The two most important decisions you can make as a leader is 1) Who you prayerfully and carefully bring on to team, and 2) When it becomes painfully clear that you need to let someone go. Here is some very wise and good advice from Brian Howard, the Executive Director for the A29 church planing network.

Originally published by Brian Howard on

There is a time when you need to let go of a person on your team. 

You may need to release a person from your team because of character, competence, or chemistry.

BUT, before you let any person from your team, you MUST make sure that you have made expectations clear. You are making a mistake to let a person go when you have not carefully considered whether or not you have made expectations explicitly clear.

You can’t hold a person accountable for something that has not been communicated thoroughly well. Many churches have no clear job descriptions, and expectations are fuzzy around what people on the team are even supposed to be doing. A person has a right to know what is expected of them, whether they are succeeding or failing, and what a win looks like in their role. It is unfair to let a person go when YOU have failed to clarify expectations. 

Unclear expectations are YOUR fault, not theirs.

If you think someone on your team needs to go, this is the first question to ask.

ALSO, The best way to ensure that you don’t have to let a person on your team go is to hire the right person to begin with.