Every church is led by a pastor or pastors. The pastor's role is to shepherd the flock, feed them, and guide them. However, it is not possible for one person to shepherd a large number of sheep. There has to be some delegation of authority. Spreading out roles and responsibilities reduces the burden on the pastor's shoulders. Moreover, delegation of authority also makes the senior pastor accountable to the other pastors in the church. The senior pastor's primary responsibility is teaching, vision casting, and shepherding. However, most of the time he is found performing the administrative functions and organizing various programs and events. The executive pastor shoulders responsibilities in the church along with the senior pastor, helping to get the work done efficiently and quickly.
An executive pastor must possess the qualities as mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:7-9 of the Holy Bible.
- He must be blameless, vigilant, just, hospitable, patient, sober and of good behavior.
- He must be self-controlled, must love to do what is good, must be disciplined and upright.
- He must be the husband of only one wife and must be apt to teach.
- He must not be self-willed, must not be a drunkard, must not be greedy for money, must not be a brawler and must not be covetous.
- He must be able to handle his own family well.
- He must not be a novice and should have the spiritual maturity to handle the responsibility, or else he may be filled with pride and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
- He must be a man who holds firmly to the truth taught to him, so that he can encourage people with the truth, as well as confute those who oppose it.
He is to assist the senior pastor in implementing the vision of the church. Under the direction of the senior pastor, he is to co-ordinate and organize the programs of the church, in line with the established goals. For example, if the vision is to make disciples, then he should set up group cells during the week, wherein groups meet up and study the Bible, grow and spread the Word. He is to work towards maximizing the effectiveness of the program.
Overseeing Daily Activities
The executive pastor leads all the day-to-day activities, thereby allowing the senior pastor to concentrate on the overall spiritual growth of the church. Activities such as overseeing preparation of weekly bulletins, overseeing production of newsletters, and writing press releases as and when required need to be undertaken by him. He is also to conduct Bible studies on a regular basis, as well as preach in church when the senior pastor asks him to do so.
Under the senior pastor's guidance, and in consultation with appropriate committees and staff, the executive pastor has to prepare the church budget and manage it. He must direct the hiring of administrative staff, and is also responsible for formalities involving dismissal or repositioning of staff members. Church policies must be formulated by him, along with the senior pastor and committee or ministry team. These policies must be in accordance to the vision.
Disciplining and Nurturing
His duty also includes coaching individuals and making disciples of Jesus Christ. He is to recruit, train and motivate them, so that the church sends leaders into the world to carry forward the message of Christ. He should promote the evangelistic purpose of small groups. He must help and support the leaders, and should handle personal conflicts and ministry challenges.
Helping with General Pastoral Duties
He is expected to participate in all worship, as well as festive services. He is to assist the senior pastor with the oriental class for newcomers. He should conduct wedding and funeral services as and when asked by the senior pastor.
Facilitate Short-term Ministry Projects
He is to recruit and manage teams of people for short-term ministry projects. Besides managing human resources, he has to also gather the required financial resources and other necessary resources to fulfill the ministry project. He is to oversee the entire ministry program and monitor the progress of the program.
The executive pastor is to meet the senior pastor on a weekly basis and update him about all the financial, personal and administrative matters of the church. He is accountable to the senior pastor. Above all, he must be a man set out to serve God. He must be trustworthy, diligent and responsible. God does not call the equipped, but equips the called!