“Hey Fletch” on XP 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.

Questions for an XP Interview

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Hey Fletch … Good afternoon, I am interviewing for an XP role in a church in another city in Europe. I am part of the shortlist of 3 people. Can you suggest some answers to prepare?

DRF—Congratulations on being on the shortlist for interviews! That is exciting and could be a great next step for you in ministry. I’m always excited to hear about XPs in Europe! At XPastor events, we have had […]

Value of Courses

Monday, February 25, 2019

Hey Fletch … I am super excited to take your courses on XPastor! I am a worship pastor of 30 years who is looking to make a change in leadership. Is there any certification with the completion of these courses that will be of value to a church? I have no business education but own two profitable websites. Just asking for clarification. Can’t wait to dive in to your program.

DRF—Thanks for […]

New XP and Coaching

Friday, February 22, 2019

Hey Fletch … I am a new executive pastor at our church and recently took over this position. I have been a youth and family pastor for many years. I would like some information on coaching for new executive pastors.

DRF—Congratulations on your new position. You have plenty of years in ministry to know how church works, and now you have an entirely new leadership role ahead for you.

There are several levels of […]

Residency Program for XPs?

Friday, February 15, 2019

Hey Fletch … I read the Hey Fletch column of January 28 and was intrigued about the potential of a residency program. I’d love to be in one to learn how to be an XP. Any more on that?

DRF—I reached out to one XP who was considering starting such a program. He said:

I was attempting to get that started. Since last year we’ve changed direction to a co-op with a […]

Want To Become an XP

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Hey Fletch … I am looking to make a career change and looking for Executive Pastor positions. I was referred to you and thought I’d reach out to see if we could get some time on the phone. Would you be available for that? Thank you!

DRF—In general, I reserve phone calls for paid consultation work. I wish that I could talk to everyone who wants a free call. However, let’s start an […]

XP Residency Program

Monday, January 28, 2019

Hey Fletch … I’m looking for a church that could train me as an XP. I’d like to get hands on training about how to be an XP. While I have a seminary degree, it gave me great teaching in Bible. No school seems to be equipping people for the unique role of XP. Thoughts?

DRF—When I was an XP in California, I had four people go through an XP residency program. We […]

Is There Still Room for Me at the XP-Seminar?

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Hey Fletch … I have done an excellent job of procrastinating and haven’t enrolled in the XP-Seminar. Do you have room for one more?

DRF—You are cutting it close, so very close. This year people started signing up extra early for our annual event. By last December we were already 75% full. That was a full two months before the event. 

The XP-Seminar is in February and is brimming with people. […]

XP Job Description 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Hey Fletch … I’ve been asked to take on the role of XP at our church. Would you be willing to review this job description and provide feedback?

DRF—Congratulations on the new role. I’m thrilled for you! Some thoughts are:

  • I like to see job descriptions that are one-page in length. The job description serves as the basis for a review so you can know if the job has been done.
  • I’m not […]

Wife Sees Me Differently Than I See Myself

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Hey Fletch … I have taken the XP-Indicator on XPastor. The results really seemed to fit me. I like it so much that I paid for my wife to also take it on how she saw me. The problem arose that she sees me differently that I see myself. What now?

DRF—As all answers in the Hey Fletch column are anonymous, I can share your graph with the readers. Your responses show […]

Networking with other XPs

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hey Fletch … I’m feeling a little dry and out of contact with other XPs. What can you suggest to help me get connected with people leading churches of a similar size to ours?

DRF—I’m supposing that you are not feeling connected to other XPs in your area. Have you tried meeting with them as a group? Perhaps they need you to organize a lunch for all local XPs.

To get to know people […]

Which of the 30 Workshops Is Best for Me?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hey Fletch … I see that you are having over 30 workshops at the XP-Seminar. I’m already enrolled and am excited to be back. Give me some insight on which ones would be best for me.

DRF—I am so glad that you didn’t ask, “which are the best workshops?” I would have had to say, “They all are fantastic!” 

You asked which ones would be best for you at this specific time […]

Running a Church

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Hey Fletch … I’ve been reading the columns for a while. It seems like you know so much about churches. I would say that ‘Fletch knows how to run a church.’

