“Hey Fletch” on Board Issues

From around the globe, people tune in on Fletch’s warm and sound advice. He’s a friend and “church doctor,” bringing an objective perspective, broad knowledge and vast experience. Your question will get a personal reply from Fletch.

Registered Agents with Our State

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Hey Fletch … I would like to say that the XPastor website is awesome! My church has changed the treasurer for the church. Is it necessary to make an amendment with the State of Texas? 

DRF—Most states require someone to be the registered agent for the church. Some states require several officers, such as the treasurer, to also be listed with their records. Texas requires a registered agent. Here is a […]

Church and School Issues

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Hey Fletch … We are seeking some consulting regarding our church and a school we have. We are trying to make strategic decisions regarding the school and looking for a consultant with experience in this area. Do you do this? Or do you know of anyone that could assist us?

DRF—I have had experience with churches and schools. That being said, I may or may not be the right person to consult with […]


Monday, January 14, 2019

Hey Fletch … We are beginning to think about interns for the summer. Can we pay an intern a monthly salary and have them work as many hours as needed?

DRF—Interns are rarely exempt employees. If they were exempt by job function (doing management activity) and salary (making over $23,660 for federal salary levels and higher in many states), then your interns could work as many hours as they want to. However, the […]

How to Review the Elders, Senior Pastors and Staff

Friday, December 21, 2018

Hey Fletch … Our church doesn’t have a clue about how to do reviews. We want to review our Elders, Senior Pastor and staff. Can you help us?

DRF—The place to begin on reviewing the role of an elder is with a good role description. Few churches have this. For job descriptions of Elders and staff, see this page. Click on the header to see various ones for each category.

For reviews, see […]

External Investigator for Sexual Misconduct

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Hey Fletch … I read the “Hey Fletch” column about a policy for handling accusations against a pastor. At the end you said, “I would add to these a policy statement on when an external investigator should be used. Several churches have attempted internal investigations of sexual misconduct, only to find that their work was flawed.” Could you expand on that?

DRF—There are many allegations that a church can handle on their own. […]

Attorney’s Perspective on Designated Funds

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’ve been reading about designated funds and I’m still confused. Do you have a tax expert or attorney who can also comment on the issue?

DRF—We have done several “Hey Fletch” columns on the issue in the last few months. Let me ask attorney Steven Goodspeed to comment on this. He is a shareholder at Middlebrook | Goodspeed and an expert on church law issues.

Steven—It is possible for a […]

Co-Pastors or Peer SP-XP Teams

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am chair of a committee and we are in the initial stages of discerning the future direction of the congregation. Our current structure is to have a senior pastor and associate pastor. I am trying to get the congregation to think about some form of co-pastors. I have some church websites that have co-pastors and I would like to offer some church websites that have SP-XP structure. Do […]

Transitioning to Elder Led Church

Friday, September 7, 2018

Hey Fletch … We are in the process of transitioning to an Elder governance system and are currently accepting nominations. This is a major change for this Baptist church but the vote to do so was overwhelmingly favorable to move forward. My pastor has suggested that the staff may have a difficult time adjusting to this new governance system, whereas I believe the committees will have the more difficult challenge as they […]

Launching an Initial Elder Board

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hey Fletch … I serve as XP of a quickly growing church plant. We are ready to plan for, appoint, and launch our initial Elder Board. What are the best books or resources to guide us down this path?

DRF—Sounds like you are in an exciting place. I’m thrilled to hear about new and growing church. 

There are two classic books when it comes to the role of elders in a church. The […]

Can You Define the Report to the Board?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Hey Fletch … I got your answer about our board meetings going too long. The idea of a written report to the board could be significant for us. Can you give a little more of the rationale? I have some elders who want more information.

DRF—I call the thinking behind the board report, “Give, Cut and Enable.” These are three things that you can do to help the board be more efficient. When […]

Governing Board Meetings Going Way Long

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Hey Fletch … You have got to help us. Our board meeting last night began at 7:00 pm and ended at 11:30 p.m. There was so much discussion on important but not vital issues. How can we focus on the critical issues of our church and not get bogged down?

DRF—I have been giving some strategic coaching to an XP and he had a similar issue. The challenge for board members is that […]

Well Paid Pastor Has No Retirement

Friday, August 17, 2018

Hey Fletch … Our Senior Pastor is in trouble. He has been at the church for most of his working life and wants to retire. He can’t afford it. He has $300,000 in a 403b and opted out of Social Security years ago.

