Monday, December 3, 2018
Hey Fletch … At the SoCal Smart Money for Church Salaries workshop, I noticed that the title Associate Pastor did not come up. You mostly mentioned the titles of SP, XP, Pastor and Assistant Pastor. Is the title of Associate Pastor from the past akin to the Pastor title in your research?
DRF—In the 1960’s and onward, the title of associate pastor became common. Most churches had one pastor. When a second one was added as the church grew, many times that person was called an associate pastor. As the church grew even larger with multiple associate pastors, a staff leader was often called senior associate pastor. The preaching pastor was often called the senior pastor.
At the turn of the millennium, the executive pastor role became common in churches all around the country. Other titles began to change. Those who were formerly called associate pastor began to be called pastor. Those just entering ministry began to be called assistant pastor.
So, the title of associate pastor is fading some, after being used for 30-40 years. Things may change in the future and the title could find a resurgence!