Multiplication Center

The Changing Role of Large Church Senior Pastors: Trends and Developments

July 24, 2013

While the size of megachurches has remained relatively constant, the number of young large churches continues to grow rapidly. The role of large church senior pastors continues to change with the rise in multisite, multiethnic, and externally focused churches. Team ministry and the role of teaching pastors have become more prominent while denominational involvement has declined. Dave Travis, Leadership Network’s managing director, examines these trends and other developments in the role of large church senior pastors.

Leadership Network’s concept paper, The Changing Role of Large Church Senior Pastors: Trends and Developments, previously published by Dave Travis, explores this important topic.

Here are some great findings from the paper:

– Pastors are moving toward more network involvement, and less denominational involvement

– Almost all younger leaders of rapidly growing churches think “multisite” from day one

– Leaders are gradually shifting away from “senior pastor” as their title.

– The rising generation of pastors are developing multiethnic churches more easily.

– Almost all megachurches and especially younger churches have turned dramatically outward and externally focused.

– A rise in the number of “teaching pastors” who become the successor for the lead pastor upon retirement.

To see the entire library of Leadership Network’s papers, podcasts, and videos go to


To learn about the Leadership Network Life Stage Leadership Communities that are for Senior/Lead/Directional Pastors, check out the Life Stages Webpage.

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