The other night we had dinner with another pastor and spouse--long time friends and colleagues. Their church is growing and in better financial shape than it has been in years, but they are moving. Why? Simply put, because this pastor is not like the last pastor. Seem unfair? There is more.
So the DS calls and says that they will move. The salary will be cut substantially, the kids will have to change schools, their college students may have to drop out, and the spouse will have to quit the job.
I don't know about you, but this breaks my heart for lots of reasons.
1. What kind of leadership allows their people (pastors and families) to be beat up on a regular basis?
2. What kind of leadership rewards good results and a job well done with punishment?
3. How many times can this happen to a family and not effect the pastor's ministry in the next church?
4. How may times can a family expect to be collateral damage and still feel good about the church?
Perhaps you say that pastors and families should not expect rewards. But should they expect punishment in the form of financial and family instability and anxiety?
You say, "Yes, but they have a guaranteed job and a house for free." And that is not nothing, but it is getting closer.
If leadership really want to improve the health of clergy, this is surely not the way.
If leadership really want trust, they need to earn it.
If leadership really want accountable, they also need to be accountable.