At the 2009 XP-Seminar in Dallas, we will focus the case studies and keynote addresses on the critical value of “Growing a Great Ministry Staff.” Our 40 workshops will cover many other areas of vital need in leading and managing today’s church.

From across the U.S. & Canada, people are coming to the XP-Seminar, a two-day seminar centered on leading and managing the church. The Executive Pastor (XP) title is the most common one, but many positions function as an XP—such as COO, Ministry Director or Senior Associate.

The XP-Seminar is not just for XPs, as many Senior Pastors and church leaders come to improve their leadership and management skills. This is the only seminar available to grow your executive staff team. With the Senior Pastor track, come as a team!

Hone your work as an XP or prepare to be an XP. Share your church experience and get quality feedback in the discussion sessions. This seminar is an ideal ministry enhancement and resume builder as it gives advanced study on church leadership.

Also check out the Female XP Forum immediately before the XP-Seminar!

“Great seminar—this directly addresses the responsibilities and challenges I face day to day. I’m grateful I found this seminar!”

Great Cases and Keynotes

Bill Hendricks

Bill Hendricks

Keynote Address by Bill Hendricks, President of the Giftedness Center

Bill has helped hundreds of people discover their unique giftedness and find the right place in business and the church. With great skill, he helps answer:

  • Is this job right for me?
  • Is it time for a change?
  • Why don’t they use me?
  • Should I hire this person?
  • Is this person management potential?
  • How can we hold onto our people? Can our team be more productive?

Bill is a dynamic communicator in person and in print—read his blockbuster article written for XPastor, Good Fit/Poor Fit: How Can You Tell.

Dr. Bill Egner

Dr. Bill Egner

Case Study #1: Hiring Practices of Willow Creek and Fellowship Little Rock with Bill Egner from Christ Chapel of Fort Worth, Texas

Bill has done extensive research on two significant churches in the nation. Both of these churches have influenced hundreds, if not thousands of churches.

Whether mentioned in TIME magazine or Christianity Today, with massive positive impact, they have changed the religious landscape in America.

One “influencer church” has a highly organized system based on “best business practices.” The other “influencer church” has a unique spiritual emphasis in the hiring process.

Dr. Josh Whitehead

Dr. Josh Whitehead

Case Study #2: The Challenges of Explosive Staff Growth with Josh Whithead, XP of Faith Promise Church of Knoxville, Tennessee

Add this up: 30% staff growth for two years, a first time XP and under 30, reorganization and realignment of staff structure and compensation, very casual work environment and strategic use of consultants.

Now 40 Workshops!

As a way to categorize our workshops, we created six tracks. Feel free to “mix and match” workshops from the tracks. You will sign up for your workshop on the first day of the XP-Seminar.

This year will feature the XP-101 Track, Senior Pastor Track, Large Group Forums, Great Staff Track, XP Wives Track and a Vital XP Issues Track. The workshop leaders are an stunning collection of executives in church ministry and they will speak from their areas of expertise. The workshop leaders will talk from “one skilled leader to another.” Generally, there are structured presentations (except where noted) and then a group discussion. This is your opportunity to discuss vital areas of your ministry with seasoned leaders. The workshop leaders are both practical and skilled—and they are “in the trenches” doing ministry.

More about the Seminar

Existing XPs, Senior Pastors and leading experts address the nature and role of the XP. Our speakers come from churches of different sizes. Nathan Baxter is an XP in a church of 700 and Warren Schuh was an XP of a church of 5,000. Half of those attending the Seminar come from churches with less than 1,400 in worship. Yet, we have had churches of 45,000 in worship. Find your peers here!

This seminar is ideal for new XPs, those desiring an XP position and XPs who want to grow! This is an excellent time to develop deeper relationships with other XPs, the seminar leaders and the special speakers. Where else can an XP and Senior Pastor come and be challenged about church leadership and management?

The Basis of XPastor: The Five Functions

Attend a workshop to examine the five functions of an XP, what you need to know to do the job:

  • Administrator of resources
  • Catalyst for ministry
  • Mentor of staff
  • Minister in the congregation
  • Overseer of church-wide ministry

So great to be with like-minded people, i.e. Kingdom-minded and familiar with the XP world.

You Will Receive in Workshops & Discussions

  • Define the need of the XP:
    • Learn how to explain why your church requires an XP.
    • Learn the signs of a Senior Pastor nearing burnout.
    • See the historical trend in America for the central role of great preaching.
  • Define the relationship of the XP and SP:
    • Get out of step with your SP and prepare to pack your bags.
    • The SP is generally the one who casts vision, but the XP also has vision. What is the balance?
    • Who is the “boss?”
  • Basics of an XP job description:
    • How to write a job description that fits your church policy and polity.
    • What should an XP do in your church?
    • Have ongoing reviews of your job description.
  • How church size varies the role of the XP: Answer the questions, “Is this church too small for an XP?” and “Is this church too big for an XP?”
  • Mentoring before and after the seminar is available for any student who desires it.
    • Receive help on preparing your resume.
    • Based on relationships and interaction in the small groups and workshops, list leaders as references on your resume.
    • Continue mentoring by e-mail and telephone.
    • Receive advice on XP issues in your church.

