While serving as an executive pastor, I often joked that I woke up each morning wondering about how two people were feeling: my wife and my pastor (Rick). I knew that their thinking and feelings would have immediate implications for my day. One of the main reasons I enjoyed my tenure in Miami is the strength of the relationship Rick and I share. People who observed us often commented on the unity and loyalty we shared, and we both believed God was using that to provide stability in the midst of change and growth.
Loyalty to Rick was easy for me because I trusted him. While I know he is not perfect, I knew he sought the Lord, was faithful to the Scripture, loved his wife, and cared for me. I was honored to serve with him.
At the same time, we were also a perfect fit in terms of gifting. He gave me immense amounts of freedom to be who God crafted me to be for the Kingdom. Based on the attached document, Rick is primarily a “teaching leader” and one of the best teachers alive; therefore, my “visionary/strategic leadership” gifting was a perfect fit. So while the loyalty was extremely important, our gifting was a great match.
I originally developed the attached framework to help senior pastors think through whom would be a good fit as a potential executive pastor. It is merely based on observation, not comprehensive research so I offer it as a simple tool to think through the match between a senior and executive pastor. It is not meant to be a theological treatise on the role of pastor or the nature of spiritual gifting; it was developed as an initial conversation starter to help pastors assess their context.