An examination of hundreds of responses to the Executive Pastor Indicator (which has become the People Patterns Indicator) documented some of the differences between Executive Pastors and Church Administrators. Many churches have both of these positions—-my church does. The Five Functions helps us consider the uniqueness of each role. Both XPs and Church Administrators are gifted as Administrators and Mentors. Generally, Church Administrators are slightly stronger in the Administrator function (common sense, right?) Both roles manage the business needs of the church. The XP is a very strong Mentor, but Church Administrators do some developing and coaching of staff.

The XPs are strong Catalysts and Overseers. The Catalyst function stirs up ministries and instills a “church ethos.” As an Overseer, the XP leads the church to be in alignment with the vision of the governing board and Senior Pastor. Church Administrators have minimal, if any, Catalyst and Overseer roles.

XPs generally invest a small percentage of their time as Ministers in counseling, teaching, weddings and funerals. Church Administrators have even less direct ministry.

The People Patterns Indicator helps people visualize their gifts and objectively talk about their roles. Are you an XP or a Church Administrator? In larger churches, both can be necessary to handle the management and leadership needed in God’s work.