We've identified sixteen 'Leadership Roles' that are filled in some capacity in most churches. These are categories of ministry work, and while a few of the names may correspond to leadership titles at your church, they are not necessarily limited to the responsibilities of just one person. They are areas of emphasis, or core competencies. We know some of our roles belong to more than one person. Conversely, some church leaders may find they fill more than one of these roles. That’s normal. These names are just here to get you started.

Administrative Support

People know you as the office expert, but you know the role goes much deeper. Success for you is about empowering your ministry leaders with the data and administrative support they need to understand how God is moving in your ministry. You manage the tools and data that allow them to employ scalable, healthy, and repeatable systems and processes in their own ministry work.

Leader of Care Ministry

When someone needs marriage counseling, when someone’s loved one is in the hospital, when someone has a new baby and needs diapers and casseroles delivered — you’re there. You keep involved in the daily lives of your church members and you’re there for them when they need support. Whether you’re ministering to them in person or simply helping coordinate others to help out, you’re a driving force for making people in your church feel cared for.

Children's Ministry Leader

You have a huge heart for the little ones, and you of all people recognize that children’s ministry is far more than ‘just childcare’. Creating a safe, nurturing, and educational environment for them is the first step to setting them on the path for a meaningful relationship with Christ. You’re working for the future, and you’re doing it by leading your volunteers, fellow leaders, and children with love.


Everyone communicates. Every person, every ministry, every church communicates. How, when, why, and to whom you communicate is an important decision that should be intentional, and it’s all up to you. You manage the ways in which your church interacts with its community, its environment, and itself. Your goal is to facilitate clarity. You know it’s not as much about proofreading and copywriting as it is getting out of the way and clearing a path between people and your church’s vision and mission.

Leader of Connections Ministry

People long for connection — to other people, to something bigger than themselves, to a community — but most importantly, to Christ. You work to create, foster, and deepen those connections, both among existing members of the church community and among seekers who are just ‘testing’ out your church (and The Church). Their journey to connection begins with their first visit and ends when they are connected to the people, ministries, and programs at the core of your church’s mission.

Leader of Discipleship Ministry

You manage the programs that help people develop into the Christ-followers God wants them to be. You understand that spiritual growth and maturity must happen on an individual level before they can be seen on a larger scale, expressed through the growth and expansion of your church. You care about each person in their own walk with Christ, and your job is to ensure that they have access to all the support, training, guidance, and education they need.

Executive Pastor

Operational Manager. Staff Leader. Strategic Collaborator. Keeper of the Reports. It all rolls up to you. You’re a Jack-of-all-trades who has to think simultaneously about a big-picture vision of the future and the nuance of a thousand moving parts in the present. You lead the budget meetings and shepherd ministry leaders. You approve overtime and oversee construction of the new Children’s Wing. Oh, and you need to preach next Sunday.

Facilities Management

You know where the wet vac is, what temperature to set in the sanctuary, and how many chairs the fire code allows for in the conference room. You set the stage for just about all of the ministry work at your church — literally — and you’re on call 24/7. You maintain the locations, equipment, and support services that allow ministry to happen safely, legally, and comfortably, and you’ve got all the keys. You serve by providing structure, and if you’re doing it well, people may not even notice!

Leader of Finance & Generosity

Your role goes beyond managing income and expenses. You foster a culture of accountability, transparency, stewardship, and generosity, all while keeping an eye on the budget vs. year-to-date giving and your progress toward that new building. You see finances as an expression of spiritual growth and maturity as much as an operational reality. You manage donor development and encourage a spiritually healthy relationship with money for everyone in your church.

Leader of Missions & Outreach Ministry

You’re the ambassador. You manage the way your people express God’s love and their own spiritual fruit by turning your collective focus externally — on your community and the globe. You bring the Gospel to those in need around the world and share your joy with your neighbors. You manage the ways in which people experience missions, on both the giving and receiving ends, through your church.

Multi-site Campus Pastor

You’re the Pastor. For the folks at your campus, you’re their Pastor. You’re the one they see every week, and you’re the face of church leadership at your location. You have to strike a delicate balance between leading your local congregation as necessary and presenting a united front with your fellow campus Pastors and central leadership.

Leader of Small Groups Ministry

Everyone has an innate desire to be known, and to do life with others. People often slip through the cracks and manage to come to church without ever creating a meaningful or lasting relationship with anyone else there. God designed us for community with other believers, and well-organized small groups can provide a place for that kind of community to happen. You coordinate, train, and shepherd your small group ministry, and you guide it and the leaders within it toward the unique purpose and vision of your church.

Leader of Students Ministry

You care deeply about reaching the next generation with the Gospel. You want to make Christ real to them because they are the ones who will shape our future. Your mission is to shape young people into the Christ followers, leaders, ministers, servants, and disciples of tomorrow, and you need to do it in the midst of the most volatile and formative period in their lives.

Leader of Volunteer Ministry

You see volunteering as an expression of discipleship. You may lead over a small team or an enormous brigade of volunteer servants. Your role is to develop people to do the work of ministry, and to lead others to do the same. Volunteer leadership goes far beyond scheduling bodies and completing tasks. You establish the high-level systems and processes that allow you to grow disciples of Christ individually to express His love through service. They’re ready to grow; you just need to equip them.

Worship Pastor

Your congregation may know you as ‘the one with the guitar’ or ‘the one with the great singing voice’ — but you do a lot more than just lead on Sunday mornings. In fact, you may not even be the one who does that! Your focus is on creating an environment for people to connect with God, often but not exclusively through music. You’re the coordinator, the one who makes sure your team has chords and lyrics and sheet music, licenses, equipment, and practice. You know how important it is to take care of the team that leads people in worship!

There's always a next step:

Subscribe to the Ministry Lab and stay up to date with the latest content and resources for church leaders.