The Senior Pastor of a church is an allegory of the Biblical Christ – feeding the flock of God’s church, tending to her needs, and sacrificing (dying) for it. It is an honorable position that should be done with the heart of a shepherd, the believer’s grace, and a father’s discipline. His family should be well catered for. He is well-spoken in society and living humbly like Jesus. He is the church’s Chief Executive Officer, the church the Bride of Christ and Christ, the Bridegroom. As a worker is worthy of his wages, the Senior Pastor is to be adequately remunerated. In this article, we will discuss Senior Pastor Job Description.
DUTIES | Senior Pastor Job Description
- Raising members to become Christ-like: Irrespective of how anti-biblical is, Christians are increasingly concerned about becoming like their Pastors instead of being like Jesus. They pride themselves on being long-term members, and some are unaware of the basic rudiments of the faith life. It is the responsibility of a Senior Pastor to ensure that the church members are properly disciplined after they give their lives to Christ. The goal is to wean people off their Pastors to become mature Christians who will be able to raise true followers of Christ. The Senior Pastor does this by ensuring that members form the habit of bible reading, devotion, quiet time, prayer, praise and worship, fasting, learning to hear from God, and discerning the Holy Spirit’s voice so they can grow in the faith.
- Creating a church community: The first set of believers in the Book of Acts broke bread together, sang praises to God, even sold their belongings for the use of all. The church is indeed a community of believers, and a Senior Pastor should strive to make it so. Usually, church groups are created to meet the congregational needs of the church (ushering, children’s church, choir, sanitation, bible study leaders, and others) and also according to interest groups (youth groups, millennials in the workplace, young professionals, human resource community group, entrepreneurship accountability group, first-time parents, parents of special needs students, digital technology enthusiasts, medical workers group and lots more). The Senior Pastor is to understand the demography of his congregation and ensure that everyone finds a place in the church community.
- Providing support, celebrating, and mourning with church members: The Senior Pastor ensures that birthdays and wedding anniversaries are acknowledged and celebrated. Some churches call celebrants forward to pray for them; others send texts and emails, flowers while others celebrate in other ways. In bereavement cases, the Senior Pastor champions the course of providing support to the family of the deceased at such a time. On some occasions, the Senior Pastor is in charge of burial rites arrangement and preaching at such sensitive occasions. Church members also receive support at various stages of their lives from the Senior Pastor and the entire church community.
- Counseling services: He or she gives members listening ears to their problems and helps them resolve them. The Senior Pastor also propels congregants to be their best and lead them in the best direction for their lives.
- Miscellaneous duties: This is an umbrella term for all such duties carried out by the Senior Pastor that may not be listed above.
It is widely debated whether or not Senior Pastors should be paid a salary and, if yes, what constitutes an ideal remuneration. Well, there is no hard and fast rule to this. Usually, the cost of living in the state and concerning their family size and peculiarities (age of children, whether there are special needs children, and more) is calculated by the church board and paid to the Senior Pastor.
Commentators that argue against paying salaries to Senior Pastors should remember that they are individuals with families and genuine needs. There is no point tempting Senior Pastors to do untoward things in response to genuine needs under the guise of living by faith.
At times, it is difficult to give a clear answer as to the remuneration of a Senior Pastor as the job usually comes with benefits such as the provision of food and groceries, housing, healthcare, children scholarships, paid vacations, paid sick time, relocation assistance, flexible working schedule, loan forgiveness, gifts from the congregation and honorarium when they preach outside their local church. The COVID19 pandemic poses additional needs for the Senior Pastor and the family.
Do not be carried away. Senior Pastors are one of the least paid (the other being teachers) for their work compared to professionals with similar job roles and experience. The wealthy Senior Pastors usually thrive on sales and royalties from books, podcasts, YouTube, and social media platforms honorarium when they preach outside their local church and people’s goodwill, especially their community on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, and other social media platforms.
Below is a list of Pastors in the United States and how much they are paid, according to public knowledge (figures are speculations and are not confirmed by their churches):
Senior Pastor Job Description
The job description of a Senior Pastor is embedded in his personality and they are as follows:
- A Matured Believer: The Senior Pastor should be born again. In addition to this is the injunction in First Timothy chapter three verse six New Living Translation: “A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil could cause him to fall.’ Yes, a Senior Pastor must be grounded in the faith and spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting, studying God’s Word. He must also be willing to submit to the leadership of the church board, receive corrections where need be. Most of the scandalous acts of Senior Pastors in America stem from their inability to listen when chided and taking corrective actions. Some even set up structures that ensure that no one can correct them. What more is a recipe for failure? The Senior Pastor is to raise men to become matured believers likewise.
- Honorable: A Senior Pastor must be an honorable person outside the four walls of the church. People should speak well of him, respect him for his Christ-like character even when he is not actively preaching. He must live above reproach so that he does not bring the name of Christ to scorn. A good reputation is important for this job role. First Timothy chapter three verse seven Living Translation: ‘Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap. Living honorable lives within and outside the church is a trait the Senior Pastor seeks to pass on to church members.
- Family Life: First Timothy chapter 3 verses four and five gives a picture of how a senior pastor’s home life should look like. The New Living Translation says, ‘He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?’ The job of a senior pastor revolves around the individual and transcends to his or her spouse and children. All aspects of their lives are involved. Even the Bible specifically points out that they ‘must enjoy having guests in his home’ as written in First Timothy Chapter three verse two. Through the instrument of various programs and outreaches of the church, the Senior Pastor should endear church members to live exemplary Christian family lives.
- Experience: Usually, a decade or two of experience in church administration, or even more, is required, along with some certifications in Bible training teaching (and leadership, as the case may be). This is to ensure a thorough understanding of the entire church process. Adequate support is usually put in place to suffice for any lag in this. His thoroughness on the job should be emulated by all and transcend into the work they do.
- Love: Above all is genuine love for the flock of Christ in his care. Genuine love for their growth and development, wellbeing, and passion for seeing that they become like Christ. The love of Christ should be shared abroad in the minds of all by the Holy Spirit.
Also read How to become a Pastor