At his high point, he earned over $200,000 a year. In the last decade he earned over $140,000 a year. Lately, the church hasn’t been doing well and he has […]

How to Change a Church Constitution

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Hey Fletch … Can you describe to me how a church amends its constitution?

DRF—The first place to look for amending a church constitution is in the document itself. There should be a clause in the constitution that mentions how it can be changed. It may look something like this: “Amendments to this constitution may be made at any meeting of the congregation by two-thirds of the votes cast. The proposed changes must […]

Who Owns a Book that the Pastor Writes?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have a quick question that may require a long answer. If a pastor is writing books, who gets the royalties and why? I’m confident that this question has varying answers depending on terms and conditions. I welcome all answers to all possibilities, if you have enough time.

DRF—The general understanding of “work for hire” laws are if a pastor writes a book on church time, on church computers and […]

Questions on Church Leadership Structures

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hey Fletch … Our church is wanting to look at our leadership structure. In the last ten years we have grown from one campus to many campuses. We want to continue to grow in the future but don’t know if our current structure will best handle growth. Do you do consulting on this? What should we consider as our options?

DRF—You are asking a delightful question. I do help churches on issues like […]

Issues with a New Non-Profit

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Hey Fletch … I met you years ago. I continue to read and enjoy the columns and posts at but it’s been a long while since we were in touch. 

Recently, my husband and I started a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to help poor children and struggling churches in the Philippines: We support sixty small churches, an orphanage, an elementary to high school, and a prison Bible school.

Could you take a […]

Elder Role Description

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Hey Fletch … This link does not work 

DRF—Thanks for catching that. We totally redid the job descriptions page. You can find it and other descriptions here:  And, I updated the link.

Most churches do not have role descriptions for their Governing Board. The titles can be Elders, Deacons, Trustees or some other one. Yet, every board member needs to know, “What am I supposed to be doing […]

Knowing the Giving of Congregants

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hey Fletch … What is your position on the XP knowing the financial giving of a) the entire congregation, b) volunteers and key leaders, c) staff & elders and d) none at all.

DRF—Whew, those are tough questions! The answers are based on the culture of each church. The congregations where I have served took the position that pastors should have no knowledge of any person’s giving or giving pattern. They based that […]

Solutions to Church Conflict

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hey Fletch … There have been some good developments and resolution on the ‘leading the leadership team’ front. A person from the denominational ‘church health team’ has spoken to our leaders. He used the term ‘architect of culture’ to describe the Senior Pastor role. It seems to have ‘clicked.’ A couple of people realized what they have wanted me to be and what I have historically been. That sidestepped one or two […]

Can Our Church Join the ECFA?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’ve heard about the Evangelical Council of Finance Accountability. Is that something that a church can join and how could I find out if my church qualifies? Would they accept my church?

DRF—I’ve served in several churches that were a part of the ECFA. They enhance trust in churches with their Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™.  Those standards relate to Doctrinal Issues, Governance, Financial Oversight, Use of Resources […]

Board Member Goes AWOL on Church and Family

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Hey Doc … In your experience, what are the best practices for a church board when a fellow board member goes AWOL, wants his wife to leave the home and wants a divorce, and will not speak to me (the pastor) or the team?  Anything we can do, should do?

DRF—AWOL is the right term as that soldier is off base, literally and metaphorically. I’m so sorry to hear about this. Life […]

Elder Role Descriptions

February 3, 2018

Hey Fletch … When we have our coaching call later today, can we talk about role descriptions for elders?

DRF—Few churches lay out a role description for their elders (or deacons, trustees or other governing board titles). I’m a fan of listing the scope, essential elements, constitutional demands, expectations, delegated responsibilities, etc. List what elders do and what they don’t do. Here’s a great example in the job descriptions page that I helped create […]

Elder Decisions in a Church of 600

January 24, 2018

Hey Doc … We have grown to a church of 600. Lately some of our Elders are asking, “Why did you two (the SP and XP) make this or that decision? I thought that we Elders were leading the church?”

DRF—One of the challenges of church growth is changes in situational leadership. The decisions that an Elder Board can make in a church of 200 is different from a church of 600, and will […]

Board Member Not Giving to the Church

January 18, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have a board member who wants a new vision and direction for our church. Also, he told me that he hasn’t given to the church in nine months. Now what?

DRF—I wish that I hadn’t heard that one before! I’d suggest that you set up a six-month period to walk with him through the vision and ministries of your church. Let him know that you hope he can get on […]

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