The Executive Pastor’s Ministry

Does an executive pastor do any ministry or that position completely subsumed in financial, personnel, and facilities management? Good question and here’s my answer:

  1. “Back office” work is ministry, but at a creative and different level. It is not “just” paperwork. I can’t tell you the number of vendors I’ve talked to about church – and those are doors that are not open to other staff persons. When I’ve called a customer service line and got a call center in India, I knew that they could see they were dealing with a church and that I might be the only Christian that person EVER speaks to in his/her life. Paying bills on time is a HUGE witness to vendors who are sour on church. I used all those things to educate other ministers to help them think outside the box and understand that the minutia they detested really did have a Kingdom impact. Think about this as not “just paperwork” but as opportunities for creative ministry. For instance, every year I shred old financial docs – I leverage that by telling members that they can bring in their stuff to shred (because I really don’t much for the shredder). The senior adults LOVE that they can bring in all their old files from the 1960s. So, what I was doing any way I could use to help others and everyone wins.
  2. The XP ministry is higher and more focused in scope. XPs continue to do the ministry they were doing before but now use those opportunities to train the campus and other pastors so they can learn from the XP. Every XP must seek every chance to teach the next rising generation how to do avoid mistakes and to stand taller on the XP’s shoulders. XPs get to work with a high level of volunteers and members – leaders in their community and businesses who can open doors for the church that most ministers can’t imagine. That can give an XP an opportunity to reach people who would never come to the church, all because the XP is working with high-net worth members or upper management members. Most churches neglect high capacity donors but that needs to a focal point for the Senior & Executive Pastors for both the sake of those people and of the church.
  3. The XP ministry is at a broader level. Not just on a campus but on a larger basis and even, through professional contacts, the XP reaches people across the state and region. People will come to the XP’s church to learn the way that church does things and the XP can teach them so they can replicate what the XP is doing in their own context. Just as the XP needs to follow in the footsteps of others, every XP is also responsible for pulling those behind him or her up to his or her level. This is a leadership position – one that people look up to and want to emulate. This position needs to be worth following, not “just another minister.”

The ministry of the XP is more creative, deeper, higher, and broader than other ministers. It requires more excellent ministers to do this work for the Kingdom.

Lead On!