I recently had a debate with a friend of mine, Lance, regarding the Rabbi of his shul, who was hired last year. The problem now is some board members want to fire him. Over the past few months they have complained of his lateness to shacharis in the morning, which as a Rabbi of a shul this is unacceptable. On top of that, they are having a hard time getting a minyan and he often constitutes the final 10.
Lance insists he is a great Rabbi to seek guidance from and very knowledgeable. He also lauds his weekly shiur, and therefore Lance is against his possible firing.
The debate we are having is what exactly a Rabbi's responsibilities are. My argument is a if a Rabbi of a shul should lead by example and maintain order, while offering guidance in other issues is an added bonus.
When I say leading by example, I mean coming on time and not talking. If there is too much talking in the shul, it is the rabbi’s job to try and keep it a minimum. I know the Rav of my modern shul stops laining if it gets too loud. A shul needs some kind of leadership. Despite us being adults, there still needs someone in charge. Imagine if an entire shul came a half an hour late. Imagine an entire shul talking so loud you can hear it from a block away. It's the Rabbi’s job to make sure those things don't happen be managing and leading the way. That can only work if he comes in on time every time (even early) and not talk ever during davening (while making sure others don’t talk as well).
Sorry Lance, this rabbi has got to go. Despite his very or even too ‘approachable’ attitude and his knowledge, a shul can not have a slacker for a Rabbi. Why should I come on time, why should I stop talking if the leader of my shul is doing the same thing as me?