CHURCH GOVERNANCE 2: Tug of war over authority often fuels conflict

Two words that pique a Southern Baptist pastor’s interest these days are forced termination. Despite the rumor mill’s usual grist, surveys of Southern Baptist churches and local association directors of missions reveal that two



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Tug of war over authority often fuels conflict

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factors account for the majority of pastor firings?conflict over who runs the church and pastoral leadership perceived as too strong. A consultant for a state Baptist convention put it this way: “One of the things today that’s impacting forced terminations is pastors listening to some of the wrong voices about how to be a pastor.”

In his opinion the “wrong voices” are pastors of megachurches who present a model of leadership that tells pastors that because God has called them to be pastor of the church that they should lead without congregational oversight. Taking that approach with the typical, small congregation won’t work, he warned.

And yet even among small churches, pastoral search committees relate a desire to find a strong leader who will cast a vision that will result in growth and effectiveness. “We have definitely seen that faster-growing churches are more likely to have a pastor with a strong leadership

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