* Grant a three-month sabbatical after five years of ministry.
* Form a pastoral relations committee that devotes itself to building up the pastor and to seeing that his needs are met.
* Place a pastoral severance allotment in your church’s constitution, granting perhaps one week’s salary for every year the pastor served at the church.
* Examine the procedure for dismissing a pastor as outlined in the church’s constitution to ensure that it is Biblical. God has spoken from Matthew 18:15–17 and 1 Timothy 5:20 regarding the proper handling of grievances; churches should avoid using unscriptural means such as petitions.
* Reflect on the church’s treatment of the associate pastors. Are they honored as pastors? If the senior pastor leaves the church, do the associate pastors continue the ministry, or do deacons step into a role that Scripture may not have intended for them?
A characteristic of a healthy church is one that protects its pastors from harm.
Bill Heinrich, Pastor
Sovereign Grace Baptist Church