After ensuring the organization is properly structured for their own responsibility and authority, the new executive pastor must work this issue for the rest of the organization.
People are funny. If you put them in an ambiguous situation, the outcome will be exactly that … ambiguous. I’m a firm believer in two fundamentals when it comes to leadership and building a great team. First, each team member should have only one boss. And, second, each team member should have a job description and a sense of how they fit in the overall scheme of things.
I’ve covered the job description thoroughly in a few posts and provided some examples. Go HERE to view a listing of job descriptions you are welcome to use. And, HERE is a pretty good post on the topic you might find to be helpful.
Typically, defining the organizational structure is done via an organizational chart (or several organizational charts). It’s important to create and make readily available an organizational chart that clearly defines the organization’s structure, including everyone in it. In the case of the church, it should show the senior pastor and how he/she relates to the board of elders (or whatever your church calls the board), from there, who reports directly to the senior pastor and who reports to them … and so on. I’ve provided an example HERE. And, HERE is a pretty good post on the topic.
Of course, before the organizational chart, church governance should be completely ironed out. This is most often done via a good set of bylaws. The bylaws are the top-level document that communicates how the church will be organized, including how the board is governed and how the board oversees the activities of the senior pastor and other church staff depending on the governance model employed. Check out a pretty good set of bylaws HERE.
Getting a well-defined and documented system in place related to responsibility and authority is a must and the first step for the new executive pastor.
Questions? Feel free to contact me.