it is because of human nature, there almost becomes an addiction to the power that one in spiritual authority has. I suppose it is because there are many who spiritually afflicted who go the Pastor, and it starts to distort their reality. They don't go down easy even when they know they are walking in sin. They have some bizarre way of justifying their importance of spiritual authority. When the truth eventually becomes revealed make sure every one in leadership becomes as transparent as possible. Cover ups and sweeping under the rug, always always makes it worse. There is a weird rationalization, that if the sin is brought to light, people will leave, or the church will get hurt or whatever dumb excuses. That always backfires. Put a light on sin, and whatever happens, happens. Don't cover it.

I guess Satan knows the best way to take down a church is through leadership, and the Pastor has the biggest target on his back. It saddens me to see the downfall of so many spiritual leaders.But I don't lose hope because my hope was never in a person any way. Sad none the less.

Last edited by creampuff; 04-13-2019 at 6:22 AM..
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Old 04-13-2019, 7:01 AM
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Excellent analysis, creampuff.
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Old 04-14-2019, 8:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billvau View Post
First, you should go talk to your pastor privately per Matthew 18:15-21; 1 Tim. 5:19; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1, etc. Share your concerns.

If it's a sin issue, get another elder and go to Matthew 18 step 2 if he doesn't repent.

If it's a qualification issue per 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, then work through the other elders PER the constitution / bylaws to find the best solution.

The key is NOT to gossip. These processes take lots of prayer and often take lots of time. You don't want to hurt/scatter the sheep.

Become an expert on your constitution/bylaws AND study to determine if they are biblical. Most Christian church constitution/bylaws state that the Bible is the final authority.

Go soft and gentle and privately with the pastor as long as you can.

Obviously, you have wisely chosen not to give details, so it is hard to give details in return!

I'll be praying for your pastor, your church, and for you!

God bless!
Excellent!!

I would only add that Pastors like every other human is a sinner in need of our Savior.
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Old 04-17-2019, 4:05 PM
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9/10 it's a sexual sin.
That's the downfall of most people of influence.
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Old 05-18-2019, 3:04 PM
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Issue was addressed with him directly. It is now in the hands of the elders. Sin issue. Sorry to be so cryptic, but I appreciate the help.
If your church is like ours (non-denom Christian), you can consider the elders the true leaders of the church. Our pastor is a non voting member of the elder board. The pastor is the main "teacher" and a paid employee who can be fired by the elders. The elders in theory can tell the pastor what to teach... In turn, the elders of our church can also be recalled by the congregation.

As a church member I suggest asking to see the governing documents of your church (bylaws). They should clearly lay out the qualifications of a pastor and elder and the means of appointment and removal. I would fully expect removal of a pastor in our church to go to a full congregational business meeting with complete disclosure of why it is happening. The congregation is going to end up judging both the actions of the pastor and the elders, and in the end it's totally possible the pastor stays and some elders go...

It really all depends on the why's and how the elders handle them.
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Old 05-18-2019, 3:13 PM
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Find another church. I always stayed out of church and office politics.
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Old 05-20-2019, 7:12 AM
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Find another church. I always stayed out of church and office politics.
Leaving a church should be due to scriptural issues and done openly and as a last resort after trying to address the issues.
Simply leaving abandons the rest of the congregation to deal with an issue they may not even be aware of. I liken this to finding a fire in a closet and just closing the door and quietly leaving without pulling the fire alarm.

Huge difference between politics and accountability. One of the biggest problems our church faces is that a lot of the men don't get involved.
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Old 05-23-2019, 4:35 PM
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Under what circumstances should a pastor resign or be fired? Does your church have bylaws and ruling elders/deacons/trustees? If so, what is their authority?
It is a frequent misuse of the word 'pastor' that often brings about confusion with such questions. By Biblical definition, a 'pastor' is nothing more than a member of the spiritual head of a congregation, in which, by example, there should always be a plurality; more than one. Often, in churches today, a pastor or head pastor fills the office of both pulpit minister and elder. When a congregation follows the Biblical example, the group of elders, or men who's charge it is to oversee the well-being of the church, can identify a pulpit minister or fellow elder who are not fulfilling the responsibilities of their office, or are not obedient to the scriptures, and simply make a decision to remove them from that duty. In the case of pulpit ministers, there is often a contract involved. Most elderships will allow the contract to run its course and simply not renew it.

Because of the government intervention with not-for-profit entities, by-laws do exist to deal with such eventualities, as required by law. These actions are carried out by designated 'trustees' who, usually, are the Biblically appointed elders.
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