Smart Money For Church Salaries

We are going to take a slight deviation from our typical “facility” topics and shift to a financial and HR related topic.

Over the last 5-7 years, we have developed a relationship with David Fletcher, founder of XPastor. Their organization is one of the forerunners in supporting, developing and coaching Executive Pastors.  I have great respect for David and his team and am honored that they are also a Ministry Partner with Church Facility Management Solutions (If you have not signed up yet…do so NOW…it is FREE).

Well…XPastor is partnering with some of my favorite people including Dan Busby, Brad Leeper, Vonna Laue, William Vanderbloemen and Michael Martin to do a series of workshops around the country focusing on compensation and salaries.

I am butchering what they are really going to address, so let’s hear directly from David.


Over the past several weeks I have heard from Executive Pastors, Insurance Agencies, and Elder Boards from across the country about their current Sr. Pastor’s pending retirement. For most of them, their Sr. Pastor is part of the Boomer generation and is roughly 60 years old. However, although many of the soon-to-be-retirees have projects they would like to retire to (ie – overseas mission work, consulting, community involvement), they don’t have the resources to retire from their current position. In other words, they didn’t save the money necessary for the move. This is causing Sr. Pastors to stay on longer than they should and preventing churches from moving into the future.

This is a common scenario, and it often times takes two to tango. The problem with Boomer pastors’ ill-prepared retirement is often times the result of poor compensation on the churches end and poor planning on the employees end. At our 12-city one-day workshop “Smart Money for Church Salaries,” we want to address the former. We want to make sure your pastors are being payed fairly, competitively, and legally for the area of ministry (and country!) they are in. This will help a church to communicate value, dignity, and respect to the pastor during the time they are with your church.

At this 12-city, one-day workshop, paid and volunteer leadership teams will walk out of the workshop having crafted a customized, scalable compensation chart for their own unique church. This is a conference you do not want your teams to miss!

By the way, did we mention it’s only a one-day workshop?!

Full price for this workshop is $239 but for a LIMITED TIME you can register you and your team for $159 using the code “XP” at checkout! Access this exclusive discount NOW at this link →

SEARCH: The Pastoral Search Committee Handbook by William Vanderbloemen

For most of the readers of this blog, you know I am a fan of William Vanderbloemen and the Vanderbloemen Search Group team.  Not only is William a friend, but also a client.  Cool Solutions Group was blessed to lead the team that developed the new corporate offices for VSG.  What a blast!!!!

William is about to release a new book – SEARCH: The Pastoral Search Committee Handbook and we had a chance to drill down into the reason for the book and the some of its highlights.  The book has not been released for public consumption…so here is a sneak peek…but make sure you get your copy after June 15, 2016!!!

GREAT JOB William!

What inspired you to provide a handbook for pastor search committees?

Whenever I sit down with a pastor search committee, I ask, “How many of you have experience hiring a pastor?” Maybe one hand in the room goes up, but nearly every person on the search committee is a discerning volunteer with no church staffing experience. Some pastor search committee members have hired for their corporate jobs, but hiring for ministry is much different than hiring in the corporate world. They don’t know what they don’t know, and one of my favorite parts about helping churches find their staff is working with search committees. They feel the weight of their sacred responsibility and really want to navigate the overwhelming pastor search process well. However, they often don’t even know where to start.

So when B&H Publishing came to me and asked me to write a handbook – a field guide – for pastor search committees who are navigating the weighty process of discerning who God is calling as their next pastor, I was honored and excited to write it. It’s been a fun project to work on, and my prayer is that it will provide a common blueprint for pastor search committees.

What is the biggest challenge pastor search committees face?

They’re scared to death. There’s huge anxiety in the pastor search process. It doesn’t matter what your church polity is, whether you’re Anglican, Baptist, or non-denominational, it’s daunting to be in a group of people selected for the sacred task of making one of the most important decisions that the church will ever face, and hopefully one they won’t have to face for another decade or so.

This anxiety can cause committees to fight, feel directionless, choose the wrong person, or feel like no one is good enough. My prayer is that this book will be a resource to help calm their anxiety  by providing a step-by-step manual, enabling them to focus on what they should be doing – praying and discerning who God is calling to be the next pastor of their church.

