Last week we had to make the very tough decision to transition a number of people off of staff from our ministry support departments, as well as some staff at a few of our local churches. These are all faithful people who served and worked hard for the church, and we regret that we had to make these changes. If you know any of them, please reach out to offer your prayers and support during this transition, and please continue to pray for the church as we navigate through a tough season.
At this week’s Staff Chapel, we had the opportunity to invite these friends back so that we could honor them and pray over them. It was a meaningful time of worship and reflection as a church family. We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to show these staff members how deeply we care about them and appreciate the contribution they have made toward Jesus’ mission at Mars Hill. While they may no longer be on staff, we love them and they are still a part of our church family.
According to a report in the Seattle PI, nine staff members were let go in the transition.
This is kind of interesting… only because I received FOUR separate emails from Mars Hill in the past few weeks asking for donations and saying that they need my help to close out their fiscal year (that ended June 30).
In fact, I’m not sure how I initially got on the Mars Hill email list, but it looks like I’ve been on it since August of 2012. Past emails have included an announcement about Mars Hill’s music label, Christmas plans, and other generic press release type emails.
But the financial emails didn’t start until June. In fact, the first email arrived on June fifth with the simple subject line: “Thank you!” It was a short email from MH XP Sutton Turner thanking me (as part of the Mars Hill Family) for my support and show me some of the things that are happening because of my giving. (Note: I’ve never given to MH).
Then on June 18, I received another email entitled “Fiscal Year End Approaching”: “Please consider making a gift”.
It seemed to get more serious as time when on: On June 26: “But I need to hear from you by midnight on Monday night.”
And finally on June 30: “Mars Hill’s fiscal year ends today at midnight. Will you please make a special gift to Mars Hill so that we can end the year in a strong financial position?… But I need to hear from you by midnight tonight.”
Obviously, there is a real financial need right now at MH. And let’s face it, it’s been a tough year.
It is interesting to me that the layoffs came a week BEFORE the fiscal year ended. That’s not a good sign.
I’m a friend of Mars Hill; and have met Mark a couple times at events that we’ve been a part of together. I wish them no ill.
QUESTION: Has your church ever had to lay-off multiple employees? Have you ever tried to lead through a major financial crisis? What did you learn? And how to you turn things around so that the bad situation doesn’t snowball out of control?