Ask Pastor Roger Barrier - Church Leadership

Please Help Provide Clean Water to Persecuted Christians

Is the Whole Church Staff Supposed to Leave When the Pastor Does?

Is the Whole Church Staff Supposed to Leave When the Pastor Does?

Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at

Dear Roger,

We have a pastor that resigned after 47 years of service with the same church. He has been the only pastor. We have a new pastor that has come last month and is transitioning in. Some of the staff was told by the old pastor that it is common practice for the staff to also put in resignation letters and leave with the old pastor. Is that right? 

I am on staff and get along with both the old pastor and new pastor and want to do what God wants me to. I am frustrated.


A Frustrated Church Staff Member

Dear Frustrated Church Staff Member,

I'm sorry for the hurt and confusion the injunction from the old pastor has caused you and others. Churches handle the coming of a new pastor and his staff in several different ways. However, seldom do they ask all the staff to resign. There are too many relationships and good things going on which will subvert the leadership and mission and harmony of the church.

It is no longer the job of the old pastor to make edicts about what needs to be done. He is the old pastor. It's not his job to tell the staff what to do. If anyone wants to request resignation letters it needs to be the new pastor. However, if he does that he'll create such a stir that he won't be there very long.

If I were in your shoes, I would pray for the new pastor to make wise decisions. I imagine you will not be disappointed. Wise pastors don't make such drastic moves before the first sermon.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely, Roger

Ask RogerDr. Roger Barrier retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.

Photo courtesy: ©Unsplash/DebbyHudson