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Most executive pastors—sometimes dubbed church administrators or associate pastors—are happy about their relationship with their senior pastor, according to a new survey by the Leadership Network.

Of the 555 respondents in 41 states, as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, 86 percent said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their senior pastor/executive pastor relationship. Conducted by Warren Bird, research director at Leadership Network, in partnership with, “Inside the World of Executive Pastors” released in February. Churches represented in the study ranged in weekly attendance from 100 to 23,000.

On average, the research revealed, executive pastors work 50 hours per week and spend 40 percent of their time in administration and meetings. Sixty-one percent regularly take 1-1/2 to 2 days off each week. When it comes to enjoying the family meal, executive pastors eat 4.6 dinners per week with their families.

Also of note in the survey are the findings that executive pastors spend four hours a week in prayer and/or meditation, 1.7 hours in civic or community activities, and 1.5 hours in evangelism. The average age of those interviewed was 53.

“Inside the World of Executive Pastors” is available for free download, upon registration, at

is a credentialed minister and freelance editor living in Sacramento, Calif.