As I look back over the year, I am grateful for everyone who has visited When You Work for the Church–for those who have left comments, contacted me, shared articles, made suggestions, vented frustrations, sought counsel, found support, drawn encouragement, offered support, or quietly read along. Thank you!
I know that losing a job can be devastating–but worse than losing your spouse through divorce? Worse than being widowed?
I was shocked to read this recently, but since the article appeared in the Bloomberg News, known for its factual financial and business reporting, I knew it must be well supported by the research. No “fake news”!
When I started ministry as an interim pastor, the church’s associate pastor for youth was already planning to leave for medical school. He had served the church well for three years, the youth group was strong with excellent youth and adult leaders, and the church gave him a wonderful and tearful farewell. Today he is a practicing psychiatrist in another province, an active church member, and loves to work as a volunteer with youth.
Why he left and how he left was an open and positive experience.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA is a student ministry with over 1000 staff members serving over 40,000 students and faculty on over 665 college campuses across the United States. The evangelical group has been making headlines recently for its new policy of “involuntary terminations” for staff who disagree with its theology on human sexuality.
IS INTERVARSITY REALLY DISMISSING EMPLOYEES WHO SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE AS REPORTED IN TIME MAGAZINE? WHAT ARE WE TO MAKE OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE, AND WHAT ISSUES DOES THIS RAISE FOR OTHER CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATIONS?
A fellow blogger laments that blog comments are dying, and another lists reasons why readers might not leave a comment:
the post is already so complete they don’t know what to add,
they take exception to what’s written but don’t want to argue,
there’s no concrete question to respond to,
they’re too tired or too busy,
no one else is commenting.
In my few months’ experience with this blog, I would also add: many readers would rather respond privately than in a public comment where they might be identified.
When a friend heard of my husband’s abrupt job termination through no fault of his own, she immediately responded, “You don’t have to tell me, but have they done this before?” And then she proceeded to tell me about another Christian organization with a history of abrupt and painful terminations. The stories she shared were from another community and another denomination, yet they sounded sadly familiar.
Since I shared my husband’s painful job loss, I’ve received many emails and other private messages from people who have also experienced difficult endings in their employment. Five, six, ten years or more later, some have never felt free to share their feelings of betrayal and loss. Some have changed churches or denominations, or left ministry all together. Some have been close to suicide and still struggle with depression and anxiety.
What do you do when you receive a termination notice for “financial reasons” from the Christian college where you’ve been teaching for the last 26 years?