What is an Executive Pastor

Back in the day, at this point, nearly way back in the day, I realized the call of God in my life into ministry. As a teenager, many mentors and family encouraged me that one day I would be a pastor. Yet, I had no idea what that meant. I had less of an idea of what it would take to be a pastor. What I did know is that I love Jesus and love helping people find comfort and joy in the Gospel.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I received a phone call from my now best friend & Lead Pastor of Centerpoint Church in Chillicothe, pouring his heart out to me about what God was calling him to do. Long story, short, that phone call forever changed my life as I knew it. As we shared stories and our hearts about ministry in southern Ohio, it was evident God was strategically crossing our family’s paths as the journey of a church plant began. Yet what we didn’t know was what my role would be. I didn’t care about a specific role or position. All I knew and cared about was rolling up my sleeves and getting to work. We needed a plan. We needed people. We needed money.

Over the several months and year, something crazy happened. Our plans came together. We added people to the launch team. And though not a lot, we had money. When you add plans, people, and money, you then need a framework to ensure it all aligns with the vision Jesus has provided. Because of the necessary framework that goes into a church plant, for the last 2+ years I have served as the Executive Pastor. This is exactly what I was called to do. As our church has grown, the responsibilities have been better defined.

So, at Centerpoint, here are the top priorities of being an Executive Pastor:

# 1. Support and encourage the Lead Pastors (Chris and Kristyn) and their family. In modern culture, it has become somewhat trendy and sexy to start a church. It’s almost hipster. But, starting a church isn’t easy. There is criticism from the community, family and friends. Oh, and the devil tends to target you even more. With all the stories of people coming to Jesus, there is another one where a person leaves the church with choice words for the pastor or leaders. It can take a toll on the pastors. Since day 1, my wife and I made a decision that our number one priority would be to ensure our pastors are always encouraged and experience the same love they exhibit to the church.

While 90% of the things I do gladly remain behind-the-scenes, one of my highlights every year is when the church body corporately uplifts Chris and Kristyn during Pastor Appreciation Day. We’ve done it differently and at different times each year. I want our leaders, our teams, and our people to see this and consistently encourage and pray for our great pastors and the sacrifices they’ve made. After all, starting a church is not easy.

# 2 Organize the people. At Centerpoint, our amazing host of volunteers is our Dream Team. We believe that everyone can serve the dream and it takes a team to fulfill the vision of our church. When people serve the vision, then the Great Commission is being fulfilled in our context.

When we first started, our key leaders did it all. We met at another church. Our core team of 5-6 would show up hours in advance, set up, go through the service then spend another hour tearing down. Looking back, it was a lot of work but it was a lot of fun. We knew that to grow, we couldn’t do it all. Early on we adopted the philosophy that we need to inspire and empower our teams. When we do this we are developing leaders and we know that leaders go out in our communities sharing the love of Jesus.

As we close out 2012, we have a Dream Team of more than 100 volunteers who serve in a variety of ministries. We have core leaders who oversee each area and I absolutely love serving and leading these teams. In this role, my responsibility is to ensure that our coordinators and leaders have everything they need to lead their teams successfully. In many ways, this is a vital part of the discipleship process. When people are connected and served, they tend to have an insatiable desire to love Jesus and others even more.

# 3 Oversee the finances. It’d be easy to think that the more money you have, the easier life would be. However, that’s not technically true, not even inside a church. When we had no money, while we had to say no a lot, we also learned to rely on Jesus’ provision. Looking back at our short history, God has provided in radical ways and met our needs each and every time.

As we’ve grown, so too have our finances. With more money, there is a greater need to have better organization and budgeting. As the church grows, our areas and ministries too have a greater need for finances to ensure the ministry is sustained and growing. Since we always want our leaders to have vision for the future, we always have a need for more finances. In fact, the motto we have encouraged is that we want to have vision beyond our resources.

Managing those resources is ridiculously rewarding. Every dollar of our finances is ministry related. Though paying rent to a movie theater seems boring, the reality is paying that bill has meant that people have come to know the love of Jesus. As the Executive Pastor, one of my main functions is to ensure we can fund the ministries yet instill a culture where we are always asking in faith.

Over this past summer, a childhood friend experienced our church for the first time. My friend had no church background until recently. He’s falling in love with Jesus and church. His new faith is convicting and inspiring. Ten years ago, I had no idea that I would be an Executive Pastor in Ohio. Yet I know that because I’m serving in this role, my good friend loves Jesus and serves people. To think God let me play a small part in a friend’s eternity is profound.

I wake up daily in amazement. I get to serve Jesus this way.


Matt Kysor is Executive Pastor at Centerpoint Church in Chillicothe, OH. Matt is a graduate of Regent University (MDiv).

2 Responses to “What is an Executive Pastor”
  1. Hello brother Matt. Everytime I go to a movie I think of you and pray for your Ministry. After 30 years I finally called my endless work a Labor of Love. I needed a beneficial name. Love is Jesus. I sometimes wonder why the name Bishop isn’t used much versus executive title. Just a question? Love you. Pray for you. Hope to see you soon. Grace Brethren Chapel. Piketon.

  2. Every Lead Pastor will be better when they have an Executive Pastor like this. Blessed to call you a friend Matt!

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