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 names are less important in your question than the roles that they fulfill. Yet, your wording resonates with me. I wrote an extremely popular article, “3 Kinds of XPs” and said:

Whether you call the position Executive Pastor or Senior Associate Pastor or Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, there are many vital roles that need to be filled in the modern church. Leading and managing the church has become complex and multi-dimensional.

In the old days, a mechanic could work on any car with a wrench and some muscle. Now, mechanics are specialized to work just on your Toyota Hybrid using highly complex machines, computers and battery analyzers. Whether you like it or not, the same is true in the church.

The easiest way to see the rise in the Executive Pastor position is to walk through time. As you read the following scenarios, consider the pressures on the Senior Pastor, how the Senior Pastor was trained in seminary and how the church changed in various decades.

The most important thing is to nail down exactly what the person does.

Sole XPs in churches have an umbrella function like the Senior Pastor. Everything in the church falls under their purview. XPs of Ministries are only responsible for the strategy, planning and execution. XPs of Operations are only responsible for the entire facility, HR, finances, insurance coverage, and safety. 

All three models of the Executive Pastor work in various churches. The key is to find what your church needs and how it will work in your local culture.