As you’ve probably noticed by now, there’s currently no “Senior Pastor Job Description” posted here on Executive Pastor Online. I’ve had several requests for one, and my response is always the same. Maybe I’ll write one someday.
But, for now, here’s the deal …
At the church I served for 20+ years, the duties and responsibilities of the Senior Pastor were outlined in the church’s Bylaws. The Bylaws described the Leadership Team’s duties (Eldership or Church Board), including those of the Senior Pastor as a Leadership Team member.
They also specifically said …
The Senior Pastor shall serve on the Leadership Team.
In addition to the Senior Pastor’s duties as a Leadership Team member, the Senior Pastor will serve as the primary teacher in weekend services, visionary leader for the congregation, and manager of the church staff.
Certain limitations and general constraints to the responsibility and authority of the Senior Pastor were set forth by the Leadership Team in the Executive Limitations Policy.
Under no circumstances will a Senior Pastor be hired who has not received an undergraduate and/or graduate degree from an Independent Christian church college or seminary and had at least five years of full-time service with an Independent Christian church.
I realize there’s not much here. A good job description has a general description, essential job functions, education, experience, etc. Perhaps writing one eventually would be a good idea.
But here’s the thing … a job description has a specific purpose. It should describe the position in enough detail to ensure the person filling it understands their job and that the position is understood, organizationally, how it fits as a part of the whole, especially as it relates to authority. Does what’s in the Bylaws accomplish this? I would say yes, but the position details are not spelled out very well.
So, if you’re wondering why a Senior Pastor Job Description is not among the long list of job descriptions here on Executive Pastor Online, here’s your answer.
The “top job” job description in the church is part of the Church Bylaws and the church’s Executive Limitations Policy.