“Succession planning is a critical task for any effective chief executive. You owe it to yourself, and more important, to the people in your (company) to do it right.” That brief quote from David Novak, CEO of YUM! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, etc.) has been widely accepted by corporate boards across America.
However, churches have not been as open to the recognition of the rather severe implications of not approaching succession as the very intensive process that it is. In fact, my research shows that most churches feel like they’ve done a good job when they send off their pastor with appropriate appreciation and then begin to look for a new pastor with little or no involvement of the congregation.
The facts reveal that 75-80% of all “church successions” fail because the people have not been adequately prepared or involved in the process of helping to make this critical leadership decision.
One of our primary objectives in establishing the Passavant Leadership Group was to help churches discover a process whereby they might engage their congregation, access appropriate resources, find the right fit for their needs and appropriately integrate the incoming pastor into the church’s mission and vision.
What most churches fail to take into account is the toll that they pay for not doing so. Succession planning is far more important than a stewardship campaign. The fallout from a failed succession is often profound in terms of relational discord, loss of membership and even at times a fracturing of the core membership of the church.
None of that can be totally prevented, but it can be greatly mitigated by those who are willing to engage in a process that takes some time and investment but usually results in a much better outcome.
We are very humbled that God has given us insight into this and we desire to engage churches of any size that are seeking to undertake a positive succession plan.