DRF—Thanks for your generous words. I would say that there are lots of similar issues in churches and relatively few new issues in the American church in any given year. For a long time I helped lead churches and write about lessons […]

Business vs Spiritual Side of Church Leadership

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Hey Fletch … I’m a new XP and struggling with this dichotomy of business and spiritual aspects of what I do. The rest of the pastors get to focus on ministry all the time and I’m now seeing my role as more complicated than that. Help!

DRF—Part of what you are feeling comes from a false disjuncture between the two areas. There is nothing less spiritual about keeping your church on a great […]

When Will You Be in Dallas Again?

Monday, December 31, 2018

Hey Fletch … I like the XPastor site and would like to attend you next event. When will you be back in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and how can I register?

DRF—We did a Smart Money for Church Salaries workshop in Dallas last August. You can click on that link to see about the video of the workshop. That was a part of our 10-city national tour.

Our next event in Dallas will […]

Leading a Church Staff is Like Herding Cats

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m about to become the XP in our church. I’ve never had a church position before and several people tell me it is like herding cats. Really?

DRF—Popular expressions have a grain of truth in them. The expression “leading staff is like herding cats” is one of the popular ones.

Most pastors pay their own way through seminary or other studies. Most pastors are not compensated at corporate levels. Most pastors […]

For-Profit Background

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Hey Fletch … A friend referred me to you. I’m currently working as a CFO of a church but that is coming to an end soon. I have lots of for-profit experience as a CEO, CFO and COO. I was wondering if I might be a good XP. Can you advise me?

DRF—You have good experience from your church and for-profit business experience. With a limited knowledge of your abilities, I can’t comment […]

Start-up Manual for New XP?

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Hey Fletch … I was an XP over 20 years ago in a startup role when two churches merged. It has about 1,400 attenders. Since then I’ve been teaching in a university. I have an interview next week for an XP role in a church of about 200. Is there a step-by-step manual for being a startup XP? I need help if I should get this position.

DRF—I don’t know of a start-up […]

Looking for Nine Years for a Ministry Position

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Hey Fletch … What if one has been looking for nine years and submitted resumes to over fifty different churches with very few interviews. What should I do?

DRF—I’m sorry to hear that. I applaud your desire to serve in a local church. You have great tenacity!

I would suggest that you talk to a coach. Your resume or cover letter could be off-putting. Regularly I review resumes and find many are poorly crafted. […]

I Didn’t Get the Job

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Hey Fletch … The church decided to go with an XP from a really large church. So, I didn’t get the job. Do you have any thoughts for me as I’m stinging a bit?

DRF—Hang in there. The world hasn’t ended, yet. There is a sting when you were hoping to get a new job and it didn’t come through. Work through those stages of pain. God is abundantly present in our pain!

It […]

New XP in the First 100 Days

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hey Fletch … I was recently promoted inside my church to the XP role. I’m looking for a recommendation for a book that deals with the transition to a new role in ministry. Something similar in nature to the book “The First 90 Days” by Michael D. Watkins, but from a ministry role perspective. Thanks for any suggestions you might share.

DRF—Congratulations on the new position. On the XPastor site you can find […]

Learning Online To Be an XP

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Hey Fletch … I see your online courses have credit hours. Does this lead to some type of certification? Are there any discounts for bundling? Thanks for your assistance!

DRF—XPastor’s online classes are a great way to learn about the XP role and its function. There are two ways to take the classes. You can audit the class by listening to the lectures and class discussion. Students who complete the assignments can work […]

Hiring an African-American XP

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m a Senior Pastor and we are looking for a proficient African-American XP. We don’t know where to go to find good candidates. Can you help?

DRF—It is so nice to hear from you. I went to the church website and loved what I saw. It looks like God has given a tremendous ministry to you!

There are at least six ways to do a search to find a quality candidate. […]

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 […]

Church Hired Someone Else

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Hey Fletch … After a long process, I learned that the church is not going to hire me as the XP. The are hiring someone else. The church wants to keep me in my existing role and I would report to the new XP. Should I stay?

