3 Problems That Will Cause Your Church Staff To Resign


Because we work with churches of all different types around the country here atVanderbloemen, we have a unique perspective into the make-up of healthy teams.

There are many red flags to be looking for when evaluating the health of your church staff. My teammate Jay Mitchell elaborates on several in his insightful article 7 Warning Signs Your Church Staff Is In Trouble.

Another common issue we see that is a glaring sign of an unhealthy staff is high turnover. This raises some serious questions about the church and the church leaders on its staff.

If you’re the leader of your church staff and you notice multiple team members are submitting their resumes to other churches or leaving unexpectedly, take a hard look at the root of this problem and consider changes you can institute to better support your ministry team.

1. Senior Leadership Problem

The church could be suffering from poor leadership at the highest levels. People are abandoning ship because they don’t trust the captain. Of course, there will never be a perfect church on this side of heaven, but as leaders of churches, we have been given immense responsibility. If a church is being led poorly, it is difficult to blame staff members from wanting to find a better place to do the ministry to which they are called.

Church leaders, are you taking the time to check in with your staff – not only about ministry related things, but also about where they feel the Lord is leading them? Do you provide pastors who report to you a safe environment to give honest feedback where they don’t feel like their position is on the line if they are honest?

2. Team Problem

If multiple people on your staff want to leave, it may be a result of everyone’s problem, not just the senior leadership. If you have been entrusted with leading a ministry or a church, you are there for a reason. Instead of looking for a way to get out, maybe it is time to have some serious conversations with your staff about making real changes.

Why not try to make your current church into the church you dream of working in? Take some time to think strategically about how to transform what you have now. That may mean asking hard questions, brainstorming, hiring a consultant, calling the church that you’d like to model your ministry after, etc. The opportunity is right in front of you. Be pragmatic. If the majority of the team is feeling complacent, then be honest with each other and be proactive about creating the ministry you all dream of.

3. Morale Problems

We know that pastors don’t receive enough encouragement and may face burnout and even depression on a regular basis. It is a difficult, emotionally draining job. How are you staying motivated and encouraged? And perhaps more importantly, how are you cultivating a culture of encouragement on your ministry team? If you don’t provide a ministry environment where your church staff can seek emotional and spiritual health, they may begin submitting their resumes elsewhere.

We recommend finding a trusted mentor or support group that encourages you and to meet with them regularly. Strive to create a team culture that allows your team to do the same.

Nearly every day, we hear stories of how God’s Kingdom is growing because of the work of the churches and pastors we serve. If God has you involved or leading a ministry, keep up that difficult and noble work. You are not in it alone.

Pastors, the best place for your ministry just might be exactly where you are.

Is your church struggling with one of the three turnover problems? How are you going about reversing the issue?