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Pastors have been on the scene for a couple of thousand years. Executive pastors, by many different definitions, have been around for about 30 years. We obviously know more about how to be the former than the latter.
Understanding the role and whether you need an executive pastor begins with clarity of definition. Let’s start by separating what is often combined—that is, the church business administrator and the executive pastor (hereafter as XP).
Variations - Church - Administrator - Finance - Guy
There are many variations of church administrator from “finance guy” to “business dude.” Written more formally if you prefer, from CFO to operations manager.
Business Administrator or Executive Pastor?
Points - Job - Description - Business - Administrator
The following five points will serve as a general job description for the typical business administrator. Each church can adjust to meet their own needs and the gifts and skills of the person hired.
Contrast - XP - Role - Staff - Coach
In contrast, the XP takes on more the role of staff coach (or director) for ministry and leadership. Depending on the size of your church, the XP may have some different responsibilities including primary ministry roles.
If your church does not yet average close to 1,200 in attendance, it’s probably a little too soon for you to have an XP. This is not a dogmatic number, but it is a very well tested guideline.
XP - Ministry - Roles
If under 1,200 it’s certainly too soon to have an XP that does not also carry primary ministry responsibilities other than XP roles.
When churches attempt to hire an XP too soon, they often ask the person to do both the role of business administrator and XP. This makes sense financially because you can’t justify (or afford) two salaries, but you will likely run into a common problem.
Person - Role - Business - Administrator - XP
The person you have in that dual role is better suited for either business administrator or XP, but not both. This may be OK when the church is smaller, for...
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