Chapter 4 of SEARCH is all about forming the pastor search committee.  What is the most important factor that churches should consider when forming the pastor search committee?

Watch out for people who are coming to the process with an agenda. I would carefully consider the first five people that volunteer to be on the committee. Are they coming with hearts of discernment, desiring the best for the church, or are they coming with an agenda?

I’m reminded of Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (ESV)

When I was a young pastor, I made the mistake of putting curmudgeons on committees, because they stated their opinions the loudest. I thought that if I put them on the committee, I wouldn’t have to hear them complain about the decision the committee made. Now I realize that it always backfires and creates a polarized committee. I see way too many churches make this same mistake, and it never works. Avoid putting the church curmudgeon on the committee.

I’d also tell churches to be wary of how they represent the church by the makeup of the committee. We did a student pastor search recently where the committee put a couple of students from the youth group on the committee. I loved that they wanted to represent the church body by having diverse age groups, but the committee’s primary task is discernment. It’s crucial that you have discerning committee members who are mature in their faith and are thinking far into the future. Think less about the age groups represented on a committee and focus on finding discerning people you trust to steadily seek the Lord on behalf of your church.

While discerning is the top gift committee members should have, I also recommend looking for people who are natural recruiters – people who believe in your church, are passionate about its vision, and are excited by the prospect of inviting others into that process.

As Matthew 9:37 says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” There really is a supply and demand issue in ministry. The reality is that most committees have high expectations that might be unreasonable. You want people on the committee who can both discern who might be the right fit as well as cast vision for the future of the church to potential pastoral candidates.

Chapter 6 of the book is titled “Know Your Church.” How can pastor search committees truly understand what their church needs in their next pastor?

One of the key questions a pastor search committee should spend time pondering is, “How does our church navigate change?” Think about the last time your church changed something in the building or in a ministry program. How did the congregation react? You want to reach for your ultimate redemptive potential as a church, but you don’t want to stretch it too much to where you break it apart. Know yourself as a church to ensure that doesn’t happen.

I’d also bring in an objective set of eyes to ask the pastor search committee strategic questions. Navigating change is one of the most difficult parts of the search process, and bringing in a third party who can objectively ask questions to help you shape the job description and candidate profile is a big help to pastor search committees.

I would encourage pastor search committees to buy SEARCH and read through it together, especially chapter 6. Knowing yourself as a church is crucial to a smooth pastoral search process.

What about mistakes toward the end of the process? Many pastor search committees get down to one candidate, and then it doesn’t work out. What should committees be aware of before they get to those final steps in the process to avoid having to start the process over?

Begin with the end in mind. Stephen Covey says this, and it’s so true. Have a road map for your church. We have a suggested timeline in the appendix of the book to help pastor search committees. Having a plan and trying to follow it will help avoid frustration in the long run.

So many committees get frustrated at the end of the process and then jump at the first person that says yes. To avoid rushing into the wrong hire, have a road map at the beginning. The most expensive thing you can do for your church is hire the wrong person.

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William Vanderbloemen and Tim Cool Talk Church Facilities [Podcast]

This past week I enjoyed some mic time with William Vanderbloemen from Vanderbloemen Search Group. If you are not familiar with William then your church may not have needed to hire a new staff person in the last 5-7 years.  William leads a team of the best “Executive Search” professionals in the church space today.  He has the heart of a pastor (which he was for many years…and very successful I may add) and the drive of a serial entrepreneur.  What a GREAT combination!

William invited me to sit with him to do a deep dive into many topics near and dear to my heart, such as:vandercast

  • > How churches can care for their existing buildings
  • > 3 primary ways churches should think through their facility stewardship (management) initiative
  • > Whether a church should own their own facility
  • > Being proactive and reactive to extend the life cycle of a building and save money in the long-term
  • > Most recent trends in church facility planning
  • > Effective and affordable facility planning for churches

Click HERE to visit the podcast site from “Vandercast” or click below to listen NOW!






Facility Stewardship Binder - Small