Bring Your Wife!

This year we will have a special, one-day track for XP wives. The $200 rate covers the dessert on Tuesday, February 3 and all day on Wednesday, February 4. At the 2008 XP-Seminar, we had several wives come and they did an informal meeting together (perhaps in the future we will do XP Husbands track …). Tami Fletcher will lead a special For Wives Only on Wednesday afternoon.

We had 110 Church Leaders at the 2005 XP-Seminar, 150 at the 2006 & 2007 Seminars and 200 attendees at the 2008 Seminar.

I liked the honest transparency of speakers and willingness to share ‘trade secrets’

XPastor’s Unique Educational Format

Few, if any, seminars are run like the XP-Seminar. Dr. Fletcher has devised and put into practice a 20-20-20 format to maximize education and interaction. With 60 minutes as an example, a 20 minute hard-hitting lecture begins the session with cognitive learning. Then, 20 minutes of small group discussion deepens the learning with participatory learning. Finally, 20 minutes of large group Question & Answers, or an Interview, conclude the session with interactive learning. By using auditory, visual and kinesthetic approaches, the attendee takes away concepts, practical ideas and skills for ministry “back home.”

Relationships are built around the table groups as people examine the stated topic. This is an ideal opportunity to honestly evaluate an issue, to present a slice of ministry, and to get feedback from people in similar positions.

  • What new ideas can you take home from the case studies, workshops and new colleagues?
  • How will the discussion give you new insight into your church?

Grow as you interact with others in similar positions to your own!

Each day, the morning sessions bring a church case study and experienced leaders to challenge our thinking. The case studies present models of ministry from which we derive principles that can be applied to our churches. You won’t agree with everything you hear—but you learn a great deal when challenged to think out of “your box.”

Each case study will be accompanied by a 10-20 page report, detailing the facts. But the facts tell only part of the story; the in-person dialogue with the principals allows you to ask the pivotal questions that will help your ministry.

I liked David’s way of defining terms, probing, acknowledging complexity & interviewing

Afternoon Workshops

Choose from 40 workshops led by distinguished XPs and Church Leaders

Can it get any better than this? A track for new XPs, large group forums, a track for SPs, a track for XP wives, vital topics for XPs and church leaders.

Female XP Forum

leadership-network-300XPastor is pleased to announce this special forum desgined by our friends at Leadership Network

Leadership Network would like to invite you to a Female Executive Pastor Forum, February 2-3, Dallas TX. This forum will immediately preceed the XP-Seminar, so women can attend both events!

Sherry Surrat

Sherry Surrat

The goal for this roundtable-size gathering is peer learning from a very specialized group. You will exchange insights about your experiences and what you would like to learn from others in the room.

From our conversations with female pastors and ministry leaders, we at Leadership Network found an eagerness to connect with other women who lead in this unique role. We have also found a desire to freely discuss issues such as:

  • how to strengthen their partnership with the senior pastor
  • how to shape the culture of the church
  • how to find appropriate tools for staff development
  • risk taking
  • and more!

The agenda will be set by you a week or so beforehand, in terms of the specifics you want to talk about. Leadership Network’s expert facilitaters will lead the peer networking process that LN has refined over many years of experience.


  • Your church’s weekend attendance is 1,000 or larger
  • You report directly to the senior pastor
  • You are your church’s closest staff match to the idea of executive pastor/minister/director.


“All three workshops I attended were very relevant and applicable”

“The conference was very informative and gave me many items to take away. It will take me a while to digest it all and turn it into an action plan that will help me serve my church”

“Thanks for diving deep into the cases. Great interaction. This has been an amazing resource!

Thank you for your foresight and tenacity for creating XPastor, including this conference.

I look forward to partnering with you for years to come.”

Dr. Nathan Baxter

Dr. Nathan Baxter

Dr. Nathan Baxter—Mentoring Resources for the XP


Nathan, XP of Liberty Church of Tulsa, Oklahoma, will help you as an XP learn the fundamentals of mentoring.  In just one hour, you will receive a year’s worth of work.  Nathan will help you identify your “big assignments” for developing yourself as a mentor. He will help you formulate a path of personal study and growth by identifying the major areas XPs must refine.  He will also be giving a tour of