Yesterday, Pastor and I had the joy of talking with another Pastor/XPastor team about the way that we work together. Before our meeting, I was thinking about the process of hiring an Executive Pastor. Lots of guys think they want an XP, but they do not really know what that means. If you’re thinking about hiring an XP, consider this….

  • Make sure you want someone else making decisions. If you are going to hire an XP and continue to make all of the decisions or override all of the decisions they make, then you do not need an XP. You need an administrative assistant to support you so that you can preach and oversee all of the admin functions of your ministry.
  • Hire someone you TRUST. DON’T hire someone you just KNOW. I worked at Faith Promise for 2 years before I became the XP and had opportunities to earn my pastor’s trust. We had a developing, thriving relationship before we ever started. If you have any doubts that you can trust the person you are looking at, pass on them.
  • Don’t expect them to do everything the way you would do it. The gift mixes between senior pastor’s and executive pastor’s are different. Let the XP lead the way that they are gifted, not they way that you are gifted. Let your differences give you balance and the “best of both worlds.”
  • Look for someone who has high capacity. If you want someone to lead your church to new places, you need someone who has a high capacity for leadership and the leadership of just getting things done. XP’s must be able to do a wide variety of jobs…well (or at least pretty good).
  • Know that changes will not happen overnight. If you have spent 5 years driving the church into the ground with no structure, an XP will not fix it in 6 months. Expect changes to really begin to happen in years 2-5. After my first year as an XP, Faith Promise’s average attendance declined. However, in year 2, we began to see amazing synergy around the structure and strategy.

If you’re thinking about hiring an XP, first talk to a Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor team that you respect. You will save yourself and that person a lot of headaches and heartaches.

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