You know have the gifts to lead but you’re struggling to clear the clutter. We’ve outlined this executive pastor job description that might be helpful. 

As the Executive Pastor, you wear a lot of hats. You want to help the church be effective, and you make everything come together.

But again and again, we’ve heard it from executive pastors, “I’m the one who’s supposed to make vision actionable, but I get pulled in so many directions!” 

Ever felt that way? You’re not alone. That’s why we wanted to outline this Executive Pastor job description.

executive pastor

When your role isn’t clear, the results are pretty predictable… vision stalls out, staff teams can get dysfunctional, and tension can develop in your relationship with your lead pastor. It’s frustrating to feel stuck—knowing you have the gifts to lead but lacking a way to clear the clutter. 

Over the years, after working in and with 400+ churches, we have a pretty good feel for what makes this role work. So, we’ve laid our description of an Executive Pastor for you here—

The role of the Executive Pastor is to assist the Senior Pastor in overseeing the life and direction of the church under the direction of the Board. 

This will require a firm grasp of the beliefs, values and strategy of your church and the ability to align staff and key leadership teams with the mission. The XP will offer pastoral leadership to the congregation alongside the SP and elders. The XP will ensure that the systems, practices, and policies of the church responsibly and effectively support its ministry activities.

The Executive Pastor will be responsible for:

1. Strategic Leadership and Planning

The Executive Pastor is responsible for strategic planning and staff coordination in the execution of the church’s mission and vision, as well as defining strategic goals and action plans. The XP will provide the catalyzing challenges and activities which allow your church to remain true to its mission and vision, and develop new ministry programs so that the church is appropriately responsive to identified needs and church health. This leadership and input will be provided through many activities, including:

  • Coordinating and leading staff meetings in partnership with the SP and engaging other activities designed to clarify and execute your church’s goals and objectives. Facilitating regular meetings with the staff leadership team.
  • Serving as a staff liaison to the board. Providing leadership in vision casting and goal setting.
  • Monitoring the pulse of the congregation through research and evaluation.
  • Ensuring staffing, facilities and programs are appropriately and effectively aligned to best meet strategic goals.
  • Fulfilling other pastoral and administrative duties as requested by the SP.

2. Staff Supervision and Development

The Executive Pastor will provide leadership to the staff team and serves as personnel director for pastors and paid staff. They will lead, evaluate, and mentor existing staff in their respective areas of ministry and prioritize staff additions. That includes the following responsibilities:

  • Supervising the leadership team as it relates to day-to-day ministry and operational activities.
  • Overseeing training and development.
  • Implementing the hiring and dismissal process following direction and guidance from the SP and the board.
  • Providing coaching to the staff in the design and implementation of all church ministries including periodically evaluating appropriate changes to organizational structure.
  • Implementing strategies for salary reviews as part of the annual budgeting process.
  • Serving as human resources manager and/or supervising staff or lay leaders performing these functions. Overseeing insurance and other benefits, conducting performance evaluations, and providing on-going informal performance feedback.

3. Administration

The Executive Pastor will oversee and execute the administration of the church through appropriate staff, lay leadership teams, and consultants (as needed) and ensure the completion of business, facility, and logistical support functions through staff and volunteers. Responsibilities include:

  • Serving as the chief financial officer providing oversight and direction in the large variety of financial functions of the church including: stewardship campaigns, cash flow, contributions, insurance, banking and financing, payroll, leases, budget development and administration.
  • Overseeing campus development to ensure future facility acquisitions and expansions are consistent with the vision and values of your ministry strategy. Providing oversight to property purchases and leases and the design, construction and operations of existing and future facilities.
  • Ensuring the church’s technology infrastructure creates efficiencies and allows for continued ministry growth and innovations. Primary technology systems include but are not limited to church management solutions, accounting software, computer network, telecommunications and technology systems to support the creative arts.

4. Marketing and Communications

The Executive Pastor is responsible for protecting and promoting your church’s unique identity or “brand” through internal and external communications. They will ensure that the message is communicated with quality and creativity and with the primary target, the unchurched, always in mind. This includes:

  • Assisting the SP and creative team with packaging and promoting message series.
  • Giving direction to marketing and public relations activities (through staff and volunteers).
  • Reviewing communications guidelines and monitoring print and Web communications to make sure the message stays focused and consistent with your church’s vision and values.

5. Reproducing the Church

The Executive Pastor recognizes that God is positioning your church to impact people’s lives beyond your city and will actively pursue opportunities to expand ministries under the direction of the SP to reach more people for Jesus. This is accomplished by:

  • Develop a growth strategy that leverages existing resources and prepares for future expansion.
  • Working with the SP to partner with organizations to equip and invest in church planting initiatives out of your church.
  • Supporting the SP in developing resources that help staff and lay leaders increase the impact of their ministry.

Although you’re wired for action, you’re not immune to the ministry whirlwind. 

We’d like to invite you to take a step out of the whirlwind of ministry to refocus. What are the things ONLY you can do?

Specifically, there are three roles that, as the executive pastor, you just can’t delegate. 

Join Tony Morgan, Dan Reiland, Jenni Catron and Paul Alexander for a practical conversation about the 3 Roles an Executive Pastor Can’t Delegate

Get a framework for evaluating the work that lands on your desk and deciding what gets delegated and what doesn’t.

Registration for this event is now closed.

Fill out the form below to receive a replay of the webinar.



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