Photo above by Compass Christian Church of Nate Grella, NFW Campus Pastor
No two multisite churches are the same. Each campus has unique strengths, opportunities, and challenges. So when it comes time to choosing a campus pastor, you do not want to take a cookie-cutter approach. You want to choose someone particularly gifted to position that campus for healthy growth.
We have worked with some of the leading churches in multisite ministry, and we have isolated four pastoral models that fit most church needs. By choosing a pastor who is aligned with your campus needs, you are more apt to avoid the disruption of leadership turnover, which is a huge momentum killer. Plus it sets your whole organization up for success.
Here are the four pastoral models we typically see in various successful multisite churches.
1. The High-Energy Leader
Some church campuses are like an intricate machine with a lot of moving parts. They require a leader with enough internal energy to keep the whole machine functioning without depleting their own reserves.
This person is outgoing and animated. The people around them are drawn to their indefatigable spirit and their optimistic attitude. They build relationships quickly and have no problem establishing trust.
You often find this person succeeding on larger campuses with lots of excited staff and volunteers. Others might look at what they do as “herding cats,” but the high-energy leader can turn that into growth. They are comfortable with change and can pivot on a moment’s notice.
You will find this type excelling in a church campus where they are not expected to preach.
2. The Refining Leader
Where the high-energy leader draws from their seemingly bottomless stamina, the refining leader’s strength is in their deliberate, thoughtful nature. They are adept at coming up with plans and processes that make growth occur.
If your campus needs someone with a clear vision and the ability to put that vision to work, the refining leader is their best bet. This person comes in extremely handy when growth has stalled or there is a plan for the future but no real idea how to make it happen.
While this individual is a capable and competent leader, they are somewhat more introverted than the high-energy leader. They find their groove in creating systems that generate and facilitate growth.
The refining leader can function well in the pulpit, but occasional teaching is probably best.
“By choosing a pastor who is aligned with your campus needs, you are more apt to avoid the disruption of leadership turnover, which is a huge momentum killer.”
3. The Shepherd Leader
What the high-energy and refining leaders have in common is an outward, broad focus. They are perfect for the young campus that needs to create community and growth. But an established campus sometimes needs someone with a more inward focus, and that is where the shepherd leader comes in.
Like the title suggests, the shepherd is a caretaker. They are concerned about the spiritual development of the people serving and those in the congregation. They are steady, generous leaders who want to steward God’s resources in the best possible fashion.
You will find this leader excelling in smaller congregations where they feel connected to everyone, and they are at their best when they are preaching or teaching about 25% of the time.
4. The Multitasking Leader
The multitasking leader is the Swiss Army knife of pastors. They are comfortable creating and casting a strategic vision and can build effective teams. They tend to display entrepreneurial levels of energy and a get-it-done attitude.
While they are adept at managing growth, multitaskers are also great in campus pastoral roles that require them to preach a majority of the time.
They are an ideal candidate in young churches where the pastor has to shoulder a lot of dissimilar responsibilities. But while the multitasking leader is proficient at getting stuff going, they are not as strong at long-term systemic maintenance.
What kind of pastor is right for your campus?
When you take the time to assess your church’s campus needs, culture, and environment, you can match it to the right style of campus pastor. With the Ministry Fit Model tool you will find a proven pattern that will help you retain the best possible campus pastor, reduce turnover, have higher job satisfaction, and reduce conflict and misunderstandings.
If you are interested in learning more, discover your Ministry Fit.