“Hey Fletch” on Senior Pastor 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.

Church Problems and a Senior Pastor Candidate

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Hey Fletch …  We have some serious problems at the church and are also interviewing a senior pastor candidate. Should we tell the candidate about our big issues before or after he has accepted a job? If I tell him, he may not come.

If I do not tell him, later he will ask why the problems were not shared.

DRF—I would suggest having a frank conversation as soon as possible. Give the […]

Questions for a Senior Pastor Candidate

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Hey Fletch … We have a senior pastor candidate who will be visiting our church this weekend, Thursday-Monday. I am attaching a list of questions that I think the board of elders should ask. Do you have any additional questions that are important? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

DRF—Whether you do a written response or have a dialogue with the candidate, you have the right kind of questions. Your 37 questions could […]

Fell Off Church But Now Want to Become a Pastor

Monday, November 12, 2018

Hey Fletch … God has showed my calling to many and I’m starting to see it. I fell off church due to a bad relationship. I’ve been through so much and learned so much and don’t know the next step. I want to become a pastor! Any advice helps.

DRF—One of my favorite books is “Pilgrim’s Progress.” Written by John Bunyan in 1678, it has never gone out of print. It is the […]

Could Someone Else Lead This Ministry Better?

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’ve been in my role at the church a long time. I suppose that I’m a little tired … never had a sabbatical or taken much of my vacation time … I wonder if someone else may have a fresh persecutive and take this ministry to the next level. Thoughts?

DRF—You sound tired and war weary. Slogging through the mud everyday takes it out of a soldier. You sound like […]

Thoughts About Moving On

Friday, October 5, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have been feeling that I should move on from this senior pastor position. I’m not a pushy person. But to stay, I will have to be quite forceful with several leaders. They are trying to make some damaging decisions for the church. Whether I become pushy or give in to their poor decisions, it will just chew me up on the inside. Do you have any help for […]

The Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor Team

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Hey Fletch … I just finished reading “The Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor Team” by John Hawco on XPastor. You posted his entire dissertation and it is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing the entire dissertation!

DRF—The goal of XPastor is to provide great articles, even entire dissertations, on vital topics for church leaders. I’m so pleased that you found the article “awesome.” John was gracious to include me as one interviewed […]

Program, Policy and Preaching

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m a new Senior Pastor. I love the role and thought that most of what I would do would be preaching. While the preaching is going well and the church is growing, I’m getting caught up in lots of program and policy issues. Help!

DRF—Many times our model of the church is taken straight from business. We equate the preaching pastor with a CEO. There are leadership comparisons there to […]

Jews and Romans in New Testament Times

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Hey Dr. Fletcher … I’m thanking God for all you are doing in His will. What was the relationship between the Romans and the Jews at the time of Jesus? Will you help me understand that?

DRF—This is a more theological “Hey Fletch” question and I love history! Here is a big picture overview to frame the answer. 

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered Judah in 586 BC. The Romans conquered the land in […]

Reviewing the Senior Pastor

Monday, September 3, 2018

Hey Fletch … Can you point me to resources Boards may use for setting up a system to evaluate the Senior Pastor?

DRF—The best place to start when considering a review of any staff member is their job description. This may beg the question, as often staff have out of date job descriptions.

If the job description is out of date or incomplete, then begin with the review of that document. The job description […]

Senior Pastor Just Resigned

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hey Fletch … I just resigned as Senior Pastor. Unfortunately the situation here has become unworkable. The most caring choice I can make is to move on to give a chance for a new senior pastor to bring a fresh start. Can you read my resignation letter and listen to the video? You have been a big help to me over the last six months and I deeply appreciate your advice. Can […]

Senior Pastor is Swamped

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Hey Fletch … We are a small groups based, disciple-making church that does lots of church-planting. I wrote to you before about hiring a care pastor. I need to turn over this area to a full-time person. We have a qualified counselor on staff, but I still do some counseling, and many of the funerals, weddings, crisis and community involvement stuff.

