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“Or in other words, I’m about to get fired.” Words I heard from someone just today. Here’s what I told them and thought I’d share them with you.

Dear _____,

Sounds to me like you’re being called away, too, then.

Here are my best tips for you:
1) THE LONGER YOU STAY, THE WORSE IT WILL GET: A lengthy resignation notice in this case is generally not helpful. No more than 30 days.
2) IF THE CHURCH ASKS FOR YOUR RESIGNATION: Don’t give it unless you’re given at least 90 days in severance and preferably more given your tenure. The last thing the church (or pastor) wants is a controversy given you’ve been there so long.
3) GO QUIETLY WITH GRACE: Sr. Pastor always trumps children’s or youth pastor and so its important to preserve your professional reputation. The courtroom scene we sometimes imagine in our heads at times like this never happens. Anything you say will be repeated and not correctly, so better just to not say anything.
4) BEGIN TO LOOK NOW AND UPDATE YOUR RESUME: You don’t have to take a job but it doesn’t hurt to start looking. Check all the major job boards: youthspecialties.com, ymarchitects.com, simplytools.com, group.com, your denom’s site and whatever else google turns up.
5) DO THE BEST MINISTRY WORK YOU’VE EVER DONE BEFORE YOU GO: This is important for several reasons: 1) You will need to maintain your sanity and integrity  2) It will give the church a standard of what to look for next.  3) And…ummm…its a little bit of “heaping burning coals.” :)
Can you tell I’ve been through this myself? It is heartbreaking…but the same God that brought you to your kids to pour into them is the same God that will bring someone else to continue on what you’ve established. He is also the God who will turn around and move you to where He wills to begin a new pouring into process.
Praying for you, btw.
Stephanie

3 COMMENTS

  • Steph-

    Excellent advice. As someone that gave a ton of notice that he was leaving, it became obvious over time that people were ready for me to leave. There was not a mean-spiritiedness about it, just the hint that it was time for me to move on. If I could do it over again, I’d give considerably less notice.

  • Lizzy says:

    Beautiful and true words. Who we are in Christ and our integrity is very important in this process. No matter whose choice, never easy to walk away…leaving in grace is what we will be known for….
    Says the one who just did.

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