Rich Birch: 6 Systems Every Executive Pastor Needs to Evaluate This Year

Are you an executive pastor wondering where you should focus your time and energy?

Are you wondering exactly how things are really going at your church?

Are you a bit mystified about how to evaluate what’s really happening under the hood of your church?

Executive pastors are an incredible gift to growing churches. The best executive pastors sit at the intersection of vision and reality. That is to say, they spend their time balancing the bright future of the church on one hand and the facts of where the church is today on the other. In order to move a church from where you are to where you believe God is leading you as a community, you need a series of robust systems. Systems are simply repeatable processes that “Save You Stress, Time, Energy and Money.”

Executive pastors need to think about how these systems are performing across all areas of the church. In a very real way, the executive pastor is like a farmer cultivating a garden of systems by balancing each of the varying needs and requirements of the church against each other. An executive pastor should spend a considerable amount of time evaluating how well each of these systems performs and adjusting them accordingly when they don’t function the way they should.

This is a perfect time of year, the season of change, to build a plan for evaluation and adjust the systems required to help your church move forward.

Here are six systems you should consider when leading as an executive pastor:


How does your church attract people through a variety of channels?

Your church needs to have a consistent flow of new guests arriving on a regular basis. Churches that are healthy and growing consistently find ways to reach out to the world around them and invite new guests to join them.

If your church’s ability to reach new people begins to slow, you’ll eventually plateau and might even slip into decline. Evaluate your outreach efforts and how you use marketing and communications to increase your community’s awareness and interest in your church. Keeping a close eye on the outreach efforts of your church needs to be a core function of every executive pastor.


How does your church move people from their first visit to feeling fully at home?

It’s not enough for churches just to reach people in their community and have them come to church once. We also need to move people toward a deep sense of connection.

The healthiest and fastest growing churches in the country spend a tremendous amount of time and energy thinking through the exact next steps for transforming new visitors into plugged-in advocates of the church.

Deliberately measuring this process to see if your connection systems are performing at a high enough level is an important task of an executive pastor. This could be looking at the numbers for new-here guests, people joining groups and those getting plugged into volunteer teams. The trick here is to test both the total number of people connected along with the velocity of people moving toward further connection with the community.


How does your church mobilize people for volunteering and service within the church?

Above and beyond getting people connected, we need to find a way to see more people in your church serving others. The core message of the Gospel is that our lives are to be oriented around other people, and therefore the church needs to orient a tremendous amount of its effort and resources around serving.

Does your church have an adequate number of people serving? If not, what adjustments do you need to make as an executive pastor to ensure that more people are serving than ever before? Looking closely at the overall volunteer experience to measure both the number of volunteers as well as the quality of their experience is a system that you should consider.

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Source: Church Leaders