I’ve been here for 21 years. We’ve got to change our culture […]

Preaching Excites Me but Administration is My Gift

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hey Fletch … I really appreciate the advice you recently gave me. I’m sure you get lots of emails from inquisitive folk! I have another question. The thought of preaching excites me, but I know administration is my leading gift. God has long been prepping me for the XP role. I’m doing a Masters of Divinity at Dallas Seminary now and I’d be really interested in working with you in the XP Doctor […]

Senior Pastor Is Going to Burn Out Soon

Friday, June 22, 2018

Hey Fletch … Thank you for checking back on us. Our lead pastor is an amazing preacher and leader. However, we all fear he does too much. He is micromanaging the staff and working way too many hours. What can you suggest?

DRF—Your church is in a major growth phase. That is a wonderful place to be but it can be a wild ride for senior leadership.

When I wrote my dissertation, I cited […]

Is a Senior Pastor Transition Just a Holding Pattern?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hey Fletch … Our senior pastor is leaving soon. It looks like we will have a 12 to 24 month transition period. It that just a time for ministries to be in a holding pattern, like planes circling and waiting to land at the airport?

DRF—Many great things can happen during a senior pastor transition. I would encourage you to not view it as a holding pattern. The new senior pastor needs to […]

Managing People

Monday, June 18, 2018

Hey Fletch … As a pastor, managing people drains me. It sucks. It’s a skill that no one wants to do—a real pain. I don’t want to be the bad guy, like the staff person who said to me, “You are riding me about how I’m not performing.” All this makes me feel like I’m boiling inside. 

DRF—We all have different gifts. Your words and thoughts share that managing people is not […]

Boss Stole My Idea

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hey Fletch … my boss stole my idea and said it was his. What gives?

DRF—That’s a hard one to hear. I’m so sorry that you had this experience. Can you go back to your boss and get some clarification? Can you explain to him that the idea was yours? Can you share your disappointment and angst?

Some ideas are born out of collaborative efforts. When things are products of a work group, they […]

Leading Through a Senior Pastor Transition

Monday, May 7, 2018

Hey Fletch … Just wanted to say thanks for this XPastor.org article: Leading Through A Senior Pastor Transition.

DRF—Chuck Olson, one of the XPastor Community, wrote that article. I’m so please that it was helpful to you. A Senior Pastor change in a church is a challenge. Chuck lays out the groundwork there—Keep Perspective, Provide Continuity, Provide Stability, Look Ahead, Seek Outside Help, Emphasize Prayer, Advance the Mission, (Over) Communicate, Seek Counsel […]

Torn Between Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor Roles

Friday, April 27, 2018

Hey Fletch … Hi again! Been a couple years. Followed your advice. Finished my MBA. Started and currently running my own business. And this year began taking night courses for a Master of Divinity. Been networking a ton as well.

Can I be honest though? I’m really torn between the Lead Pastor and XP role. I’m gifted in teaching and vision, but not in shepherding, which makes me think I would suffer as […]

‘You Don’t Matter’ said the Senior Pastor

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m demoralized and ashamed to repeat what my Preaching Pastor said to me. In front of one of my staff, he said, “You don’t matter. People won’t remember you when you are gone. I’m the one up front every Sunday.” I’m heartbroken and don’t know what to do.

DRF—I am so sorry to hear of your pain and travail. As they say in California, “that’s a real bummer.” I would […]

Senior Pastor Constantly Bringing Change

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have a senior pastor who is constantly bringing change to the church. One week it is a new way to do small groups, and he did this by blowing up our existing Sunday adult fellowships. A week or two later, he is toying with the structure of the worship service. What should I do?

DRF—The issue you raise is one of the “Rate of Change.” Every church has a […]

Should the SP & XP Both Report to the Board

Monday, February 26, 2018

Hey Fletch … Have been an XP for nearly 20 years and I’m curious on your thoughts on organizational structure of the SP/XP positions. I’ve twice been in the “2nd chair” position, organizationally under the SP, and once things start to go bad I’m the vulnerable one that loses his job when the fault is elsewhere. I’ve seen an org chart that has SP and XP as co-equals organizationally. Clearly the SP […]

SP is Ready for an XP

Friday, February 23, 2018

Hey Fletch … 21 years ago God gave me the privilege of leading a team to plant our church. Thank you for your ministry to XPs around the world. We are looking for our first Executive Pastor. To this point I have largely played both roles since I have some XP-like gifting, as a result, I think I have held the church back, and am ready to focus purely on being the […]

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