5 Podcasts That I’m Listening To

Moving to New York City intensified my love for podcasts. Riding the subway I lose mobile service and podcasting has become the best way to pass the time in the most productive way. I’ve always listened to podcasts, but the past 2 years my listening time significantly increased. Here are my top 5 favorite podcasts:

  1. The #AskGaryVee Show Podcast - great social media and business insights (warning: Gary’s language can be a little strong)

  2. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast - this is the podcast that I’ve listened to for the longest and always moves to the top of my list when new episodes come out. I wish there were more episodes than just once a month.

  3. Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast - the interviews on this podcast for church leaders are second to none. If you’re a church leader and you are not listening, please subscribe today.

  4. This Is Your Life Podcast with Michael Hyatt - Over the past half decade or so I’ve read and listened to as much Michael Hyatt as I can. I love his leadership insights and productivity hacks that he so openly shares.

  5. Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn - conversations with some incredible digital geniuses that are utilizing online marketing systems in effective and efficient ways.


Here are a few others on my subscribe list:


Also, I want to also highly recommend 3 other podcasts that I am very hands on with:

  1. Social Media Church Podcast - Jay Kranda and I talk Social Media for church leaders with some of the top practitioners around the world.

  2. Awesome Marriage Podcast - featuring Dr. Kim Kimberling, I have the privilege of co-hosting with Christina Dodson where we talk practically about how you can have an awesome marriage.

  3. Emotionally Healthy Leadership Podcast - Pete Scazzero and Rich Villodas share openly and honestly about leadership from the trenches and how Emotionally Healthy Spirituality can transform your leadership.

3 Questions with Holly Tate

Holly Tate is the Director of Business Development at Vanderbloemen Search Group, a boutique executive search firm that helps churches and ministries find their key staff. In her role at Vanderbloemen, Holly's focus is providing resources that help church leaders build, run, and keep great teams. She is also the host of the Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast. Here are 3 questions I recently asked Holly:


Many people are curious what it's like working for Vanderbloemen Search Group, can you share a little bit about the unique culture and what it's like to lead a growing business that is serving the Church? 

I love this question because our workplace culture is one of my favorite things to talk about. Vanderbloemen Search Group is an executive search firm that helps churches and ministries find their key staff. The role we play in the Kingdom is an honor and an immense responsibility. 

We're passionate about helping leaders make sure they have the right people on their team, so of course we're intentional about our own hiring as well. Our President William Vanderbloemen has been intentional about hiring the right people and building a workplace culture where our people are valued and enjoy coming to work each day. 

A key decision William made in building a contagious culture is by bringing the team in-house to our office in Houston, TX. This was a crucial decision because it allows for vision-alignment and collaboration.

Our nine company values are at the heart of our aligned vision for helping churches build great teams. A couple of my favorites are Broadband Love and Constant Improvement. You can read about all nine of our values on our website here. We each have our values displayed on our desks, have a Values Spotlight in each team meeting, and even have someone on staff whose responsibility is to intentionally infuse our values into our day to day team rhythm so we stay focused on why we're doing what we're doing.

Having a team under the same roof has also been helpful for collaboration, which is one of the primary reasons our process is so effective. While virtual teams have their purpose, the fact that our team is under the same roof in an open office allows for both spontaneous and intentional collaboration to solve problems as we exercise our values of Ever-Increasing Agility and Solution-Side Living. Collaboration is invaluable in making sure that we help our clients find the right fit for their team. 

And if you keep an eye on our Instagram, you'll see that we have a ton of fun together. We celebrate our birthdays as a team, have an annual fitness competition, and most recently, we had our first ever #VanderCarving event where we picked 17 of our clients logos and carved them into pumpkins. It was so much fun! 

2015 has been an exciting year for our team. In September, we were voted the #6 Best Place to Work in Houston by Houston Business Journal, and in November, we were nationally recognized as one of Entrepreneur's Top Company Cultures in the Small Business Enterprise category.


VSG has grown tremendously over the past 5 years, what do you accredit that growth to and what can other small businesses learn from your progression?

When I joined the team about three and a half years ago, there were only about 8 of us on staff, and now we have over 30 full-time Vanderbloemen employees.

As I think about your question, many things things come to mind that have contributed to our growth. Here are a few:  

One is what I discussed above about our contagious culture. Having a great place to work helps us keep high-capacity people on our team who are committed to our mission and serve our clients well. 

Another reason is because our leadership team has been intentional about choosing systems that scale. William speaks about this topic to church leaders often, because choosing systems that scale is vital to any organization that desires sustained growth. Rapid growth is exciting, but it's not scalable. One thing leaders should ask themselves when finding a solution to a problem is, "Does this solution still work if we were to double overnight?" If not, rethink your system. 

