The cost of hiring the wrong pastor or staff person multiplies quickly. If there's not a fit with the church culture, it may take years for the natural progress of church decision-making to solve the problem. Through the resolution journey, the church will have to navigate all kinds of obstacles:

  • Natural enthusiasm for a new pastor will last for many months

  • The sin of niceness will keep people from acknowledging a bad fit

  • The "pendulum swing" of hiring a different personality from the previous pastor can delay clarity

  • Some folks will deal with a misplaced hire by over-spiritualizing the situation and dragging it out

  • Even strong talent in a specific area will tempt a church to keep the wrong staff person

If you tally up the time it takes to...

  • Find a pastor to begin with

  • Spend a year or two realizing it was a bad fit

  • Start the search process all over again

You could easily burn $40,000 to $200,000 not to mention the pause in moving the vision of the church forward.

Are you ready for a radical idea?

After designated period of time, offer to pay a staff person or pastor if they are willing to leave. Create an incentive for getting a potentially wrong hire off the bus.

For example, you might offer a staff person a thousand dollars to leave after 4 weeks. Or you might offer a senior pastor five thousand to leave after 10 weeks. Make the numbers and timing work for your own context. But consider the merit of the approach. Where did this idea come from? Zappos, the online shoe and clothing store pays new hires to leave. After a specified period of training, they offer new hires $2,000 to quit on the spot. Read more about their "happiness culture" at this Fast Company post.

Think of it as the cost of protect your church culture. Consider it a quality control litmus test for the search process. If it was the wrong person to begin with, it will only be a fraction of the cost of waiting.

Would you want to keep a person who would take the money anyway?