“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15
This mission is what Touching Lives’ ministry embodies. Touching Lives is the international broadcast ministry of Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Georgia. For 20 years, Touching Lives has been sharing Dr. Merritt’s messages in all 50 states and in over 140 countries around the world, using a wide array of technologies and connecting millions of people with the hope of Jesus Christ.
Ron Lambros, President of Touching Lives, says that the whole purpose of the ministry is to “unashamedly proclaim the Gospel of Christ and God’s love, power, and plan for everlasting life.” And that is exactly what they do, utilizing the technology of the 21st century in order to spread the Gospel to others around the world that would not otherwise have the chance to hear it. Through its wide variety of media and book resources, Touching Lives is also committed to empower Christians to be bold in their faith and walk with God.
With the blessing of the ministry’s incredible growth in recent years also came busier schedules for both Ron and Dr. Merritt. In early 2014, it became clear that it was time for them to add a new staff member to their team.
The role they sought to hire was a Director of Marketing and Development. Serving as a key leadership team member, the Director would help make strategic decisions that would affect the future growth of the ministry as well as forge relationships that could expand the ministry’s reach.
According to Ron, they set out on their staff member search “the old fashion way,” searching on their own for the right person. They reached into their networks to seek the person who held the skills and experience they were looking for.
And then it happened! They found the perfect resume, appearing on Ron’s desk from a friend of a friend. Ron and Dr. Merritt interviewed the individual, and it wasn’t long until they were hired.
But shortly after making the hire, something felt off. Ron said, “I knew three months into it; we made a mistake.” There wasn’t anything wrong with the new hire’s integrity, they simply lacked the skills that Touching Lives needed. Ron confesses, “They looked stellar on paper, but that’s about it; they just weren’t a fit.” So they went back to the drawing board. This time something had to be different.
Ron reached out to Vanderbloemen Search Group about a partnership, knowing that, as he put it:
“It’s not just about finding a qualified person, its about finding God’s person.”
With a new relationship with Touching Lives, Vanderbloemen Search Group hit the ground running searching for God’s person for the role. With the reach of Vanderbloemen’s network and the team’s focus on finding a candidate with both the skills and culture fit, the outcome would be different with this hire.
And it was. After Vanderbloemen presented candidates to the Touching Lives team, it became clear that Jared West was exactly what Touching Lives was looking for, with decades of marketing experience, an Executive Leadership background, and a proven track record of building corporate relationships.
Jared was one of the few candidates Vanderbloemen brought to Ron for consideration. In the end, Jared was the man God was calling to this position. Ron says of him, “Jared is the piece of the puzzle that I wish we would have hired 15 years ago.”
With Jared’s vast experience in both the ministry and corporate sectors, Touching Lives will now have many more opportunities to impact the Kingdom and spread God’s love to millions.