Last installment (part 1) we looked at the story of Rehoboam in 2 Chronicles. It is a sad example of a kingdom changing from one leader to another– King Solomon to Rehoboam, his son. It can also be a model for transition of leadership in most any organization, including a church. One thing especially difficult is a transition from a founding pastor (or leader), to a younger, much less experienced leader, as in this story. It is very difficult to "fill the shoes" of someone who has established the culture of a church (or organization), and even more difficult to operate under their shadow, when they stay within the organization or church.
So here's some questions that will hopefully help bring some healthy consideration towards good leadership transition.
- How is your relationship with the Lord? Are you going through a spiritual growth period or a dry spell? Are your devotional times with the Lord somewhat hum-drum or are you experiencing some special times as well?
- Who are you discipling? Are you investing any of your life and walk with the Lord in someone else? How are you transferring any of what the Lord has done in your life to bless others?
- Who are you training up for positions of leadership? Who is able to take your place if you're called to do something different someday? Will what you are doing outlast or survive your involvement and presence?
- Are you accountable to anyone? Who? Do they know this? Do you make regular time to be held accountable? If not, who can you go to when you need guidance, help, or restoration?
- What vision do you have for ministry now and the future? Do you have a sense of vision for the ministry you're involved with now? Do you have vision for other ministry beyond what you're doing now?
That's a bunch of questions all at one time, but these are not to be answered once and set aside. They are much more useful when looked at and considered from time to time within a given year– maybe 2 or 3 times a year.
Discipleship will naturally produce leaders. It worked well for Jesus, and it still works. It's just a slow and deliberate process, which is why now is the best time to start doing it! Keep it simple, personal and deliberate. It will spawn some good spiritual growth in both directions (mutually).
In the next installment I'd like to address some questions for younger leaders. But even younger leaders can benefit from the above questions.