After dealing with the organizational structure, implementing data collection and reporting processes, and putting a strategic plan in place, the new executive pastor must put First Things First. The new executive pastor has to work with the senior pastor and the rest of the staff on identifying and working on the highest priority items first.
When it comes to infrastructure development, for example, the new executive pastor must evaluate the “pain points” in the organization and make a prioritized list of systems, processes, and methods that need to be put in place.
In my case, the first 4 operating procedures we wrote and implemented were dealing with the finances. Specifically, how spending decisions were being made and who had the “authority” to make a spending decision. We sat back and determined that there would be 4 ways to spend money. This resulted in the development, documentation, and implementation of these 4 processes:
Getting these operating procedures written and in place solved many a problem! Since then, it’s pretty much been routine, allowing us to move on to the next highest priority item(s).
Another example from early on was the need to state our “policy” on performing weddings at our church along with documenting and communicating the “process” for requesting, preparing for, planning, and actually getting married by one of the pastors on our staff. At the time we were receiving lots of requests and were having a difficult time responding to each request consistently. So it was a “pain point” that needed to be fixed. What did we do? We wrote an operating procedure along with a bunch of forms for everything from requesting a wedding to tips on planning weddings. Since that time, we’ve done a bunch of weddings and they’ve all been pretty routine. We’ve also had a number of people withdraw their requests, not willing to do what is “required” to have a CCV pastor do their wedding.
So, what must the new executive pastor do next? Among other things, work with the staff to make a list of issues (or pain points) that need to be addressed. Then, get to work on infrastructure building!