So one of my peers
has been recently terminated from his youth ministry position.
SAD really. I hurt for him. Whatever happened to extending Grace, mercy. Basically let go because of financial reasons.
Now what bothers me is given a severance. Only a month or so. Must jobs you can get a 2 week, month, or 60days notice or more. The thing about most jobs is you can get another job within that amount of time. With youth ministry or any pastor position it takes months even years to get into the next position, and sometimes is harder when you are in between positions.
Here are some Top 10 suggestions to handle a Forced Exit.
1. Use Resources
that are already out there to help with the healing process and get onto the road of recovery.
2. Get as much encouragement as possible. There will be bouts of doubt, depression, anxiety, stress, and knowing where God is - in this time.
3. Get some accountability and counseling advice.
4. Move on, but also cherish the memories. Make a scrapbook, write a resignation letter. Be positive - even if you are not.
5. Get a GOOD recommendation IN WRITING from the former congregation. Sometimes - even if forced exit having this might save the pain of Gossip, rumours, and hearsay, and reading too much or too little inbetween the lines.
6. Ask for a contractual agreement of what to take what not to take. Example - if computer, books, etc is church's verify that or have that the church gave those as a gift to you and have it in WRITING, so no accusation you stole from the church.
7. Update your resume. Use your network of friends, see if you want to get back into ministry right away or a time to reflect on God's calling on your life.
8. Apply at local jobs for a time. Get involved at another church as a volunteer. Sometimes it is better to be a volunteer and then see where God is directing you.
9. READ. REflect. Reason. Look at yourself. Was there things you could improve on? Others. Be a peacekeeper. Don't anguish over the exit but also be a good critic of your former ministry and yourself.
10. Pray. Should be #1. Take time to get your soul refreshed. Take time to contemplate the way God has brought you to this point.
Forced Exits and termination in Youth Ministry is something that breaks my heart. The Church abuses it's own too much. It is time to Stop the Pain, Abuse and for the Church to be THE CHURCH to its people - both parishioners and pastors.