"Our whole church is really excited for what’s ahead. We’re so excited for what God has for us."
Ken Friedrichsen, Hope Church Elder
Hope Church in Wilton, CT is a small, tight knit Evangelical Free Church of America congregation of approximately 150 people. When their senior pastor suddenly announced his retirement it took them a bit off guard. However, his announcement also came with the suggestion to use a search firm to find the next leader for the church.
"We have all been in leadership for a long time as an Elder board, and for the most part we’ve all used search firms in the past in our professional lives. And honestly, many of them were kind of negative experiences," recalled Ken Friedrichsen, an Elder at Hope Church. "We didn’t even know that search firms existed that would specialize in this, especially in the Evangelical environment."
Although there was a bit of skepticism from the leadership at Hope Church, they made the decision to meet with the consultant that would be working on their Senior Pastor search. After meeting with him and learning more about the process, they felt confident in the decision to pursue the search firm option. "We had such a great feeling with our consultant. We instantly clicked with him," said Ken.
The Elder Board knew this was one of the biggest decisions their church would be facing. The process was full of consultation, guidance, and prayer from one another as well as their Vanderbloemen consultant and research team.
"When we got the 5 candidates we were pretty impressed. We felt like we could do ministry with any of these guys. We felt like any one of them could do the job. We were really impressed with the broad net casting and how well it worked."
From start to finish, the process took nine months and at the end of it they extended an offer to Hope Church's next senior pastor.
"We had such a good experience and I would imagine every search team and church is unique and different. The candidates were just as our consultant described to us. He set our expectations and let us know that Vanderbloemen can and will 'find the best candidates that are out there looking.'"
Hope Church's expectations were met and they are looking forward to a new season for their congregation and community.
"Our whole church is really excited for what's ahead. We're so excited for what God has for us."