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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 Improve Your Sunday Announcements
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

6 Ways Churches Can Reach Millennials

By definition, I am a millennial. I was born in the 80’s, I can remember a world without cell phones, but I also wrote my first research paper on an early version of Microsoft Word. Over the last decade, I've heard more and more talk about how the Church needs to reach MY generation. 

But I'm also a millennial with almost a decade of ministry experience under my belt. I've served as an intern, Youth Pastor, and Associate Pastor. With a foot in both worlds, I’ve prepared what I believe to be six of the best ways the church can engage and reach millennials today.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 9/5/16 6:58 AM

5 Ways To Develop Leaders Within Your Church

Leadership development is always near the thoughts of most pastors. Whether it’s volunteer leaders to run the Children’s Ministry or lay leaders to organize small groups, the church always needs quality leaders.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 7/7/16 8:02 AM

4 Ways To Set Your Associate Pastor Up For Success

If I were to tell you that I was a Senior Pastor or a Teaching Pastor, chances are, you would have a pretty good idea of what my role and responsibilities were in the church. However, if I told you I was an Associate Pastor, it would be slightly ambiguous what I did. The reality is that Associate Pastor roles are as unique as the hundreds of churches we have had the privilege of partnering with. That’s because Associate Pastors are often the "utility players" – the staff members who tend to wear a number of hats and carry a variety of responsibilities to make the ministry happen.

Some Associate Pastors teach on Sunday mornings, others run youth programs, and still others manage volunteers and administration. I have experienced this first hand from years of being an Associate Pastor at my previous church.

Posted by Rusty Gates on 2/18/16 3:44 PM

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