Pastors’ Fight and Flight

Christianity Today published this study on church conflict including statistics related to pastors getting forced out of churches without being given any sort of fair due process. A little talked about fact among churches is how often pastors are forced out with out actually being fired. Believe it or not, pastors are rarely fired. This is because most churches have constitutions that create a process for treating a pastor fairly when it comes time to ask the pastor to leave. Most churches ignore their own constitutions and force the pastor out. Pastors are rarely allowed to talk about it, and many are denied severance packages unless they sign non-disclosure agreements. 76% of pastors report being forced out of a congregation at some point during their careers. This is a real concern for those of us in independent churches where the pastor has no real security. It is sad to say that people in churches will often do to pastors things that would give them cause to sue their own employers if it were done to them.

What I find interesting on the following chart are the warning signs of church conflict. See the chart after the jump.