William Vanderbloemen

The Top 3 Lessons from Coaching Churches Through Pastoral Transition

About The Episode


“Pastors moving into the Lead Pastor role need to ask, “What created this vacancy that God has called me to fill? People mistakenly assume that succession and retirement are synonyms. They’re not.”” Meet William Vanderbloemen,  CEO & Founder of Vanderbloemen, an executive search firm. In this episode, William and Sean really lean in to combine their pre and post-transition experience, unpacking the top lessons from coaching churches through pastoral transition. William shares invaluable insight from his work in over 3,000 church successions and key advice for both the outgoing and incoming leader. 

Welcome to Episode 074 of the Leaders in Living Rooms Podcast with Sean Morgan.

Insights From William Vanderbloemen

What are the top 10 factors that make for a good transition?

  • #1-9 – are the outgoing pastor. In every succession, the outgoing pastor is really the make or break. 
    • How does the shadow of the previous leader impact the succession? Greatly. 
      • Ask yourself, why are we here today?
      • You need to understand why there is now a vacancy and the role the previous leader played in the church. 
      • Are they a “legacy” pastor? 
      • How is the emotional health of the outgoing pastor? The church?
      • “The more you can do to learn and honor the legacy of the outgoing pastor, the better.”

Advice for outgoing and incoming pastors on succession.

  • Make the work of Jesus through the outgoing pastor, the hero. 
  • Remember who the owner of the church is.
  • Honor without beatifying

Lack of financial planning by elders, executive church staff, etc. is hurting the church because we can’t plan around the right incentives and timing that is best for the church.

Episode Links

If you’re a leader approaching a succession or transition. Or maybe you’re a few years in and beginning to see how complex transitions leadership is… go to The Art of Pastoral Succession and checkout my brand new course in partnership with Carey Nieuwhof. 

Next: Pastoral Succession That Works, Expanded and Updated

Balance salary & stewardship: Vanderbloemen compensation reports

Are you in Transition or have one on the horizon? Check out our 2023 cohorts and get connected with us at: https://theascentleader.org/cohorts/ 

Who Is William Vanderbloemen?

William Vanderbloemen was a pastor for 15 years and is now CEO & Founder of Vanderbloemen, an executive search firm. William started Vanderbloemen because he understands that when your team isn’t whole it disrupts your mission. He has combined his ministry experience as a Senior Pastor with the best practices of executive search to provide churches with a unique offering: a deep understanding of local church work with the very best knowledge and practices of professional executive search to complete your team. Vanderbloemen has staffed over 2,500 organizations. William is the author of Next: Pastoral Succession That Works, Search: The Pastoral Search Committee Handbook, and Culture Wins: The Roadmap to an Irresistible Workplace.


Twitter: @VanderbloemenSG
IG: @Vanderbloemen

Sponsors & Partners

Thanks to our sponsor: Food For The Hungry. Combine your church’s heart for the poor and Food for the Hungry’s global experience at fh.org/churches

Quotes From Episode

“What created this vacancy that God has called me to fill?” People mistakenly assume that succession and retirement are synonyms. They’re not.” 

“The more you can do to learn and honor the legacy of the outgoing pastor, the better.”

Listen to Recent Episodes

About the Host

Sean Morgan is a coach and speaker with a national reputation as a catalyst of fresh vision. His passion is to help ministries navigate obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

Throughout his career, Sean has pioneered initiatives impacting thousands of leaders across the country. He started out serving as Executive Pastor and CFO at New Life Church in northern California.

As host, Sean gives you access to amazing conversations, hard-won wisdom, and poignant insights from world-class leaders in intimate “living room” settings.

Your Host

Sean Morgan

Leaders in Living Rooms
Craft & Character

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