...we are watching a recent trend that shows about four percent of church staff are terminated each year, a number much higher than that of senior pastors (see below).
Get that statistic? Church staff members in the SBC are terminated at a rate of 4% annually. One in twenty-five church staff members is out the door in SBC churches, and that every year.
So, how does the senior pastor fare, you know, the one in a pressure cooker, the one who gets all the complaints dumped on him, the one with all those unrealistic expectations, the one who has to deal with all the obstreperous deacons, church matriarchs and patriarchs?
The number of forced terminations of senior pastors has stabilized. For the past seven years, about 1.5 percent of senior pastors have lost their jobs each year due to forced terminations. That number is fairly stable.
Roughly one senior pastor in sixty-seven gets axed each year.
Staff: 1 in 25. Senior pastor: 1 in 67.
Staff over 2.5 times as likely to be fired as senior pastor.
In a weak moment I get to thinking that being a church staff member, not the senior pastor, would be a welcome change...then I think about staff members around my association and state. Clearly, my job security as pastor is far greater than that of a staff member.
I have some sympathy for my colleagues in the Christian ministry who serve on church staff. Sure, some are "under-performing" as Ranier euphemistically puts it. But I've been around long enough to know that I would rather have a pagan as my boss than quite a few senior pastors I have known.
Let the sad anecdotes roll in....