GENERATIONS & The Benefits of Hiring Culturally-specific Pastors

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 11/15/15.

Below are my thoughts to a good question posited by a student who said, “I have a few questions about the generational pastors. I see where that would seem to work in certain size congregations, but what about in a church with 4000 people?  What about in a church with 10000+ people?  Our church has 10 pastors:

  1. Executive Pastor
  2. Lead Pastor
  3. Worship Pastor
  4. Spiritual Formation Pastor
  5. Student Ministries Pastor
  6. High School Pastor
  7. Global Outreach Pastor
  8. Local Outreach Pastor
  9. Small Group Pastor
  10. Pastor of Care/Counseling”

Hello (Name of Student);

Thanks for sharing.  I have helped churches like yours move to a more healthy (and organic) style with multiple pastors, each for a different culture.  Let me explain.

Basically, you have a team of 10 pastors cutting (horizontally) across several cultures.  Thus, some pastors will have more work, and some less.

But, you also have “cultural” pastors in your High School and Student Ministries pastor.  I would suggest you create more “cultural” pastors (Hispanic Pastor, African-American Pastor, Senior Adult Pastor, Emerging Generations Pastor, etc.) and call them what ever you want.  Then you will have leaders for different cultures.  And, your emerging cultures (e.g. Hispanic, Emerging Gen., etc.) won’t feel like one culture controls the church.  Instead, a “council of ‘cultural’ pastors” will lead the church.

This also demotes departmental pastors to directors (like worship pastor to worship director, and small groups pastor to small group director).  The power thus resides in “cultural” pastors working in tandem, rather than in “departmental” pastors often competing against one another for scarce organizational funds.

A church can grow to any size this way.

In the book, Inside the Organic Church you will find the example of St. Tom’s church in Sheffield UK and their 9 “cultural” pastors for 9 different “cultural celebrations.”