Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Inside the World of Executive Pastors

Inside the World of Executive Pastors a (January) 2009 survey by Leadership Network.

This is an intriguing survey. It included respondents from 41 US States, as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, (unfortunately, it’s not possible to differentiate the Australasian responses). Executive pastors are also known as Administrators, Directors, or Chiefs of Staff.

At first glance it seems to be talking about a world that is a long way from the NZ scene, but a quick skim down the pages soon shows up evidence that what’s happening here is what’s happening elsewhere. ‘Feeling emotionally drained and overwhelmed are the two top stressors regularly felt by executive pastors,” for example. Nevertheless, most of them felt happy in their role. However, the bigger the church, the more time executive pastors spend on administration. 'For some, this is a definite drawback: “I don’t feel very pastoral,” wrote one respondent. “I want to touch people more. I want to impact the world.”'

The report also says:
While most people in the pews are familiar with the roles and duties of a teaching pastor or a worship pastor, executive pastors are a relatively new addition to contemporary church culture. Often seen only infrequently in a weekly worship setting, the executive pastor role is one that is still misunderstood amongst many church members—and for that matter, even among other church staff.

Who are executive pastors? For starters, they’re not necessarily male. In fact, 11% of survey responders were female. While that number is likely somewhat higher than the national norm since female executive pastors were specifically sought out for the survey, it’s still an interesting finding—especially given that 100% of survey respondents indicated their senior pastor was male.

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