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Our blog about pastor search, church staffing, and church leadership from our years of experience

Ben Homesley

Ben Homesley is the Chief Operating Officer at Vanderbloemen Search Group.

Recent Posts

Featured Post

What To Do After A Candidate Receives A Negative Reference
Posted by Ben Homesley on 7/11/18 7:04 AM

The Importance Of Giving Transparent Feedback As A Leader

Too much is on the line for church leaders to fail to be transparent to staff. From a moral and ethical standpoint, the role of pastor mandates a duty to lead beyond the responsibilities of a “typical” businessman. One way this is accomplished is through clear and transparent communication. Too often, however, church leaders struggle with communicating feedback and taking steps toward conflict resolution.

Posted by Ben Homesley on 6/25/18 7:08 AM

Our Church Can't Afford A Retirement Plan, What Should We Do?

We have written in the past about how churches might structure their retirement plans for church staff employees. We’ve discussed the pros and cons to percentage-of-salary contribution plans vs. set-dollar contribution plans, as well as contributions regardless of participation vs. only contributing when an individual contributes. There are numerous options available for churches; but what if these options are still too steep of a financial burden for a church to offer its employees?

Posted by Ben Homesley on 6/20/18 7:05 AM

Does Your Church Office Need A Redesign?

A recent Wall Street Journal article suggests that a new workplace concept involving first-come, first-serve group workstations – rather than personal desks or computers – is becoming more prevalent. This structure takes the debate of open concept offices vs. closed office spaces to a new level – and it’s a debate that won’t end anytime soon. As more research is done about the relationship between productivity, employee satisfaction, and office layouts, there is no one right answer. In fact, there is only one consistent answer: it depends. The biggest factor to take into account: your office culture.

If your church is considering modifying your existing office space, consider the benefits and drawbacks of different designs as they relate to your culture. Here are some suggestions to help you choose a design that will bring out the best in your church staff.

Posted by Ben Homesley on 6/4/18 7:18 AM

3 Factors to Keep in Mind When Hiring Millennials

Recently, Millennials surpassed Gen X as the largest portion of the American workforce. This means that inevitably, every workplace will work with Millennials in some capacity, whether as co-workers, clients, or even supervisors. It’s important to note that Millennials have different career objectives, communication styles, and core values than many hiring managers are used to. These differences should be acknowledged and, whenever possible, embraced.

Here are three key factors to keep in mind when interviewing and working with Millennials.

Posted by Ben Homesley on 5/23/18 7:04 AM

How To Create A Retirement Plan For Your Church Staff

Churches often ask us what type of retirement plan they should provide for their staff members, especially the Senior Pastor. While there is no standard protocol for all churches, there are some general rules of thumb that churches can follow to set their staff up for healthy and successful golden years.

Posted by Ben Homesley on 2/26/18 7:00 AM

4 Ways Churches Can Combat High Costs Of Living For Pastors

Our friends and clients in ministry often ask our team how churches are handling the ever-changing economic state, especially regarding rising housing costs. We hear countless stories of churches that are unable to recruit top-level leaders because it’s simply too expensive to put down permanent roots in the community. 

Some of the most effective pastors are successful because they are living amongst and truly “doing life” with their church communities. Unfortunately, for churches in an area with a high cost of living allowance (COLA), this makes it more difficult to find and attract the right pastor.

In some cases, a church will own a parsonage or manse and allow its pastor to live rent free, but that is not financially feasible for most churches. As we’ve worked with our church clients on customized compensation and benefits analyses, we’ve taken note of some creative ways that we’ve seen churches address the high housing costs associated with bringing a new pastor on staff.


Below are four examples to consider in your hiring process.

Posted by Ben Homesley on 11/13/17 7:00 AM

5 Questions To Address During A Pastoral Transition


The first line of the book NEXT: Pastoral Succesion That Works is, "Every pastor is an interim pastor."

Whether a season of ministry lasts three years or three decades, every church will be faced with the inevitable challenge of replacing its pastor at some point. Some transitions will be positive, and it will be appropriate to surround them with praise and celebration. However, a transition often occurs because a pastor is involved in something that requires them to step away from ministry.

Churches often ask what is the “standard severance package” or the “standard way” they should handle their pastoral transition. Our answer is always the same: there is no standard answer. Every transition will have different aspects that will influence the what the severance package and departing situation looks like.

Here are five issues your church leadership and board should think through when faced with a pastoral transition.

Posted by Ben Homesley on 11/1/17 7:00 AM

10 Things Parents Want To See In Your Children's Ministry

As someone who has worked with many children’s ministries over the years, I felt like I had a good handle on what great children's ministries looked like. However, I will admit that prior to personally fathering children, this self-assessment was a bit overstated.

I can now say with 100% certainty that my expectations changed the day that I put my first child into the children's ministry at our church. After many years of actual experience working with children’s ministries and involving my own kids, I’ve noticed that some church practices have stood out among the rest. Here are some of the biggest takeaways I’ve seen implemented in great children’s ministries.

Posted by Ben Homesley on 8/31/17 7:00 AM

5 Costs Of Having A Vacant Position On Your Church Staff

We say it all the time: “The most costly hire you will ever make is the wrong hire.” However, a very close second is when a church leader waits too long to make a hire or simply doesn't do it at all.

Posted by Ben Homesley on 11/2/16 7:34 AM

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