In conclusion, we will say a few words about a healthy pastoral transition. First of all, the Church, whatever the circumstances, should take the opportunity to celebrate the priest`s action and even thank them for their service and service in the separation agreement. Second, well-developed separation agreements, with appropriate waivers, non-divergent promises and non-competition and non-candidate clauses, will contribute to the smooth transition for the Church, and expanded allowances and benefits will help the outgoing pastor move on to another job that would not compete with the old church. Third, severance pay should be paid over time to help the flow of money from the Church and the pastor to make monthly expenses and to ensure that both parties are more likely to follow the agreement. The last and most important mentally is to include a Christian dispute settlement provision, so that, if there are ever any disputes, it is resolved through biblical mediation and/or arbitration of media attention and the judicial system and in accordance with biblical exhortations. Anyone who has ever had to dismiss a Church employee understands the challenge of having a very difficult conversation. However, you can reduce the blow by creating a severance package that shows the love of Christ and helps close the job gap. If your church does not have unemployment insurance for employees, a redundancy package may be the right thing to do. Most people are surprised to learn that church employees are not entitled to unemployment benefits if they involuntarily lose their jobs. In the event of a consensual separation, the Church may have weeks or months to repair a well-developed agreement, a communication plan and an approach to the current supervision of the outgoing pastor. In other less friendly situations, the Church may not have that luxury.
That is why we advise us to prepare ahead for the possibility of a pastoral separation. Spend a few weeks discussing some of these issues and where your leadership is in general. Talk to an experienced lawyer to develop a draft standard separation agreement that generally corresponds to their ecclesiastical culture, so that, in the worst case, you are ready to go faster. In all cases, a Church that submits to pastoral separation should carefully consider the legal implications and manage the emotional and spiritual well-being of the former parish priest and the remaining collaborators and the community throughout the process. Pastoral separation, especially involuntary resignation, is filled with legal implications and public relations nightmares if not managed properly, and an experienced Church advocate must be consulted. The pastoral employment contract should also be reviewed and/or offered to begin discussions, as certain provisions may be transposed into withdrawal. This article focuses specifically on one aspect of the pastoral separation process: the separation agreement and its effects. At least a pastoral separation agreement should say this: when a priest is dismissed or involuntarily leaves a church without having any other job, it is customary in the Christian community to give this priest a severance pay. This is especially important if the priest wants to stay and serve in the church, but has been asked by the official chiefs to leave the house. If you give your pastor a severance package, he may have enough money to change parishes, minimizing the chances of him interfering in your church`s plans for the future. If you don`t give him severance pay, he may not have the means to move, and he can choose to create a new church in your community — and the people in your church can form his first field of mission.