Pic from Flickr by ligarius
Do you ever think about the people that will be coming after you? Are you currently training somebody to do what you do so that in the event that you get sick or retire, the ship doesn’t sink? There is a great need in every organization especially in churches to raise successors.
This should be carefully planned out. Think about this. In some cases, if something happens to the pastor, small group leader, youth pastor, or the worship leader, the church can scrape by for a few weeks but they have no plans for the future. The sad thing about this is that this poor planning could wreck the systems, programs and ministry of the church. If somebody retires or dies, the church does not stop. Services continue, systems will continue to function, mission trips are still scheduled to be taken, and people are still in need of being discipled. The church does not stop because something happens to you. If it does, then the church was about you and not Jesus. That is not a great way to lead a church.
If you look in the Bible, there are great examples of leaders that were responsible enough to train their successors.
Jesus had 12 men. Jesus spent quality time pouring into the disciples because he knew that the world would not stop once he ascended into heaven. Jesus taught, trained, and led the disciples in such a way so they could continue in what he had showed them when he was no longer here. If Jesus had not raised successors, there is a high possibility that his teachings and way of life would have stopped when he went to heaven. From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus knew that he needed successors.
Paul organized believers into churches in every city that he went. Paul spent time raising elders to preach and lead the church because Paul knew that he was not going to spend too much time in any one city. We do know that Paul poured into Timothy and Titus and wrote to them so that they would stand firm on solid Biblical doctrine and not stray from the truth.
Just because you teach somebody to do what you do does not mean you are getting fired and leaving your position. You are actually empowering somebody because your interest is more in the overall health of the church than it is yourself.
Life is a marathon not a sprint. When your time in leadership is over, you will need to pass the torch of leadership on to the next person. Don’t let the torch drop with you. Pass it on. Pass it to the person that you taught, trained, and poured into. Pass it to the person that you spent many hours with praying, studying the Bible and having conversations with over coffee.
It is easier to pass the torch on to somebody you trust rather than pulling an outside person in to take your place.
If you currently do not have a person to teach and train, be praying that God would bring them to you and be actively looking in your congregation for somebody that is obedient and teachable.
At the end of the day, when we stand before Christ, our desire is to hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Have you found a successor? How are you training them? Hit up the comments.