Above all else, the executive pastor leads the staff. At some point in the church’s growth, the senior pastor recruits a leader they really trust to lead their staff well. This is a BIG deal!
So, more than any other “qualification,” the executive pastor must be a leader. They must have significant experience and have consistently demonstrated their ability to lead.
I’ve devoted much of my blogging time to sharing my thoughts on good, effective leadership. Check out my Leadership Fundamentals posts for the details, and let me know what you think.
Reporting to the senior pastor, the executive pastor is responsible for leading the staff to accomplish the church’s mission. (See THIS POST on the unique relationship between the senior and executive pastors.) In large part, this means understanding the mission and vision of the church as well as the wishes and desires of the senior pastor. That’s right. It’s not enough to understand “the plan,” the executive pastor must lead on behalf of the senior pastor. It’s a subordinate role to the senior pastor, and this should guide the executive pastor as he/she leads the staff day-to-day.
As a result, the staff becomes healthier and is more effective over time.