From Search To Service: Helping “The Big C Church” Through A Pandemic
By: William Vanderbloemen December 16, 2020
Thank you for walking with us through a year unlike any other. Looking back, it’s incredible to see the fellowship, partnerships, and knowledge we’ve gained from the wild ride that has been 2020. This year, which happens to be our 10th anniversary, we’ve kept our pulse on the needs felt by the “big C” church around the country and have worked to serve in those areas. In efforts to provide encouragement and insight during a challenging year, we wanted to remind you of the journey we’ve taken this year with your support.
From Search To Serving
Starting way back in February, we knew the plans we had for 2020 would change, however, none of us could predict the extent of COVID-19’s impact on our lives and work. We quickly realized that agility would be the key to thriving in 2020. In a time when hiring was at a standstill and business was anything but usual, we switched our focus from search to serving. We know none of these initiatives would have been possible without you, so we wanted to celebrate the wins of 2020 with you as we close out the year. Here are just some of the highlights you might remember.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
When COVID-19 meant many Christian organizations were looking at layoffs and an uncertain financial future, we saw an opportunity to serve. As we navigated the PPP application process ourselves, we created dozens of resources to help you more easily understand the legislation and application. Many of you came to know us from our resources on PPP, including:
15 Facebook Live events that reached over 157,000 people walking through the legislative updates each week. You may remember when we were joined by Senator Tim Scott, who helped create the Paycheck Protection Program as a member of the Senate Committee for Small Business & Entrepreneurship.
8 blogs breaking down the highlights and changes of the PPP as they happened.
3 templates to help calculate and submit for the PPP loan and loan forgiveness.
These efforts ultimately reached over 275,000 people seeking guidance through this process. To measure the impact of the PPP, we also created a survey following the application process where we heard from over 900 churches and Christian organizations from across the country on how the PPP impacted and sustained them. We learned that the PPP was critical in the survival of many churches and Christian organizations.
While staffing the church is the heart of our mission, serving the people that make up the church is paramount to achieving our goals.
Vanderbloemen Network LIVE
As businesses and churches shut down early this year, and then began to reopen again, we wanted to equip our readers with the best information and the top trends we were seeing from thought leaders at churches and Christian organizations. To house all of the interviews, blogs, and resources we created with Christian leaders in Churches, Nonprofits, and Christian Education, we launched churchcovid19.com, schoolcovid19.com, reopeningchurch.com, reopeningschool.com. These pages helped us maintain a one-stop-shop for our visitors to get up-to-date quickly.
Housed on these pages are the 90+ written resources we created, webinars we hosted, and podcasts we produced between March and August with the goal of helping organizations like yours navigate this unprecedented time.
Launched The Updated And Expanded Edition of Next: Pastoral Succession That Works
After 2020, pastors all have one thing in common: exhaustion. To prepare for this generation of pastors to retire and transition to new seasons, it’s critical for churches and pastors to prepare well for what comes next. To walk Christian leaders through this critical transition, William Vanderbloemen, our Founder and CEO, and Warren Bird, an award-winning writer and researcher, released The Updated And Expanded Edition of Next: Pastoral Succession That Works, to equip pastors, ministry teams, and Christian organizations to navigate leadership changes with wisdom and grace. While there is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution to the puzzle of planning for a seamless succession, Next offers church leaders and pastors a guide to asking the right questions in order to plan for the future.
We know leaders are running on steam after navigating this year, and while many don’t want to leave their leadership posts in the midst of COVID-19, it’s likely we will see a number of departures in the coming months. As you look to fill the gaps in your staff over the next few months, we would love to walk alongside you to help you find your new key team members. Connect with our team about helping you find the perfect fit to fill these critical roles.
New Offerings Created To Serve You
One of our company values is constant improvement, so this year we wanted to make sure we were growing and improving in the right areas. We launched a few new services to meet the top needs we were hearing from Christian organizations and churches like yours.
