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Top Posts of 2018 #10 “How the Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor Roles Work Together”

Business agreement - Senior and young male executives shaking hands at office

For the next couple of days I’m going to be counting down the top 10 posts from 2017 here on Helping Churches Make Vision Real. These are the posts that generated the most traffic, comments, and were the most shared on social media. The most popular topics this year had to do with emotionally intelligent leaders, church finances, church growth, indicators of decline, and becoming an outsider focused church.

This first post as we count down the top 10 has to do with the relationship between the Lead and Executive Pastor. I’m frequently asked how the relationship works, what a Lead Pastor should be looking for in a good XP. This post should help.

The relationship between the Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor can make or break a church staff team and has profound impact upon the overall ministry of the church. Get this right and you’ll end up getting a lot right. Get it wrong, and well, it’s going to be tough sledding.

There are some basic no brainer things that make a great Lead and Executive Pastor partnership and of course trust is at the foundation of it.

  • You can’t allow triangulation; the Lead and Executive Pastor need to stay connected and on the same page. I’d recommend a weekly touch base meeting to help solve this.
  • You can’t have a “good cop / bad cop” situation. You don’t want the staff to love the Lead Pastor and fear the Executive Pastor. Executive Pastors remember that fear doesn’t make people want to follow you. On the other side of the coin, Lead Pastors can’t delegate all of the tough decisions and execution to the Executive, the church needs your leadership not just your direction.
  • A better analogy for a healthy partnership between a Lead and Executive Pastor is more like a mom and a dad leading a family together through mutual submission to one another. Leading in their area of brilliance and submitting in their areas of weakness.
  • The Executive Pastor needs to support the Lead Pastor publicly and when needed appropriately challenge them privately.

And if you’ve ever wondered what the basic lanes are that the Lead Pastor and Executive Pastor should be running in here are 4 things that each role can’t delegate away:

There are 4 Things the Lead Pastor can’t Delegate

  1. Leadership
  2. Teaching
  3. Vision
  4. Culture

There are 4 Things the Executive Pastor can’t Delegate

  1. Strategy
  2. Execution
  3. Leading the Sr. Leadership Team
  4. Daily Train, Develop & Coach the Culture

Posted in Leadership

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