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Why You Must Discover Your Senior Pastor Archetype

Why You Must Discover Your Senior Pastor Archetype

For senior pastors to thrive they must discover, and then operate within, the framework of their unique God-given style of doing ministry; in what I call their “Senior Pastor Archetype.”

Most leaders, I’ve discovered, spend YEARS fighting against their natural archetype because (a) they’ve never taken the time to discover who they are, (b) the way their mentors modeled ministry for them was decidedly different than how they’re wired, and (c) people in their churches prefer the style of ministry of your predecessor (or the style of the pastor of their most recently attended church).

The secret to thriving in ministry is to figure out how God wired you for ministry and stop fighting against your natural style. Discover who you are, accept how you are wired as valid, and then shape the church you serve around who you are as a senior pastor. You do this and you’ll drive congregational impact and experience personal fulfillment.

After coaching dozens of people from every denomination, age, personality type and theological perspective, I’ve found that senior pastors fall into one of 25 different Senior Pastor Archetypes.

Steps to Discovering Your Senior Pastor Archetype

There are six steps to discovering your unique Senior Pastor Archetype.

STEP 1: Discover your primary ministry preference.

Teaching – If you look forward to teaching God’s word on Sundays, and enjoy spending time during the week studying and preparing the most effective ways possible to bring about life-change on the part of your listeners, then teaching is your primary ministry preference.

Leading – If you love casting vision on Sundays, and naturally know what to do next, why that’s important, and understand how to direct people, money, time and energy to accomplish organizational goals, then leading is your primary ministry preference.

Pastoring – If you look forward to Sunday mornings so you can establish personal connections with people to encourage them, and jump at opportunities during the week to get more deeply connected in your people’s lives, then pastoring is your primary ministry preference

Evangelizing – If you see Sunday morning as an opportunity to lead people to Christ, and reflexively take advantage of every opportunity during the week to share the gospel with outsiders, then evangelizing is your primary ministry preference.

Administrating – If you see Sunday as a logistical and administrative opportunity to help the entire team function effectively, and you like to spend time during the week identifying and establishing procedures to affect ministry excellence, then administrating is your primary ministry preference.

So which one are you?

Here are two questions to help you decide:

1. If I could only do ONE thing on Sundays (and during the week), which one would it be?

2. Which task brings great joy AND am I best at?

Now rank these five priorities from 1 to 5.

STEP 2: Identify your secondary ministry preference.

This should be easy. It will be the one you were BARELY able to decide is in second place.

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I’m the founding Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In 13 years the church has grown from a small group in my home to over 2,000 incredible people. Before that I served in churches of 25 to 600 in attendance. I love church planters and pastors of smaller churches, and totally understand the difficult challenges they face as they try to help people find their way back to God.