"He is a great fit for our staff and our culture. We are 100% satisfied with the decision."
Freddy Villarreal, Freedom Life Church Senior Pastor
In 2004, Pastor Freddy Villarreal came alongside 26 other people to start Freedom Life Church. Over the last 14 years it has grown to almost 1,000 people with a unique culture and DNA - a culture and DNA so carefully crafted that Pastor Freddy was a little skeptical that a search firm would be able to understand it and find someone who could fit it.
"I was hesitant because typically we try to hire from within," recalled Pastor Freddy. "We have an intentional leadership pipeline for our church, but we realized we needed someone beyond the scope of our network. We didn't have someone developed enough to be in this role and we realized this position could be a catalytic moment for us."
Pastor Freddy and their team have worked hard over the last 14 years to cultivate a culture that has been intentional and welcoming. They worried whether or not a search firm would be able to communicate to candidates what they were truly looking for and also if the candidate they brought in from the outside would have the raw components to mesh with their DNA. However, since it was such a huge potential role for them, they decided to push hesitation aside and engage Vanderbloemen.
Their consultant did an onsite visit which gave them the opportunity to see, firsthand, the kind of church Freedom Life was.
"He did an excellent job of fitting the description and capturing who we are," Pastor Freddy said. "He asked the right questions when he was interviewing us and he was able to discern the things we were and were not saying."
Approximately three months after that initial onsite visit, their consultant came back out to present a short list of candidates that fit both the culture of the church and the credentials of the role.
"Out of the candidates that were presented, I could see 4 working with us," said Pastor Freddy. "We had a problem of picking the best of the best and I realized if I had stuck to the resource pool of people I knew, we never would have gotten guys like this."
Two months after the presentation of candidates, and many interviews later, Pastor Freddy and his team extended an offer to their next Pastor of Youth and Young Adults.
"Our new Pastor of Youth and Young Adults is doing amazing! He has fit right in and has already been added to our weekend preaching team. He is a great fit for our staff and culture and we are 100% satisfied with the decision."