Pastoral Succession That Works

When it's time for a new pastor, will your church be ready?

What if when a pastor moved on, the church knew exactly what to do to find a suitable replacement because a plan and a process had been in place for some time?

Succession has become a more important issue as a rapidly increasing number of pastors and boards have begun to talk about succession, but lack models and guidance.

Authors William Vanderbloemen and Warren Bird are leading authorities in this field, working with thousands of churches on succession. Next includes real-life stories of successes and failures and offers practical steps to help churches and pastors prepare for seamless transitions to new leadership.

Every church and ministry goes through changes in leadership, and the issue is far bigger than the wave of pastors from the Baby Boomer generation who are moving toward retirement. When a pastor leaves a church, ministries are disrupted, and members drift away. If the church is struggling, it can find itself suddenly in very dire straits indeed. But the outcome doesn’t have to be that way.

While there is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution to the puzzle of planning for a seamless pastoral succession, Next offers church leaders and pastors a guide to asking the right questions in order to plan for the future. Vanderbloemen, founder of a leading pastoral search firm, and Bird, an award-winning writer and researcher, share insider stories of succession successes and failures in dozens of churches, including some of the nation’s most influential churches. Through case studies, interviews, and real-time research, the authors demystify successful pastoral succession and help readers prepare for an even brighter future for their ministries.

Opening up the wider issues of pastoral succession this invaluable book is not just for those with their eye on retirement. Making the point that every leader is an “interim” leader/pastor the authors look at lots of case studies and examples and suggest ways of building a culture that will build leaders and churches to thrive beyond the current season.

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"I pray this book sells a million copies! My dad used to tell me this too: 'All pastors are interim pastors.' We're stewards, not owners. We're only here for a blip in time, but the church goes on forever." 
Rick Warren, founding pastor, Saddleback Church

"Every pastor will face a transition at their church, and it will be one of their best chances at leaving a legacy. Next is an invaluable tool for securing a transition that works and a legacy that lasts." 
Bill Hybels, senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church

"Wisdom around pastoral succession is one of the great needs of the church today, so it's about time this book showed up. I have already sent a copy to several of the elders at my church."
From the foreword by John Ortberg, author; former teaching pastor at Willow Creek and pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Menlo Park, CA

"In the kingdom of God, success equals succession--looking for a successor all the time. Next shows pastors how to do that for themselves, and how to model succession for their staff and volunteer leaders."
Mark Batterson, founding pastor of National Community Church, Washington, DC

"Someone said that the moment you succeed, you need to prepare for your successor to succeed. The church has too often failed in this critical mission. I believe this book to be one of the most timely and important of our day."
Jim Henry, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention; pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church, Orlando, FL

"This book is incredibly rich with good advice. Even a simple pastoral handoff like I experienced, from my father-in-law to me, could benefit from the wise insights and great stories."
Wilfredo "Choco" de Jesus, lead pastor of New Life Covenant Church, Chicago, IL

"Vanderbloemen and Bird are giving leaders permission to ask formerly forbidden questions now so that churches can thrive rather than limp through inevitable pastoral transitions."
Marnie Crumpler, executive pastor of Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA




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