Our value of Ever-Increasing Agility is another contribution to our growth. We recently had our Fall 2015 Executive Pastor Coaching Network. William told the group in a session, "The older you get, the less flexible (physically) you become. The same is true for your church--the older it gets, the less flexible it becomes." This is true for any organization. Our team is always trying to become more agile as we seek to serve our churches and ministries well. 


As you continue to "Staff the Church" what trends are you seeing and what shifts do you expect will take place over the next 5 years or so?

One trend we're seeing that we hope will continue into the future is church leaders being more intentional about pastoral succession. It's been a taboo topic for far too long. Pastoral succession sets up pastors and churches for long-term health, so our desire is to see church leaders start the conversation about what succession looks like in their church's context.  

Another trend we're seeing is church leaders focusing on reaching and engaging millennials. As the generation gap increases in churches, pastors and church leaders are understanding that reaching millennials is different from reaching boomers and are working to intentionally bridge the generation gap in their church.

We're also seeing the evolution of the Children's Pastor role. Traditionally, the Children's Pastor role has been undervalued. We're seeing this change as churches seek high-capacity Children and Family Ministry leaders who are passionate about discipleship and family development. The demand for Children's Pastors is extremely high right now, which we're excited about, because we believe that Children's Ministry is the growth engine of the church. 


You can follow Holly on Twitter for more great insights from her!

Vanderbloemen Podcast: Building High Capacity Teams for the Virtual Church

I've had the awesome opportunity of getting to know the great people at Vanderbloemen. And this week I am honored to be featured on the Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast. On the podcast we discuss building teams for the virtual church. Be sure to check it out below! 

Announcing the Social Media Summit for Churches on June 4th

Social Summit Logo
Social Summit Logo

I'm excited to announce that I will be hosting the Social Media Summit in coordination with my friends at Faith Social.  In one 90 minute session, we have brought together seasoned experts in social media and digital ministry to share strategy and best practices for church leaders to better engage their members and grow their ministry through social media. This event is the perfect opportunity for church leaders to deepen their understanding of Social Media in Ministry without even leaving their desk.  This online event is FREE and will take place on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from noon-1:30pm CST.  I hope to see you there!

For more information and to register now click here.

Take a look at some of our speakers and our incredible sponsors for this event:

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Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 12.32.06 PM

Virtual Book Tour

The Social Media Guide for Ministry is coming soon and we will be launching its release with a Virtual Book Tour.  For four days we will be hosting online training events for ministry leaders based on the core principles of the book.  Beginning Monday, March 4th we will have 3 sessions daily with a new topic each day.  Each session will last approximately 45 minutes and will include training from myself, interviews with ministry leaders and social media experts, and live chat Q & A. Here is a list of the days, times, and topics of the coming tour:

March 4th – Social Media Basics

In this session we will discuss the who, what, when, where, and why of Social Media.  We will get down to the basics of where you should begin or, perhaps, begin again.  Nils will also answer some FAQs when it comes to Social Media in Ministry.

Session Times: 9am, noon, 3pm Central Time

March 5th – Facebook Foundations

Facebook now has over 1 billion users worldwide which can provide great value to almost every ministry or waste a lot of time if you don’t know how to use the platform effectively.  Understanding the capabilities of this network, as well as developing a practical strategy, can translate to very valuable ministry.  Nils will share tips and tricks for using Facebook both personally and organizationally by sharing his personal experiences and how the Online Church Facebook page has grown to over 250,000 fans.

Session Times: 9am, noon, 3pm Central Time

March 6th – Twitter & YouTube Techniques

Twitter and YouTube can both be entertaining ways to pass time but did you know they can also be invaluable ministry tools?  Twitter is an incredibly unique network and requires a unique strategy to be used effectively.  YouTube is the #2 search engine on the internet with 800 million visitors each month so understanding the basics of this network and some video best practices can greatly enhance your ministry by reaching thousands online no matter your group’s size or budget.

Session Times: 9am, noon, 3pm Central Time

March 7th- Blogging, Pinterest, and the Other Networks

Have you considered starting a blog?  Are you curious about Pinterest?  Want to know more about Google+, Instagram, FaithVillage, and several of the other networks that are out there?  In this session we will cover the basics of blogging by discussing various platforms, blogging topics, length of posts, etc.  We will also highlight the social network Pinterest as well as several other networks and why you should or should not use them.

Session Times: 9am, noon, 3pm Central Time


We are honored to have some incredible ministry partners for this event.  If you are not already familiar with these great organizations, we encourage you to get to know them and the ministry work that they are doing.

Vanderbloemen Search Group

Media Social

Rockbridge Seminary

Group Publishing