Wednesday, March 7, 2007

layoffs at New Life Church

New Life Church of Colorado Springs, a 14,000-member mega-church, is cutting its paid positions in the wake of the fall of former pastor Ted Haggard.
Beset by scandal and a subsequent decline in giving, New Life Church in Colorado Springs has laid off 44 people - or about 12 percent of its workforce - a church official said today.

The nondenominational megachurch had experienced attendance and financial growth in each of its 22 previous years, said Rob Brendle, an associate pastor.

That came to end in early November, when its charismatic founding pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard, was fired amid allegations he used methamphetamine and paid a male prostitute for sex.

Brendle estimated church income has been down 10 percent since then, orcing the layoffs. The layoffs range from pastoral staff to support staff and nursery workers. Brendle said the cuts took place last week and were announced today during Sunday services.

"We recognize a church is an institution of trust, and that trust has been bruised," Brendle said. "So we're committed to serving people faithfully and earning it back in any cases where it might have diminished." (Denver Post)
When the pastor of a church is forced to step down, his family isn't the only one to be hurt. This can be especially true in mega-churches, where there are more people in the congregation - and more staff members on the payroll - to be affected by it.

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