Context Staffing



Change Has Come


By: Justin Anderson

We have been telling you for two years now that the world is changing and that you have to change with it. I believe that now more than ever. But my point this week is not that you need to change your approach; we’ve talked about that a lot and will continue to. Today, I want to talk about how we at Context Leadership Group are changing.

One of the main realities of the new world is that finances are tighter and staff is much harder to find. We have seen this play out with our clients repeatedly. If you don’t already know, CLG does coaching, consulting, and staffing for churches across the country. We have been doing this for several years now officially and 20+ unofficially. We have worked with churches large and small; rural, suburban and urban.

We too are seeing and feeling the cultural shifts that you are, and we are ready to make some changes to meet this new moment.

We started CLG because Brian and I care deeply about the local church. We are, first and foremost, local church pastors. Both of us have planted churches, led revitalization, and sat in second chairs. We’ve seen it all and we want to see the church thrive.

To that end, we want to make you aware of some changes that we hope will better serve you and your churches.

First, we want to lower and be more transparent about our pricing. If we could work for free, we would, but that’s not the reality. We know that finances are getting tighter for most churches and we want to respond to that.

Most staffing firms charge a percentage of the staff person’s salary as the fee for a search. There is a range, but 30% has been the industry standard. We think that this incentivizes the wrong things and that most churches can’t afford those kinds of dollars. Also, the searches are what they call “Retained Searches,” which means that you sign a contract with one firm as your only search method.

Today, we are launching “Contingent Searches” and firm fees. Here is what that means. For a Contingent Search, you will pay $5,000 upfront for us to build your profile, market, and recruit for your role for a year. If in that process, you find another candidate with no connection to our work, you owe us nothing. If you do choose to hire one of our candidates, then there is a final placement fee for our services.

The upsides to this model are significant. The upfront cost - and therefore risk - is much lower than with a Retained Search. Your risk is only $5k and what you get for that money is significant. We will help you build a profile that will attract the right kinds of candidates, and we will mobilize our significant marketing and recruiting resources to find your next leader.

Then, you are only on the hook for the final fee if we successfully do our job. The Placement Fee varies depending on the role we are looking for. Those fees are as follows and do not include the initial Search Fee:

- Lead Pastor: $15,000

- Executive Pastor: $12,500

- Worship Pastor: $12,500

- Associate, Groups, Youth, etc.: $10,000

These hard costs will help you budget more effectively and incentivize us to work as hard as we can to find you the candidate you want.

We also offer Staff Consulting, which is a detailed process in which we assess your existing team and needs and make recommendations for staff structure, pay scales, benefits and help you make a 3-year staffing plan. The cost for this is $2500 and can be added to the front of any search process.

We will continue to do Retained Search because this is the right path for churches that want us to walk them through the hiring process from start to finish. With a Retained Search, we will do Staff Consulting, Marketing and Recruiting, and Coaching all along the way and through the interview process plus 90 days of coaching through the onboarding process. This option is great for churches hiring a Lead Pastor, their first Executive Pastor, or during phases of rapid growth or change where greater realignment might be needed.

For those of you interested in Coaching and Consulting, we are adjusting those prices as well. Justin is offering coaching for $299/month for two scheduled calls a month plus unlimited texts and calls when you need help. This is a below-market coaching rate and a great opportunity to learn from someone with 20 years of ministry experience, who has successfully planted three churches and led several large churches.

Lastly, if your church is going through challenges or you are one of the few that is really growing right now, we offer a Church Health Assessment that is a perfect way to get a comprehensive temperature check on the health and effectiveness of your church. We will spend hours with you and your team walking through every aspect of your ministry, interviewing staff, and leaders, and presenting you with a report at the end that includes recommended next steps for your leadership to take. The cost for this varies depending on the size of your church - and therefore its complexity - but ranges from $2500-$7500.

Let me say this one more time. We care about your church and its future. We are convinced that the world is changing rapidly and that your church must change or it will be left behind. You need the right leaders and structures to support your ministry efforts and we want to help make that happen.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, email me at so we can talk more.