The pastor stood before the congregation with a stern look on his face. His fingers curled tightly over the edges of the podium. "As some of you know, we had to make a … hard decision this week. What we want you to understand is that the elders handled the situation with wisdom and fairness, and though we know this is tough for some of you, we're going to move ahead. God has great things in store for our church. We encourage you all not to gossip … as you don't really know the situation. Pray for us as we make these hard calls on your behalf. Now, if you will turn in your Bibles…"

The congregation sat in stunned, pained silence.

Tough communication is an art

Communicating with a congregation in tough times is more art than science. Rules and policies outlining what to say and what not to say are rarely helpful because every situation is different. Sometimes, the whole truth can and should be told. But there are other times, when someone has to be let go, or a tough call has to be made by ...

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