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Case Study: The Entrenched and Ineffective Worker

Six creative approaches to an awkward pastoral dilemma.

It's a Maalox Moment. You finally face the fact that a long-standing church volunteer is doing more harm than good-whether the organist, Christian education superintendent, head usher or …

But therein is the rub. This person's years (or decades) of service indicates he or she is no average volunteer; this willing heart has become an institution. And institutions aren't easy to move, much less remove.

An attempt at change could be costly, possibly fatal. What's a pastor to do?

LEADERSHIP asked five pastors and one church consultant, representing a rainbow of denominational and geographical backgrounds, what they would do with a well-entrenched but ineffective worker. To spark their thoughts, they were given the following real-life case study:

In each of the churches I've pastored, I've inherited at least one volunteer who has "stalled out" on the job. Each clearly needed to be replaced. In their long period of service, however, they'd grown firmly entrenched.

The most troubling situation ...

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