Bible Question:

Should a pastor hire and fire the staff of the church?

Bible Answer:

Should a pastor hire and fire? The Scriptures are silent on this topic. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with a pastor’s hiring and firing church employees as long as the leadership team has agreed that he has that responsibility. It all depends upon the leadership and the situation. It is important to realize that pastors should at least be involved in the hiring process. Dismissal of an employee will depend upon the situation and the pastor.

If your church is small, the pastor will most likely have the day-to-day oversight responsibility of all the employees. If so, he should initiate the selection process and his opinion should be highly regarded in the final selection. He should not be a dictator. The opinions of those men who are designated to assist in the selection process should also be considered and not ignored. If they have management experience, they can provide valuable insight. It is generally not wise to hire relatives of the pastor, including his wife.

If your church is large, the pastor’s role in this process should be less significant if the employee is not a member of the pastoral staff (youth leader, assistant pastor, etc or the church administrator). If the employee will be a member of the pastoral staff or the church administrator, then the pastor should be involved at the beginning of the process. The pastor should never be involved in every decision, especially in a large church. In fact, he does not have the time if he correctly understands his pastoral duties.. The employment of custodians, secretaries, and other support staff members should be left to the members of the leadership team or the church administrator. The pastor who wants or demands total control of the hiring process is like Diotrephes (3 John 9).


There is a tendency among some lay leaders and some pastors to want control over everything. Such men need to be removed from leadership. 3 John 9 warns against those men who are like Diotrephes. In addition, these men do not appreciate the value of the collective wisdom a team of experienced leaders provides in the decision making process.

Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory. Proverbs 11:14 (NASB)

Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed. Proverbs 15:22 (NASB)

Sometimes inexperienced leaders, including pastors, value their own opinion too highly. Inexperience is the path to future trouble. Trouble may come anyway. The selection of church leaders is always fought with uncertainty. Humility should call each one to work together. The pastor should seek the collective wisdom of his leadership as much as possible. The decisions should be shared.