I work with campus pastors weekly and was an interim campus pastor for a year, so I think I’ve got a fairly good handle on this. (The answer to this question will vary somewhat, however, based on how different churches are doing multisite.)
First, I want to say that there are some significant things a campus pastor is freed from that other solo pastors and church planters must do.
Because a campus pastor is part of a larger church, he or she does not have to
prepare sermons weekly. The messages are thought through and given by the church’s senior pastor or preaching team. This frees the campus pastor from 12 to 15 hours of work a week. That significant amount of time can be given to other important priorities. In our six-campus church a campus pastor preaches six to eight times year. So most weeks this time consuming task is not their concern.
Secondly, the campus pastor does not have to think through the overall training designs or curriculum for their campus’ ministries, small groups, children’s, or youth ministries. These things are figured out and the appropriate materials are supplied by the larger church’s support system.
Also, the campus pastor has the staff and resources of the overall church to handle finances, IT, and the production of things like graphics, bulletins, and webpages. One of the reasons that new campuses have a significantly higher success rate than church plants and tend to grow much faster is because a new campus pastor is freed from many of the ministry and logistic concerns that can be overwhelming and perplexing to a church planter.
The fact that the staff and systems of the larger church ensure high quality ministry in key areas frees the campus or site pastor to focus on leadership recruitment and development, outreach, pastoral care, problem-solving, and leading the site’s services and leadership team.
On our church’s “Campus Pastor Job Description” we describe the campus pastor’s roles as being:
- The Face with the Place
- Strategic Planner
- Team Leader
- Talent Scout
- Quality Manager
If you want to read what we see each of these roles involving, you can download the job description for free by clicking on the “Multisite Resource” tab above or simply clicking on this link.
But, as I thought about our campus pastors and my own experience of being a campus pastor, I realized that the best answer to the question to “What does a campus pastor do?” might be: “A campus pastor does whatever it takes.” Like any good pastor of a small or medium-sized church, a campus pastor does a wide variety of important and necessary things… preaching on holiday Sundays, conducting weddings, casting vision, recruiting a growing leadership team and, when necessary, unclogging toilets.
If you are a campus pastor, I’d love to get your take on this question. What does a campus pastor do? What are your key priorities? Do you agree or disagree with what I said? What advice do you have for others starting or considering this role?