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Why Culture Wins at Your Church with William Vanderbloemen

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Thanks for joining us for another episode of the unSeminary podcast. I’m so excited to have William Vanderbloemen from the Vanderbloemen Search Group with us today.

Vanderbloemen Search Group started out wanting help churches find pastors. They now have branched into doing a few other things such as consulting, succession planning and serving ministries in their staffing needs as well as churches. In everything their passion of helping teams and organizations build their culture remains.

William is with us today to talk about building your culture and how he’s shared what he’s learned in his new book, Culture Wins: The Roadmap to an Irresistible Workplace.

  • Identify the unique culture at your church. // The truth is, we’re all a little crazy. Churches are staffed with broken people. You make it work not by trying to find people who aren’t crazy (ie. perfect), but by finding people who have the same kind of crazy that you do. Churches do this by asking themselves the question: when we’re functioning at our very best, what are we doing that’s common to us but would be uncommon to other teams around us? That’s a nice way of saying, “What kind of crazy are we?” One of the examples the Vanderbloemen Search Group identified for themselves is that they are super responsive people. As William jokes, “Why are you calling me back at ten o’clock; you should wait until tomorrow?” This type of “crazy” came up again and again, and it turned into a value that they called ridiculous responsiveness. Don’t just be mediocre or vanilla, show the ridiculousness in the values that your church has.
  • Culture needs to be guarded. // Good culture attracts people, and staff stick around longer when their is good culture at an organization. If you’re a church planter and don’t yet have staff, you may have key volunteers that serve as your staff. Regardless of your organization, choose one person that should be in charge of overseeing the culture aspect of the team building. Guarding the culture is important enough to be a part of their job and not something that someone does on the side or during their spare time. This individual should spend 30-35% of their time making sure you’re cultivating good culture and it’s being kept on target. Be intentional about culture.
  • Internal versus external hires. // William started Vanderbloemen Search Group because he wanted to see the church move farther and faster. Why should a great church spend half of their time without leadership? This problem was one he wanted to solve. In his work with pastor placement, William has found that the smartest clients have developed ratios of when to hire from within versus when to hire externally. If you’re looking to sustain a culture, or push a culture forward in a particular area, you should be looking at an internal hire. On the other hand, if you’re looking to shake up, grow, change and do something different in an area, an external hire is a great thing to do. Regardless of whether you’re hiring from within or outside, the person needs to be the right one for the job.

You can find the book Culture Wins: The Roadmap to an Irresistible Workplace at www.culturewins.org. Or learn more about the Vanderbloemen Search Group at www.vanderbloemen.com.

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Lightning Round

Helpful Tech Tools // Hubspot’s blog

Ministries Following // Ramsey Solutions (Dave Ramsey)

Influential Book // Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Inspiring Leader // The Pope

What you do for fun // Golf, Running, Spending time with his wife

Contact // www.culturewins.org and www.vanderbloemen.com

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.