When There Are Staff Problems

Helping Staff Reconcile

What is a congregation to do when there is a staff member causing trouble or difficulty? What is to be done when there are problems among the staff?

Admittedly these are delicate issues that cannot be dealt with fully here, but a few suggestions go a long way toward healing which glorifies God when problems are present. After all, God’s Spirit is able to do exceeding and abundantly beyond all we ask or imagine (Eph 3:20). These recommendations come from my personal experience and reflection.

Recommendation #1:

DO NOT ambush staff by hauling them before a committee or deacons to impose expectations or sanctions on them. Instead, find a person (1 Cor 6:5) who loves the staff member… and the staff member knows they are loved by this person… to talk with them and begin a process of admitting a problem and the need for a God honoring Biblical solution. This person MUST have worked through Galatians 6:1 before they talk to the staff member.

Recommendation #2 (Matthew 18:15-20):

If there is a problem among the staff, have ONE respected godly member of the congregation (1 Cor 6:5) encourage the staff members at odds with each other to follow the Scripture regarding reconciliation and forgiveness. Do not take for granted they will do this on their own. Sometimes fellow believers need to help staff in this process (Phil 4:2-3).

NOTE: The person who initiated this process should be present each time the staff members meet to insure they follow the outline below (A, B, & C). This person’s presence is to prevent any disagreement or arguments taking place. They are to be a silent witness unless they need to intervene to stay on task for the meeting. Strongly recommend the following:

The first week they are to study the Scriptures separately {Mt 18:15-20; Eph 4:25-32; Ro 12:14-21}; Along with studying the texts, each day they are to pray for God to bless the person, family, and ministry of the other individual. This is preparation for when they meet face to face.

The second week have them sit down together on three consecutive days (With the person present who initiated the meetings) to:

A) {First meeting} Only discuss the meaning of the Scriptures and pray for each other,

B) {Second meeting} Discuss the problem(s). Statement of fact only in light of the Scriptures they studied.

C) Recommend solutions for reconciliation and restoration that the person themselves will do that moves the relationship toward healing.

After these are completed, if one, or both, do not agree a resolution is beginning, then the person who initiated this process (1 Cor 6:5) should offer their assessment of the situation and objectively recommend Biblical solutions that move toward restoration and forgiveness.

Recommendation #3:

From beginning to end… for all involved… the goal is forgiveness, restoration, and reconciliation (Ro 12:18). Do not let anyone or anything subvert this objective. Remember to live and apply The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).

Recommendation #4:

Consider the possibility of a staff member(s) needing personal help. They may be hurting and wounded in an area of their life you are not aware of. They might need of encouragement for a difficult situation in their life that is being manifested in work relationships.

There was a time in my ministry when I needed help with personal problems outside church. Had I received help, I may have been able to minister more effectively. I don’t blame the congregation but looking back it would have been helpful.

Recommendation #5:

It is imperative that the process is bathed in prayer, for God to be glorified and restoration to take place. Enlist trustworthy people to be praying for God to be honored through repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

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