Recently, I was talking with a friend who taking his first position as an executive pastor. He asked me for input on what his first few months should look like. I remembered that a few years ago, when I was new at a church, I had jotted down a few simple notes on what my first few months would look like. I shared that file with him and he found it to be very helpful, so I figured I’d share it here as well. Here it is, unfiltered.

Phase 1- Acclimate and Evaluate

Timing-1-3 months.

Goal- gain a thorough,  deep and wide picture of the entire church and team. Soak up and internalize Renaut’s vision. Gain an early sense of what is needed. Address aching needs.

How will I spend this time?

-settle in
-get to know the church
-learn the culture
-get to know staff
-thorough survey of all staff
-one meeting with every staff person and key lay leaders
-2nd meeting with all key leaders
-multiple meetings with executive level staff
-weekly meetings with Lead Pastor
-attend everything.
-preach 1-2 times
-lead staff in book study, perhaps consider Andrew Murray’s Absolute Surrender?

Phase 2- Analyze and Strategize

Timing- 2-4 weeks

Goal- Now that I have a solid picture of where we are, I’ll work with LP to create a triaged timeline to address the needs of the staff and church.
Consider a retreat with LP and other executive level staff to hammer this out.
After this has been polished and has teeth, I share it with tier 2 leaders first, then the whole staff and key leaders.

Phase 3- Activate and Implement

Timing- years and years

Written by Phil Taylor
My name is Phil. I spent 20 years as an Executive Pastor and now I serve churches all over through consulting and coaching. I wrote "Defining The Executive Pastor Role" and "Eldership Development-From Application to Affirmation". My greatest passion is helping others bring vision into reality. I've been married for 25 years, and we have three kids and one grandchild.