DRF—As I have reflected on this, I would say, “yes, stay.” However, I would add some qualifications. You were treated well in the process. There were […]

When to Apply for an XP Position?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am looking to improve and learn additional skills to become an XP. In the mean time, is it appropriate to apply for an XP position?

DRF—I applaud that you want to learn more about the XP role. It is a multidimensional role and complicated. The XP role can entail overseeing all staff, operations, governing boards, finances, insurance, HR, legal, ministry strategy, campus safety, and the list goes on.

On […]

My Resume

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’d like to become an XP. Could you take a look at my resume and give me some thoughts?

DRF—I would be pleased to review your resume. Before you send it to me, check out the Great Resumes Page on XPastor. Learn from those who have outstanding resumes!

I like to see a resume that conveys the strengths and experience of an individual. Get some help on the design to […]

Networking with XPs

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’d like to learn more about the XP role and perhaps become an XP. You recommended getting into a network with XPs. Right now, I only know one or two XPs. What is your advice on how to get better networked?

DRF—I would suggest that you ask the XPs that you know if they are in monthly or quarterly meetings with area XPs. A network of XPs is a great […]

Is There an XP Group in My Area?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’ve just found your website and am very excited to dig in. One of the things I need to do is find other XP’s in my area to meet with. I’m wondering if you know of any gatherings or individuals you might recommend in my area?

DRF—Thanks for your interest in XPastor and your desire to get together with other pastors in your community. There used to be a strong […]

3 Kinds of XPs

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hey Fletch … I came across your pivotal article on the 3 Kinds of XPs. Thanks so much for making this available.

DRF—It is always gratifying to hear from the XPastor community. The article, 3 Kinds of XPs, is very popular on the site because it addresses the main types of XPs in churches today. 

As society and church changes in the future, we may see the XP role change. By […]

Too Early to Enroll in the 2019 XP-Seminar?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m interested in attending the XP-Seminar in 2019.  When will registration begin?

DRF—We had plenty of emails in May and June about this. People were asking extra early this year! You can now register for the XP-Seminar with the early bird rate. That is good until the end of August.

In 2019, we will be utilizing Psalm 112:4 as a central verse—In the darkness a light shines for the […]

Thinking about Applying for an XP Position

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hey Fletch … I was thinking about applying for the open XP role at our church. Then I found out the church quickly and quietly hired an insider. Is this typical?

DRF—I’m sorry that you didn’t get the change to apply for the position and possibly get an interview. If a church posts an open position, they should allow three to five weeks for people to apply. Otherwise, it makes people wonder, “Why […]

Can I Shadow a Leader for a Day?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am relatively new as an XP. First, your website and the XP-Seminar have been tremendous resources. Second, I want to hang out with an XP in my area for a day to watch how they work. The problem I have is, “How I should structure the day and what questions I should ask?” I feel as though I don’t even know what questions I need answered right now. […]

Skills for an XP

Monday, June 25, 2018

Hey Fletch … Compared to five years ago, what skills, knowledge, leadership or sensitivity is needed to lead as XP in a growing evangelical church?

DRF—I’ve mentioned before that recently Matt Branaugh, an editor at Christianity Today, asked me why there are so many XPs in churches of 500 people in worship with $1 million budgets. The answer to Matt’s and your question is the same: complexity.

In the last five and ten years, […]

XP in Church of 300 Needs Coaching

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Hey Fletch … I see on your site that you provide coaching. I am interested in the process and the price. I am currently in a split role of Children and Executive Pastor at church of 300. I greatly desire additional training but am presently lacking in funds for much—$39,000 isn’t worth complaining about but only goes so far when supporting a large family! Thanks for your time.

DRF—It sounds like an interesting […]

Two XPs in a Church

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Hey Prof … I’ve been learning that there are a number of different ways churches use their executive pastors, more than I realized! The idea about the two XPs in a church seems like a good one.  

Does it allow people to focus in their area of expertise? It seems usually an XP is stronger on the side of business-finance-operations or one the side of ministry strategy-planning-coaching. I admire the solo […]

Was an Elder, now I’m an XP

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have been an elder in our church for many years. Just last month, I became the new executive pastor. What are some of the major things that I need to be aware of in this change? 

