In this (final) installment, I want to think about planning for succession.
The biggest, and most important, aspect of planning and preparing for effective pastoral succession is this single concept (let's say it together, class):
- He celebrates the history of the congregation, and acknowledges God's faithful work through those who have served in leadership (pastoral and other) throughout that history.
- He talks openly and comfortably about previous pastors, not being threatened by their memory or what God accomplished through them.
- He thinks in the long-term, asking questions (of himself and of the leadership) regarding how the decisions they make today will affect the saints who will be a part of that congregation in one, two, several generations from now.
- He trains leadership for the long-term, incorporating both historic and future trajectories in the way that they disciple and train current and future leaders.
- He casts a vision before them that has lasting and healthy implications, not one centered around himself or any one particular leader's strengths.
- He constantly seeks to move to the periphery in leadership, placing the focus of all ministry on Christ and His redeeming work instead on of himself or any other leader.