Friday, March 8, 2013

My Role As Executive Pastor

Recently, I read a blog and saw a leadership video on the role of Executive Pastors. Being in that role of I have often been asked, “What does the executive pastor do?” According to Dr. David Fletcher, there are three different kinds of Executive Pastors: Overseer of operations, Ministry Strategist, and the Second-in-Command.
My pastor, Rick Frie, explains my job as, “being responsible for everything that happens outside of the worship service (except for building and grounds).” With that being said, the overseer of operations (writing checks, maintenance of facilities, dealing with insurance) is outside of my job description and I rarely have to do anything with that. The closest responsibility I have to that role would be my involvement as an ad hoc member of the finance team, but my role is for ministry and budget oversight responsibilities.

For my is a combination of the Ministry Strategist and the Second-in-Command. I work with the pastor to clarify and fulfill the vision God has given him for our church. My duties include goal setting and constant evaluations, while overseeing ministry and church functions to free the pastor to shepherd the church. Oversight of our spiritual development, ensuring that we have a process and measurement system in place. When the Senior Pastor is out, I am the one held accountable for the daily operations of the church, staff oversight, filling the pulpit, etc. Additionally, I oversee our spiritual development, small groups, missions, evangelism, discipleship, and assimilation of lives into our church family… and other tasks assigned by the pastor. For example, I have been responsible for three capital stewardship campaigns in my time at First Baptist Jenks, with a fourth campaign looming as we are preparing to expand our children ministry facility.

I am not sure that there is an ideal job description for all executive pastors, but I do believe the key is to make sure the person in that role understands his job. Equally important is for the Senior Pastor to provide his executive pastor with the authority to fulfill the responsibilities he has been given and will be accountable for. Another key component is for everyone on staff to understand what that job entails and the how that affects working together as a team.

For me, I find great joy in being able to preach (about 8-12 times a year on Sunday mornings) and weekly on Wednesday nights. I love the leadership development aspect of my job. God has given me an outlet for my passion of missions, being able to oversee that area of the church. I thoroughly enjoy being able to critically think about our ministry strategy and evaluate how we are doing.

While there are times where the executive pastor role can stretch you, it is in those moments where I find my effectiveness increase as I naturally depend more on God. And be sure about it, God is the source for anything good that comes from my job performance. He provides the ideas, strength for execution, and a heart to fulfill His mission in my ministry setting!