DRF—Congratulations on your new role! That’s an exciting step in your life and in the life of your church. The transition from a role on a church governing board to a staff […]

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 […]

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 […]

XPastor Course Syllabus

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hey Fletch … is there a syllabus available for the XPastor Staffing Course, Operations 101? I took your Generosity Course and enjoyed it!

DRF—I’m so glad that you enjoyed the Generosity Course. Let me email you the syllabus for Staffing. We are now putting the syllabus as a part of week 1. Most people only want the syllabus after they sign up for a course.

The syllabus is helpful as an outline of […]

Learning About Leading a Church

Monday, May 14, 2018

Hey Fletch … please I want to know more about the school. Thank you.

DRF—I love hearing from folks overseas. We don’t offer a school so much as courses for church leaders. You are in Ghana and can easily take the classes. The courses are on:

    • Operations 101—Staffing
    • Operations 102—Church Communications
    • Operations 103—Finances, Part 1
    • Operations 104—Finances, Part 2
    • Operations 105—Facilities
    • Ministry Strategy 201—Strategic Ideas
    • Ministry Strategy 202—Generosity

If God […]

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 […]

Business Guy Doesn’t Know Church

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Hey Fletch … We hired an XP about a year ago and he is killing us. He is gruff, direct and all business. He doesn’t get what it means to be a pastor. Help!

DRF—Many new Executive Pastors come from the business world. They are used to making decisions, corporate policy and a fast pace. I wrote a “Hey Fletch” on ‘The Church Moves as Glacial Speed.’ You may want to read […]

Worship Pastor for 30+ Years Wants to be an XP

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’ve been on the phone with a friend where my son is on staff. He suggested that I reach out to you. I’ve served 30+ years in Worship Ministry at large Baptist churches and have been on the executive team for each church. Also, I was 8 years in a secular business. I am feeling a call to move toward the role of Executive Pastor and want to see […]

Key Selection Criteria for Hiring an XP

Monday, April 9, 2018

Hey Fletch … I am just working to word up some Key Selection Criteria and interview questions to present and get signed off so we can move to advertise the XP position. If you had a few moments to look and comment on the attached Position Description and Selection Criteria, I would value that. Hopefully we will sign off on this with any appropriate amendments on Wednesday this week to begin to […]

Coaching for New XPs

Friday, March 30, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’ve heard you might provide coaching for new XPs. If that’s the case, how do you structure the coaching experience and how much does it cost?

DRF—Great to hear from you. Coaching for new XPs is vital! The first year has a huge learning curve. Essentially, the XP role is an interdisciplinary one and XPs have lots of hats to wear. Those hats range from working with the SP & […]

Two XPs in Our Church

Monday, March 26, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m trying to research churches that have a double XP organization. We are thinking of an XP of Operations and an XP of Ministries. We currently have a Lead Pastor and then me, the XP. We want to split up my duties into the operations side and then hire an XP that the other pastors would report to. Currently we have a staff of six pastors including the LP. […]

Executive Pastor as Dr. No

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Hey Fletch … one of the challenges that I face as Executive Pastor is that everyone is pitching things to me. I feel like I’m “Dr. No.” There are tons of good ideas but we can only do so much as a church. Thoughts?

DRF—I know the feeling. I recently got a crazy email asking me to host an event with a local caterer. It was über strange. Part of the role of […]

Church Grows from 300 to 2,000 in 5 Years

February 17, 2018

Hey David … We have grown from 300 to 2,000 in less than 5 years. Our original Executive Pastor job description was for a smaller church. What do you have as examples of Executive Pastor Job descriptions. What services do you have available for coaching an XP?

DRF—Everyone wants your problem! It’s wonderful. Massive growth is an enormous challenge. You have blown through the culture levels of 600 and 1,200 attenders. Here is a […]

Who Needs an XP?

January 26, 2018

Hey Fletch … What is the best way to convince a strong Senior Pastor of the necessity for creating an XP role at the church?

DRF—The answer is “complexity.” Strong Senior Pastors understand that! Churches of all sizes deal with complex budgets, the Affordable Care Act, ministry strategy, child safety, security to prevent an active shooter, hiring and termination, legal issues, staff culture, ministry best practices, etc. On “complexity” check out this interview […]

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