“Hey Fletch” on Strategy

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.

Help for Ministry Strategy

Friday, March 29, 2019

Hey Fletch … I found your site on a Google search and was impressed with all of the resources and tools to help pastors. You’re awesome! I have a question you may be able to help me with. Who do you think is the best Ministry Strategist Executive or maybe even Executive Connections Pastor in America? The guy making sure people have their pastoral needs met, are finding friends, and are using […]

45 Minute Meetings

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hey Fletch … I heard you say once that you often limit meetings with staff to 45 minutes. Can you explain that to me?

DRF—Your memory is better than mine. I don’t recall saying that but it sounds like something I would say. Here’s why.

The first thing that you want to do is to define the purpose of your meeting. Is it to get to know the staff member better, to talk about […]

New Web Name for Our Church

Monday, February 4, 2019

Hey Fletch … We are wanting to come up with a new url for our church. What are your thoughts on what would be effective?

DRF—Many churches go with the name of their church as their url. This gives names like ‘FBCMegalopolis,’ or ‘GraceonElmStreet.” These are fine names. However, if you are in a denomination or have a more common church name, those names may be taken.

One of the best names that I […]

Is It Hard to Launch a Ministry Website?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hey Fletch … Who set up the website? I’ve explored the XPastor site and like how it is set-up. I’m currently serving on the board of a ministry. They tasked me with finding a designer to bring the site up-to-date. Would you have a contact to get an estimate? 

DRF—I’m glad that you like the XPastor site and thank you for the compliment. XPastor is done in WordPress. Here’s a few […]

Calls from Angry Church Members

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m new to dealing with church relationships. Sitting in the Director of Finance chair, I receive calls from disturbed congregants. I struggle with this. I don’t understand how followers of Christ can be so vicious. Is there any training or reading that can help me in this area?

DRF—I’m saddened to hear about the phone calls that you are getting. Church members should share their thoughts and opinions … but […]

New Leaders and New Decisions

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Hey Fletch … We are bringing in a new leader to a ministry area in our church. We are hoping that this new person can bring fresh insight and make needed decisions. Our former leader had received lots of complaints for “stale thinking,” and “not being motivating.” I wonder if we are having some idealistic thinking about this new leader.

DRF—Let me answer this one with a personal story. A long time ago, […]

Interim Pastors

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am an intentional interim pastor working with Interim Pastor Ministries. In the past 7 years, I have served 4 different churches, 3 of which had their pastor abruptly leave. So I have had a front-row seat in watching church leadership teams struggle with this trauma. I come in and work with the church for 18 months to 2 years to help them work through their issues before […]

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 […]

Finding Volunteers for the Band

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hey Fletch … We had a recent win! Last month, for the first time in many months, we had a full band. We stumbled into it without any great strategy for finding volunteers. Can you give some thoughts about how we can keep the band fully staffed with volunteer musicians?

DRF—Congratulations on your current win! Celebrate that with the band. Let them know how appreciative you are for their service to your church. […]

360 Reviews for Senior Pastors

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hey Fletch … Do you have any experience or connection with a church that has employed a 360 type evaluation of the Senior Pastor?

DRF—While I have done 360 reviews, I’m not an expert in them. Nathan Baxter has an article on XPastor that talks about these types of reviews. He says:

What is a 360 performance evaluation? Technically speaking, it is an exercise where a leader receives anonymous feedback from those who […]

XP Certification

Friday, August 10, 2018

Hey Fletch … The banner image on the courses page suggests a certification. Is a certification available?

DRF—Yes, the XPastor Online Courses are available to audit or for certification. Some people audit the courses and do not have to do the homework. Others take all the courses, and do the homework, so as to receive the XPastor Certification. After completion, we send a certificate.

The courses are a great way for new […]

What to Do with an 85% Decline in Church Attendance?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Hey Dr. Fletch … Hi! My church of 2,000 members has dwindled from over 2,000 members to barely 300. What should I do?

DRF—Thanks for your note. There must be lots of history behind your question. So, it’s hard to answer without knowing more. Declines can be due to people moving, cities changing, splits, changes of leadership or staff.

The facility costs are most likely enormous for a church of 300. That may be […]

A Capella to Instruments in Worship

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hey Fletch … Our church is moving from a cappella singing to including instruments in our worship services. How does this communication statement sound to you? “The shepherds have lifted a restriction that has been practiced at our church of singing a cappella only during Sunday morning worship. After an initial ninety days of discernment, there will be much to be discussed and decided about worship as we look to the future. […]

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 […]

Being Directive with Staff

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am struggling with how directive to be with my staff in terms of “expectations”?

DRF—For me, setting expectations is one of collaboration. I find that when I can have a discussion with someone, many times they set great expectations. 

When I turn leaders loose in their area of giftedness, I generally find that they need coaching, not a foot on the gas pedal. I weave my personal expectations into […]

Thursday is Think Time

Friday, May 25, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have all Thursday called #NMT (No Meeting Thursday) and set it aside to do just that. I only do strategic planning. I don’t do any other self work or meet with leaders. Thoughts on that?

