To Sack or Not To Sack Church Staff Members

Matt Schmucker has a really helpful article in the 9Marks eJournal about when it is appropriate to fire a church staff member. Based on scripture’s stewardship principle (Matthew 25:14-30), Schmucker says that pastors should sack the following kinds of persons:

The non-Christian

The lazy and idle

The divisive

The untrustworthy

The unmotivated

The incompetent

Schmucker advises pastors to fire staff members only with the approval of other leaders in the church. He also says that churches need to be generous to provide time for the fired staff member to transition to another job. Read the rest here.

Philip Jensen has an article in the journal that is the yin to Schmucker’s yang. He makes the case that “You Should Think Twice Before Firing Incompetent Staff.”


  • Tom

    The top item on this list falls victim to subjectivity. Who decides how “Christian” any given human might be? Another human? Is a pastor endowed by God with supreme judgement on who makes the cut? That’s really the only potential problem I see with the above. The rest are fairly quantitative. If you are late, lazy, or untrustworthy it can be proven. If the person doesn’t possess the required skill set, they can be tested. The rest are left to the judgement of men and, in the context of the article, reek of “holier-than-thow”. Granted; blatantly obvious deviance and disruptively bad behavior are grounds for dismissal at almost any job. I’m just wondering who decides how narrow the path becomes… …especially in a struggling economy.

  • Joseph

    I don’t really disagree with any of this, I’m wondering though how does Jesus’s knowledge of Judas being a thief and not really being fired go with what Schmucker is saying? I’m not saying it’s contradictory, just looking for some synthesis šŸ™‚


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