Divine Intersections: How Does Vanderbloemen Find Your Candidates?


Our clients are often curious about how and where we find candidates. How do we find high-capacity people in a way that preserves relationships among churches, honors God, displays integrity, and yet is thorough and exhaustive in its approach?

This is a complex question with a rather simple answer.

Although we use a proven process and have the highest standards for discovering the best possible candidates, there is a fundamentally important part of the process that cannot be ignored; and we believe it’s critical to finding the best fit for both the church and the candidate.

Prayer and Discernment

Here's one example. We were helping a church locate a new worship pastor, and it was an extremely critical position and search. The church was in a small town and was healthy and stable, but they had never had a full time worship leader. Like many of our clients, this was also the first time they’d used a search firm. Through hours of reading and filtering through resumes that were submitted, collaborating among our team, and proactively researching potential candidates outside of our network, we prayed, “Lord, show us where to look. Show us where to find the person you are preparing for this role. Lead us to someone’s Divine Intersection. Lead us to the person that you have been preparing for this transition.”

We could bore you with details about our extensive search process and our remarkable team that works on behalf of each organization we represent, but the part that gets us especially excited is seeing these “Divine Intersections” – when prayer leads us to the right person at the right time, resulting in the perfect fit for both the candidate and the client.

We’ve been asked before, “So basically, you’re a headhunter for churches, right?” The answer is, “No, not exactly.”

What makes our executive search process special is the element of prayer, discernment, and asking the Holy Spirit to guide us through every search. It’s not merely a cut and dry process. We have the privilege of seeking God’s will in tandem with the church, and we have the additional tools of prayer and discernment to help us identify the person God is bringing to a role.

So let’s get back to the question and get a little more specific: “How do we search?”

1. We search intentionally.

After completing over 500 searches for churches, ministries, and faith-based organizations all over the country, we have learned this distinct truth.

Every church or organization is unique, and we are looking for a very specific person with specific gifts for each role.

We never attempt to jostle someone loose from a church they are called to, and neither do we interview everyone who applies to a role. Our team spends countless hours intentionally brainstorming, collaborating, and identifying the best possible candidates for each unique position and fit, as well as the most God-honoring ways to reach out to them.

2. We search prayerfully.

Trusting in the process isn’t enough. Trusting in Christ is everything. We need direction and help from the Holy Spirit. We continually ask God to guide us as we seek to serve His Church.

3. We search judiciously.

Although we receive resumes from people all over the country who are very gifted, we are extremely careful in whom we recommend for a role. We pay very close attention to the details of a person’s journey, education, gifts, transitions, upbringing, calling, family, church background, and many other important details that will impact their fit in a specific role or at a specific church/organization. Sometimes a person looks like a great fit on paper, but it’s our job to make sure they are a great fit in character, competence, and chemistry.

4. We search graciously.

It’s often difficult to really know a person’s story just by looking at their transitions. More importantly, it’s hard to know what they’ve learned. It would be so easy to skim over a really great candidate simply because something on their resume looks out of place. We take the time to explore and listen to their story. Diamonds are created under pressure and some of the best ministers have been forged under adversity. We’ve learned to approach every potential candidate with the gracious expectation that God may be about to use them in an amazing way.

5. We search tenaciously.

This may seem like a strong word, but it’s true. We have a competitive and motivated team who loves to serve God’s Kingdom. We keep looking and looking and looking until we find the right person for a role. When we partner with a church/organization, it’s a long lasting relationship, and it’s not over until the search is complete. Our desire is to see churches and ministries flourish and the Kingdom advance, and we are honored and humbled to play even a small role in that journey.

6. We search globally.

We have been humbled and honored to be a part of Kingdom-building across the United States and now the world. In the first half of 2014, we launched searches in Africa, Central America, and Bermuda. When we’re searching, we are searching globally on behalf of our clients to ensure that we are turning over every rock to discern whom God is calling to their team.

We hope this encourages you in your pursuit of God's best for your church or organization.  Whether the person you need is already in your church or is across the country waiting on God’s guidance, we join you in prayer for “Divine Intersections,” where God’s direction and his timing results in the perfect fit for both you and the candidate.

If you liked this, then you'll also like Why Churches Need Better Searches.