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

Sam Murray

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Does Your Church Know Who To Reach?
Posted by Sam Murray on 1/24/18 7:00 AM

How Gratitude Can Transform Your Interviews

I want to start my article about gratitude in the interview process by telling you how grateful I am. I am grateful for the opportunity to write down these thoughts and that you are reading them. I pray they are beneficial for you. I am grateful to be a part of this team at Vanderbloemen Search Group, a team that collaborates, brainstorms, and dreams together about how to better serve the Kingdom.

Recently, our team had the privilege of coming together and naming some of the “x-factors” that we often hear people talk about in the interview process. One characteristic that came up often was gratitude. Candidates who express gratitude on a regular basis stand out above others.

Generally, job descriptions divide expectations of candidates into two broad categories: competencies/skills or culture fit/character qualities. The “x-factor” topic generally addresses the latter group and is obviously much larger than I can address in this short article. However, I hope to describe general gratitude as one of the “x-factors” that can be implemented by everyone involved in the interview process, and it is more of a choice than an attribute or aptitude.

Whether you're a candidate in the job search process or an interviewer in the hiring process, here are specific ways you can choose gratitude.

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Posted by Sam Murray on 11/22/17 7:00 AM

How To Improve Your Job Satisfaction In Ministry

We’ve all heard the banal platitudes that plague Christian lingo. These well-intended phrases often lose their meaning sometime between the 20th and 60th time we hear them. While these phrases often have good applicable meanings, cliché has robbed their meaning and left us with eye rolls. Here are some of my personal favorites:

When God closes a door, He cracks a window.

God willing and the creek don’t rise.

Let go and let God.

He’ll never give you more than you need.

God answers kneemail, not email.

I will do my best to avoid these phrases and still encourage you. The following words are for those of you that find yourself in a difficult situation at your church. Whether the challenge is a difficult boss, a controlling volunteer, a disengaged student ministry, or any other issue, I hope these words can help you make lemonade out of lemons. Ok, that’s the last cheesy phrase, I promise.

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Posted by Sam Murray on 11/9/17 7:00 AM

5 Easy Tips For Improving Your Interview Process

We have the great privilege of interviewing candidates every day and hearing how different churches approach their own personal interviewing process. I want to share a few easily applied tips that have impressed me along the way. This is not a comprehensive list of best interview practices, but I hope these few ideas help improve your ministry's interview process.

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Posted by Sam Murray on 8/28/17 7:00 AM

4 Differences Between Job Boards And Search Firms

I feel very fortunate to work alongside a collaboritve, aligned team here at Vanderbloemen. Our jobs are varied, but our mission is the same: we are here to serve the church. That’s why we all contribute to equipping church leaders through our Vanderbloemen Blog, and it's also why I want to explain a little but about the day-to-day work that we do.

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Posted by Sam Murray on 1/25/17 7:42 AM

4 Ways Church Leaders Can Coach Young Single Staff Members

It can be hard for senior church leaders to know what to do with the young, single, millennial members of their team. They look and work differently, their life priorities are different than previous generations, and they often challenge the status quo. But these millennials can be some of the most influential and inventive people on your team if they have leaders to help guide, coach, encourage, and develop them. Or, without strong examples or mentors, they can have wasted potential, energy without direction, and passion without vision.

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Posted by Sam Murray on 1/6/17 8:02 AM

4 Vital Considerations When Contemplating a Church Job Change

If you are experiencing tensions in your current ministry role or hearing promptings to explore the possibility of leaving your church job, this blog post is for you. Everyone has at one point in their life had to discern if God was leading them into a season of transition. But there are also times when God calls us to remain where we are. Is an external or circumstantial change the remedy you truly need?

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Posted by Sam Murray on 3/28/16 7:25 AM

4 Reasons Your Pastor Left After One Year

Senior Pastors currently average between five and seven years for their tenure on one church staff, based on the polls and studies that come up from a quick Google search. Sometimes Senior Pastors leave after just one or two years on the job. The fact is, it's becoming increasingly rare for a Lead Pastor to stay at one church for more than 5 years. So what's causing them to leave, besides the prompting of the Holy Spirit?

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Posted by Sam Murray on 3/3/16 6:34 AM

6 Common Mindsets That Drain All Church Leaders

A church leader's plate can quickly fill up with lofty goals, stressful tasks like hiring and firing, and an overwhelming to-do list. This is problematic because it is remarkably easy for church leaders to fall into deadly states of mind when presented with so much expectation, leading to potential burnout or moral failure. It is important to be armed with a healthy mindset in order to combat these thoughts. 

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Posted by Sam Murray on 1/21/16 7:37 AM

3 Action Steps After A Bad End Of Year Staff Review

You’ve just walked out of a bad end of year staff review. Maybe you saw this coming. Perhaps this past year contained failures and mishaps that kept snowballing to this point. The meeting was filled with quantitative analysis of your performance that did not measure up to the goals that were established at the beginning of the year. Or maybe this bad review was more qualitative than quantitative, and the critiques of past behaviors or attitudes were a surprise to you. Either way, change is required, and there are a few steps that can be helpful in that process of reflection and implementation of change.

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Posted by Sam Murray on 1/15/16 7:07 AM

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