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

Rusty Gates

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5 Ways To Better Engage Church Visitors
Posted by Rusty Gates on 5/3/18 7:03 AM

6 Creative Ways To Serve In The Church

When I joined my church a few years back, there were less than 100 people on a typical Sunday gathering. When I joined the staff as an associate pastor, we were up to about 300 and growing quickly. It was a season of all kinds of transition. We frantically sought out new spaces to meet as we had clearly outgrown the art gallery / community space we started in. As we added to the staff, divided up ministry responsibilities, and things kept growing.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 3/26/18 7:00 AM

3 Things All Campus Pastors Should Do

The roles of a campus pastor are as different as the churches in which you find them. Some campus pastors teach every Sunday, some don’t teach at all. Some office out of the main campus, while others lead a campus in a completely different state from the others. As such, it can be difficult to make hard set rules that encompass every different type and role of campus pastor.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 2/19/18 7:00 AM

5 Ways To Improve Your Sunday Announcements

When I was first starting in ministry, I remember how excited I was to give the announcements in our Sunday gathering. It was the first real opportunity I had in a large congregation to get up in front of everyone and speak. However, it didn’t take long before our staff began drawing straws for who would have to give announcements on Sunday. We loved the church and loved serving in our Sunday gathering, but we all felt like announcements were simply an obligation (and difficult to do well).

Posted by Rusty Gates on 12/28/17 7:00 AM

5 Ways To Approach An Upcoming Ministry Transition

As a search specialist at Vanderbloemen Search Group, I have the opportunity to regularly speak with pastors and leaders who are in the midst of some kind of transition. One of the most common transitions I see is church leaders sensing that their time in a particular ministry is coming to an end. This could be children’s ministry, youth ministry, or even outreach; regardless, they feel at peace with the closing of a certain season and are eager to jump into the next.

Through these conversations, I’ve seen some common trends among those who manage this transition well. If you find yourself sensing a transition ahead, below are five pieces of advice to approach it well.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 12/4/17 7:00 AM

5 Reasons Pastors Should Pursue Physical Fitness

One of the core values at Vanderbloemen Search Group is Stewardship of Life. This is the idea that our staff maintains personal and company financial, spiritual, physical, and vocational boundaries.

Stewardship of Life plays a large role in our culture. We value boundaries that keep us from getting burned out, we celebrate time out of the office, and we encourage physical health as much as we can. For example, each month we reward the person who worked out the most with a small gift and a giant trophy. Every year we have a fitness competition involving the whole company with workout and food challenges.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 9/6/17 7:00 AM

5 Reasons To Offer An Internship Program At Your Church

I’ve had a deep passion for serving the church from a relatively young age and was fortunate enough to have great leaders invest in me early on. Perhaps the most beneficial experience at the very beginning of my ministerial journey was a pastoral internship I received in college.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 8/3/17 7:02 AM

9 Ways To Develop And Empower Leaders Through Delegation

As pastors and leaders in the church, one of our biggest callings is to build up the people of the church, encouraging and challenging them to walk farther down the path of faith. One of the best ways we can do this is by bringing church members into the heart of ministry and empowering them to live as the hands and feet of Christ.

By inviting people into our ministry and delegating responsibilities, we not only increase the work of the church, but also build up our people.

Below are nine steps to raise up leaders through delegation.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 7/12/17 7:02 AM

3 Mistakes Pastors Make During The Holidays

Other than Holy Week, the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas is easily one of the busiest times of the year for church leaders. During this season, there is pressure to engage visitors, serve the community, and coordinate special services - all on top of normal ministry responsibilities. While there are always going to be minor oversights or glitches during this season, here are the top 3 mistakes we see pastors make during the holidays.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 12/7/16 7:32 AM

3 Ways To Encourage Your Staff During Advent

As we draw near to the end of the year, church leaders everywhere are gearing up to enter one of the busiest seasons for ministry. In the midst of special services, outreach initiatives, holiday parties, family celebrations, and inevitable crisis, it is easy for ministry leaders and church staffs to miss out on the personal benefit of observing Advent. During this time of the year, we are so often focused on serving others that we can neglect what God might be doing in our own lives.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 11/14/16 7:48 AM

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