Why You Need to Hire an Executive Pastor In 2024


Every church is in constant pursuit of its dream team – joyful conflict resolution, efficient operations and attitudes, and trustworthy stewardship of life and resources are all part of what sets the best teams apart. If you’re chasing this dream team and you don’t yet have an Executive Pastor, filling this role may be your next crucial step.

The Role

An Executive Pastor oversees a church’s administration, finance, staff, and operations. Depending on a church’s organization, the Executive Pastor is usually one of the highest-ranking leaders within a church, just behind the Senior Pastor. 

Because of their crucial role as an administrator on your team, the Executive Pastor’s success influences the growth of your church, how smoothly your church operates, your staff retention, and the effective use of your resources. 

An effective Executive Pastor may seem like they do everything because their scope is broad. Having high influence in many areas allows them to see the scope of cracks in your system. They’ll schedule meetings, manage staff organization, handle hiring and onboarding, oversee human resources, develop budgets, manage policies, resolve conflict, and more. 

The Executive Pastor works alongside the Senior Pastor, sharing their heart and vision for the congregation. They have the ability to carry out the mission and vision that the staff curates.

When to Hire

When your church has attendance at or below 1,000, you’ll probably just need one person to meet business administration and executive needs, under the title of Executive Pastor. Once your church grows beyond 1,000, the administrative and ministry duties will be too much for one person. At that point, it’s best to split the responsibilities between a part-time Business Administrator, and a full-time Executive Pastor who focuses on ministry and relational responsibilities.

The Ideal Candidate

For your church to thrive under the leadership of an Executive Pastor, you’ll need to search for specific skills that will serve your church well. You’ll need someone with people-managing skills so that people enjoy working at your church. The ideal candidate will bring a business mindset to the team to steward the limited resources and precious funds you’ve been entrusted with. You need a listener who will intuitively pick up on the individual needs and cracks your team faces. They’ll need a problem-solving mentality to build systems that get things done quickly. You’ll need to confidently rely on this person to be the glue that holds all the different operations of your church together. 

The process of finding the right candidate can cost you countless hours and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially if the hire goes wrong. Take time and care to screen and interview candidates for a thorough match with your vision, beliefs, and culture. 

For help finding the ideal candidate for you, check out Vanderbloemen’s Executive Search service for churches, schools, and nonprofits. We match your specific needs with the best of the best from our ever-growing network of candidates.


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