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Blog

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

Tracey Smith

Tracey Smith is an Executive Search Consultant at Vanderbloemen Search Group.

Recent Posts

Featured Post

Why You Need To Consider These 6 Things For Your Next Team Meeting
Posted by Tracey Smith on 8/6/18 7:03 AM

5 Factors To Remember When Powering Down

Last fall I came across an article that shared the news that a Japanese woman died from overworking – she had clocked in 159 hours in overtime in the month leading up to her death. As I read the circumstances surrounding her death, I realized that as pastors and leaders, we all have the potential to overwork ourselves in such a way that might not kill us physically, but could harm us emotionally, relationally, and even spiritually.

It has become the norm for many in ministry to be plugged in 24/7. So how do we keep ourselves from becoming a tragic statistic? Here are five factors for leaders to remember when powering down:

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Posted by Tracey Smith on 6/11/18 7:07 AM

Who Pastors the Pastor? 5 Ways to Cope with Personal Grief

Grief is a word that pastors know all too well. Pastors have a unique calling to help others cope during times of loss, conflict, and tragedy. Over my 25 years as a pastor, I’ve been called many times to grieve with individuals and families who have lost a loved one, been through a divorce, or experienced a tragedy. Although I became familiar with loss, heartache, and grief while serving others as a pastor, nothing could have prepared me for the challenges I faced due to personal loss.

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Posted by Tracey Smith on 5/7/18 7:09 AM

4 Teams Every Senior Pastor Needs

Teams are everywhere. Patrick Lencioni speaks about the power of teams, John Maxwell explains the value of teams, and Forbes shares a plethora of great articles on leading teams. But which teams would be the most helpful to a pastor?

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Posted by Tracey Smith on 2/15/18 7:00 AM

4 Ways For Busy Church Leaders To Keep Their Focus On God


In the busyness of life and ministry, spending intentional time with God can sometimes lose its priority in our lives. Over the past 23 years of ministry, God has allowed me to serve as a Senior Pastor, Executive Pastor, Family Pastor, and Small Groups Pastor. In all those roles, one of the biggest obstacles I’ve encountered is making room for God in my daily schedule. For me, prayer and the spiritual disciplines have seemed to (not intentionally) slowly shift to the back seat of my priorities. 

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Posted by Tracey Smith on 1/25/18 7:00 AM

3 Ways To Increase Your Attendance This Christmas

Christmas is one of the greatest opportunities to invite friends, neighbors, and family to church. Millions of people will flow into a Christmas Eve or Christmas service, many of them attending for the very first time. Why? Because someone invited them.

As we prepare for celebrating one of the most historic days in our Christian faith – the birth of Christ, here are three effective ways to can increase your attendance this year: 

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Posted by Tracey Smith on 11/30/17 7:00 AM

4 Action Steps For Your First Day On The Job

In our work with churches and organizations, we hear too many unfortunate stories of new hires that fail to last longer than a few weeks on staff. This is often because the new hire has neglected to lean into the church's culture or be proactive in the first couple of weeks. 

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Posted by Tracey Smith on 9/11/17 7:00 AM

3 Actions To Take Before Sending A Text Or Email

Over the past decade, we have seen several significant changes to the way we do ministry due to the advancement of technology. Among all these technological advancements, perhaps the changes that have best helped pastors be more efficient is email and text. Our communication is almost instantaneous. Some of us can still remember when we had to sit down to hand write a letter, only to wait two or three days before it would reach the other person. 

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Posted by Tracey Smith on 7/26/17 7:01 AM

How To Deal With The Unexpected Loss Of Your Pastor

During my early years of my ministry, I had the privilege to serve at a large, thriving and growing church in the Southeast. The church was experiencing a season where ministry was fun and exciting and we were seeing God do some amazing life transformation in the church. During the height of seeing God work, we unexpectantly suffered the loss of two beloved pastors within a few months of each other. It was devastating to the church and to the local community we served. 

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Posted by Tracey Smith on 6/1/17 7:04 AM

What To Do AFTER You've Made A New Hire

So you've made the hire for your church staff or ministry! Now what? That is a great question. Most church leaders and non-profit employers spend so much time and focus on the front end of the hiring process that they often forget about how to be intentional once the new employee has arrived. But the smartest leaders we've seen - those who excel in retaining great staff members - remain intentional in their actions after the hire has been made.

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Posted by Tracey Smith on 5/17/17 7:19 AM

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