Custom Compensation Reports
Compensation is a contention point for every organization, but this is especially the case for churches. Since 2018, our team has been developing a proprietary compensation tool to better serve your hiring needs because we believe that compensation is a critical component of finding and retaining the best team members.
We launched the new report this year which offers the highest quality data by automatically adjusting salaries to your zip code’s specific cost of living and annually updating the salary based on inflation to keep the data current.
We now have over 13,000 data points in our database so you can better see how you compare to other organizations with similar budgets, size, and location. We even offer this report for free if you're a Vanderbloemen executive search client from the past two years. If you haven't been a recent client, don't worry - you can still pay a one-time fee to receive compensation reports for unlimited positions submitted within 10 days.
This year, we’ve also seen an increased desire for cultivating more diverse teams and congregations. We’ve spent the last year improving our own diversity initiatives and building out tools and resources to help our clients create more diversity within their organizations. To serve in this initiative, we launched our Diversity Practice in partnership with Sam Collier, including diversity search where we conduct searches specifically for diverse candidates, and diversity consulting where we conduct an in-depth analysis of your organization and provide a customized strategic plan for your specific goals.
We’ve also created some free resources to help your organization navigate the process of diversifying your staff, including our free Diversity Readiness Tool.
Learn more about how our new Diversity Practice can help your organization reach your goals for the new year.
With unemployment at an all-time high, we knew getting applicants wasn’t the challenge this year….getting the right applicants and finding time to screen for culture-fit, theology, and qualifications was, and still is, the challenge. In June, we launched our new sister company, ChristianTeams, focused on recruiting your non-executive staff positions. Your mid-level employees are the backbone of your organization, and we wanted to design a way for us to focus on recruiting the best talent for your culture, so you could stay focused on your mission.
A focus on lower and mid-level roles is something we’ve always had a heart for, but COVID-19 reminded us that now more than ever, we need to build teams that can outlast the challenges we’re facing and bring agility and creativity to the table. Knowing this was mission critical for our clients was the push we needed to bring ChristianTeams to life.
State of the Church Podcast Series
As we spoke with pastors toward the middle of this year, we wanted to know how they had adapted to this year’s events and what they projected the future of church to look like. As the front-line soldiers working to serve their communities day-to-day, it was important for us to understand their daily struggles and wins in order to better serve them.
To share our findings, we produced a 5-part podcast series, The State Of The Church, where we spoke with pastors and ministry leaders from around the country about how COVID-19 has impacted their Kingdom efforts and what they project the lasting impacts will be.
This series helped us gauge what our ministry leaders were experiencing and what trends we could project for the coming year so we could continue to serve where we’re most needed.
Subscribe to the Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast for more upcoming series on the trends you need to know about as a Christian Leader. Each week, we release a conversation with a ministry leader that shares relevant and inspiring insights that you don’t want to miss out on.
Who We Served
Even in the midst of COVID-19, we had the opportunity to serve in the way we know best - staffing. This year, we partnered with Moody Church and Willow Creek Community Church to find their next Senior Pastors During COVID-19, worked alongside a church a search with drive-in ballots to vote for their new Lead Pastor, and had numerous other firsts connecting with churches to make critical hiring decisions during a difficult and unusual time. While this year has been anything but easy, we are proud to share that with your help and support, we were still able to play a small part in building the kingdom of God in the following ways:
147+ searches completed
21+ succession and staffing consulting projects completed
109+ clients served through compensation reports
50+ denominations served
50 + webinars produced
170+ blogs covering staffing trends, COVID-19 resources, Christian leadership, building strong organizational culture, compensation strategy, and more
46 podcasts on serving well as a Christian leader
24 strategic partners supported
Served over 275,000 people with PPP resources
While 2020 wasn't an easy year, we are thankful for our clients, partners, staff, and supporters who have made all of this possible. We look forward to serving you in new ways in 2021.