Manpower: People are selected and placed in positions that fit their gifts, passions and callings and that align with the church’s objectives and culture

The Three Irreducible Organizational Roles of an Executive Pastor

The generalist nature of the responsibilities of the Executive Pastor results in a myriad of items that demand attention. With the broad range of actions and initiatives that you could be doing, how do you determine those that you should be doing?

For most of us “less is more.” Focusing on no more than three roles and their corresponding responsibilities and functions can provide focus and offer a template for discerning your “Must Do’s” from the many “Should Do’s” and “Nice to Do’s” that come across your desk.

You may find it helpful to think of the roles of the Executive Pastor as that of an Executive and that of a Pastor. As an Executive he serves in an organizational leadership capacity and as a Pastor he serves in a spiritual leadership capacity. The following three broad roles of Leader, Manager, and Supervisor are reflective of the roles the Executive Pastor must function in as an effective organizational leader.

The Leader Role

In the role of Leader the Executive Pastor focuses on doing the right things.

RESPONSIBILITY: Discern and Define who we are, where we are going and how we are going to get there.

FUNCTION: Establish Organizational Clarity and Focus As You Collaboratively Work with the Pastor to:

  1. Set Direction – Unique Mission, Vision, Values, and Objectives (Priorities)
  2. Align – Organizational, Ministry Team and Individual Goals, Strategies and Resources That Support the Mission, Vision, Values and Objectives
  3. Integrate – Accountability, Measurement, Tracking, Communication and Celebration of Progress

The Manager Role

In the role of Manager the Executive Pastor focuses on doing things right.

RESPONSIBILITY: Prioritize and Practice problem avoidance so you can be who you are and get where you are going.

FUNCTION: Facilitate the Implementation of Mission, Vision, Values, Objectives, Goals and Strategies As You Collaboratively Establish:

  1. Action Step Oriented Processes and Meetings
  2. Regulating Control Systems
  3. Guiding Principles, Policies and Procedures
  4. Delegating responsibilities and tasks

The Supervisor Role

In the role of Supervisor the Executive Pastor focuses on doing the right things and doing things right with the right people in the right positions.

RESPONSIBILITY: Select and Supervise people who can and will help you become who you are, and become who they are, and get you where you are going.

FUNCTION: Catalyze High Performance and Positive Work Place Culture As You Collaboratively:

  1. Select – Identify, Hire or Enlist, and Orientate
  2. Supervise – Oversee, Manage and Set Performance Expectations
  3. Who Can – Develop, Coach, Resource and Nurture Spiritually, Organizationally, Ministerially and Emotionally Competent and Healthy Leaders
  4. Who Will – Engage, Motivate, Collaborate, Focus and Position Around Areas of Calling, Passion, Talents and Strengths


Posted on October 17, 2017

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5