DRF—The best leadership coaches around the country recommend ‘think time.’ The tyranny of the urgent is always with us. 

Dwight Eisenhower said: “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The […]

Church Grew to 2,000 in 5 Years

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hey Fletch … I attended the XP-Seminar a few years ago and took one of your XPastor Online Courses. I am now on the leadership team of our church. We have grown rapidly from 300 to 2,000 in less than 5 years. Our Executive Pastor job description was for a smaller church and had no measurable expectations. What do you have as examples of Executive Pastor job descriptions or job interview expectations […]

3 Kinds of Executive Pastors

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hey Fletch … I see that there are three types of Executive Pastors. There are those who are the solo XP for a church, an XP of Ministries and an XP of Operations. Do you see this too? Is there better wording that’s more clear, or another way to slice it?

DRF—Shakespeare writes “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other word would smell as sweet.” The exact […]

Raised $10 Million for a Building and Now What?

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m an XP and we just raised $10 million for a new building. Now what?

DRF—The simplicity of the question has profound implications. It reminds me of the movie “The Candidate.” Though Bill McKay (played by Robert Redford) has no hope of winning a Senate race, he succeeds. A final shot is McKay getting into a car and saying, “What do we do now?” McKay had a plan on running […]

Knowing God’s Call to a Ministry

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Hey Fletch … Question! What do you do, if you know God has called you but not sure what He is calling you to do? Moreover the person in question is careful not to embark on a mission he was not sent.

DRF—Greetings to you in Ghana. I so enjoy getting emails from Christian leaders outside of the United States. It is amazing to see the cultural differences and the ministry similarities.

The Apostle […]

Emergency Preparedness For Churches

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hey Fletch … I used this article for doing research on a plan for our church: ‘Emergency Preparedness For Churches.’ Can you expand on the ideas?

DRF—This is a hot topic right now. I so enjoy the perspective of the two brothers who wrote the article. One was an FBI agent and became a Police Captain. The other is a Police Lieutenant. This is an insider’s view of the issues.

You may […]

Will You Lead a Workshop for Local Pastors?

Monday, April 30, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am new to the role of Executive Pastor and would like to try to pull together a workshop led by you for 10-15 Executive Pastors in our denomination. I would create the list of invitees and work out all the logistics. I would poll the pastors to talk through topics of interest and then have you lead us through the discussions. Is this something you have done before? […]

What is the Difference Between Strategy and Tactics?

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m confused over the difference between “strategic” and “tactical” issues in church ministry. Can you help?

DRF—Wikipedia says “The terms tactic and strategy are often confused: tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that govern tactical execution.” Tactic is from the Greek τακτική meaning the “art of arrangement.” 

About 2,500 […]

The XPastor Site is Different

Monday, April 23, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’ve been in ministry a long time. Your XP-Seminar is unlike anything that I have attended before. I absolutely love it. The XPastor site exudes something different than most sites. What is it that is different?

DRF—Thanks so much for your gracious words. The free XPastor site has been around for over 14 years and has over 700 articles and thousands of pages of PDFs. Our aim is for […]

Larry Osborne Responds on Multiple Worship Services

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Hey Fletch … In response to the March 8, 2018 “Hey Fletch” column, let me add (and feel free to use my name here): In regard to how often our people come to church each month, we are closer to the traditional three times per month because we have so many worship service options. Sports and club programs and travel options are one of the main reasons for the drop from worship […]

Easy Onramps for Visitors

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have heard you talk about “easy onramps” in a church. What do you mean by that?

DRF—Every church needs places where newcomers can easily “get on board.” Existing attenders also need to know how they can revitalize their spiritual lives in groups ranging from the basics, to ongoing study, to serving others. I like to call these “easy onramps.”

One size does not fit all churches. Just as you […]

Live Translation, Part 2

Friday, March 9, 2018

Hey Fletch … In a February 6, 2018 “Hey Fletch” column I saw the question: Is anyone out there using a system that allows a church to broadcast a Spanish speaking translator to our congregation? My wife is from Argentina and we sometimes attend a Spanish service near us in the States. When they see me walking in, they hand me a headset without even asking. I find that attending a service being translated […]

Ministry Leaders Need a Holistic Picture and Planning

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Hey Fletch— I so love the resources that you are providing on XPastor. I recently transitioned into the Operations Pastor role, which for us is similar to an XP in most churches. First, I’m observing that ministry leaders have a hard time seeing the holistic ministry picture, and how their ministry is a small puzzle piece in the larger organizational puzzle. Second, ministry leaders make a habit of doing almost everything at […]

Live Translation of a Worship Service

February 6, 2018

Hey Fletch … Is anyone out there successfully using a system that will allow a church to broadcast a Spanish speaking translator to our congregation? Their desire is to sit in on our live service, rather than attend a Spanish speaking service. We would prefer not to distribute devices but rather have them stream a signal to their cell phone or tablet with a set of earbuds.

DRF—I love this question! Thanks for writing back […]

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