About Justin Lathrop

With over a dozen years of local church ministry Justin has spent the last several years starting business' and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the Kingdom. He is the founder of Helpstaff.me (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and MinistryCoach.tv all while staying involved in the local church.

Justin is obsessed with connecting people to people and lives his life daily to make the world a smaller place. He now serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominately working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people.

He blogs regularly about what he has learned from making connection at www.justinlathrop.com.

Pastors, Don’t Ignore Your Social Media Responsibility

Social Media

I’m a big fan of pastors and a big fan of social media. Put those two things together and this is what you get: A guy who is a big fan of pastors being on social media. In fact, “big fan” might even be understating it a little bit. I believe pastors have a responsibility to be […]

4 Questions Pastors Should Ask Before Criticizing Online

Angry Twitter

My #1 pet peeve of pastors online would be the same as my #1 pet peeve of pastors offline. That’s usually the case with me. I see a strong connection between our online and offline behavior. Except, in this case, there is one small problem: I never (or at least very rarely) see pastors display the behavior […]

3 Ways To Create A Culture of Humility in Your Church

Bowl and Towel

When I first started pastoring, I wondered why people in the church were so arrogant. They would find a reason to criticize everything leadership did, no matter what it was. They weren’t very generous with their finances or resources, and I couldn’t get them to volunteer for any of our programs. I wished I could […]

What to Do When You’ve Lost Your Passion For Ministry

Passion Lost

Passion is a hard thing to describe or pin down. We sense when we have it and when it’s gone, but we aren’t sure how to explain where it comes from, or why we have it, or what to do when it goes away. And because this is the case, it can be really tricky […]

Building A Thriving, Productive Culture in Your Church


You’ve heard it said that culture starts at the top and works it’s way down. I couldn’t agree more. And yet, after years of working with and around pastors, listening to their greatest concerns, I know it’s easy to get stuck feeling disappointed about culture, without really understanding what you can do to change it. […]

I’m A Pastor. So, Who Are My Real Friends?


One of the most difficult parts of being a pastor, or working in church ministry, isn’t talked about much—and that is the difficulty of making close friends. One of the unique things about being in full-time church ministry is that your work life, your social life and your spiritual life overlap almost completely. In some […]

12 Things I Want to Say to Every Young Pastor

Young Pastors

I work with a lot of young pastors and I’m really passionate about helping them thrive in their first years of ministry. If I could sit down with each of them and give 12 brief words of encouragement and direction, it would look like this. 1. You can try to “do everything,” but you will fail The […]

How to Influence Across Generations


It’s easy for churches to feel divided because of gaps in age. The older generation feels the younger generation is disrespectful, hard to motivate, and too casual. The younger generation feels under-appreciated and undervalued for the vitality, creativity and fresh perspective they bring to the team. So how can we close the generational gap? How […]

10 Characteristics of An Effective Church Leader


I recently saw this list of 10 qualities posted on another church blog and couldn’t help but share it here, with my own thoughts added. These are ten characteristics Hillsong Church expects all staff members to embrace in order to serve at Hillsong. In my opinion, this should be the baseline for every church. 1. […]

How to Become An Indispensable Staff Pastor

Staff Member

I spent 12 years serving as a staff pastor at two different churches. Both experiences were unique, positive, and challenging and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. I don’t plan on ever being a lead pastor, so I’ll spend my entire career serving on a staff rather than leading one. If you […]

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