March 8, 2017 – Executive recruiting firm Vanderbloemen Search Group has been selected by First United Methodist Church in Jonesboro, AR to lead its quest to find a new youth minister. The organization is seeking an individual who is “devotional” and has strong leadership skills. Vanderbloemen has carved out a unique recruiting niche helping churches and ministries find mission-driven leaders.
The youth minister the church hopes to find will maintain spiritual and operational oversight of its growing youth ministry and be responsible for steering its leadership, vision, and strategy. The chosen minister will focus on both the discipleship and evangelistic expansion of the ministry, and seamlessly integrate it with the vision of the church.
Candidates under consideration will epitomize character attributes of integrity, enthusiasm, optimism, courtesy, flexibility, gratitude, humor, resolve, kindness, self-control, perseverance, punctuality, emotional stability, and objectivity in all areas of responsibility, according to the church. First United Methodist is a large and expanding church of over 1,100 worshipers and its largest service is held in a contemporary worship center, which averages over 600 each Sunday.
Vanderbloemen Search Group is a pastor focused search firm that helps churches and faith-based organizations find mission-driven leaders. It has completed hundreds of searches serving churches and ministries from 70 to 70,000 in size, including nearly a hundred different denominations and tribes. The firm was founded in 2010 by William Vanderbloemen, who has combined over 15 years of ministry experience as a senior pastor with the best practices of executive search to provide churches with a unique, and some would say, inspirational offering.
Mr. Vanderbloemen recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media and discussed recruiting for faith-based organizations. Here are some excerpts from that conversation.
William, what are some unique nuances of doing search work for faith-based organizations?
When I was a pastor, I found that one of the hardest parts about hiring for pastoral roles was finding someone with a passion for the gospel who also had the skills to develop leaders around them. Soft skills like emotional and spiritual intelligence are key in ministry, and pastors aren’t typically taught the basics of hiring, firing, and organizational leadership in seminary. Our work as a search firm for faith-based organizations is focused on helping churches find candidates who are leaders of leaders and who match the church’s DNA.
Is there high turnover in this sector or do you find leaders staying with organizations for long tenures?
Across the board in both secular and faith-based organizations, tenure is decreasing as baby boomers retire and Millennials move into leadership. The Millennial generation is wired differently than those before them, and they tend to stay in one position for less time than previous generations. One study I’ve read states that today pastors average a tenure of about five years.
“Soft skills like emotional and spiritual intelligence are key in ministry, and pastors aren’t typically taught the basics of hiring, firing, and organizational leadership in seminary. Our work as a search firm for faith-based organizations is focused on helping churches find candidates who are leaders of leaders and who match the church’s DNA.”
What position have you seen most in demand in recent months, and what types of organizations have been reaching out to you the most recently?
One trend we’re seeing is the increased demand for high-capacity children’s pastors. The children’s pastor role has typically been undervalued or underpaid in the church (often a volunteer role), but we’re seeing that change as church leaders begin to understand that children’s ministry is the growth engine of the church. Treasure your children’s pastor. Invest in them. Develop them as a leader. Give them the resources they need to provide a thriving family ministry, and you’ll see your church grow both in number and in spiritual health. We’re also seeing a growing number of faith-based non-profits reach out to us as they search for executive directors and high capacity leaders to help take their organization to the next level. It’s an exciting trend to watch and be a part of.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media