Summary: Outline the importance and the elements of succession planning

Succession Planning in Ministry

Prov. 27:23ff; Eph. 4:11ff.

Essence of Succession

 Succession in ministry rests on the principles of Continuity and Progression.

 It must be planned – it doesn’t just happen.

 Success without a successor is failure.

 Succession is the difference between life and death in ministry – it ensures the minister / ministry never dies.

 It preserves the ministry.

 The leader who does not understand continuity in ministry will not mentor anyone and consequently his ministry will die with him – Prov. 27:23-27.

 It is the key to continuity – It breeds continuous life into the ministry.

 We have this ministry treasure in earthen vessels – 2 Cor. 4:7ff.

 The treasure is eternal but the vessel is not.

 The immortality of the treasure must swallow up the mortality of the vessel – 1 Cor. 15.

 God has always made the treasure more important than the vessel hence changing the vessel must not change the treasure – 1 Sam. 15:22ff.

You must be Replaceable

 What will happen if I’m not there?

 Always have an understudy.

 Evaluate your competence for the current job – (capabilities, abilities and availability).

 The work must go on with or without me.

 Follow Jesus’ example; He replaced Himself – Jn.17:6ff; Eph. 4:7-14.

 All leaders must be replaceable – Prov. 27:23-27.

Jesus was replaced – Jn. 17; 20:21.

 No matter how powerful and anointed you are, you will eventually be replaced.

 It is better to be involved in your own replacement; that way you won’t feel dumped and useless and your ego would not be crushed.

 Jesus, Abraham, Moses, Isaac and Paul were all involved in their own replacement.

Succession needs mentoring

 Generally in mentoring –

 There must be mutual consent.

 Either party can take the lead.

 In succession planning the mentor must take the lead, not the “mentoree”.

 This is the scriptural process.

 Elijah & Elisha; Paul & Timothy; Jesus & His Disciples; Ananias/Barnabas & Saul.

 This is because “Leaders” are called or appointed they don’t just take up positions on their own – Tit. 1:5ff.

Some Scriptural Guidelines

 Understand the following;

 The distinction between succession with respect to the Kingly & “Prophetic” anointings.

 3 dimensions to the anointing in the New & Old Testament.




Prophets N.T



Ministry Gifts

Priests and Kings

 Priests minister to houses / families, while Kings minister to Nations/Cities – Lk. 10:5-9.

 After the Church enters into houses it is then called to enter into the city.

 No nation can fit into a local church building that’s why Priests were not primarily ordained to minister to the nations but rather to families.

 Only the High Priest can minister to the nation – Lev. 16 & 17.

Priestly Succession

 All believers are called as priests unto God – 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10.

 Priesthood being a holy order which allows one into the holy place defines the nature of the new creation – 2 Cor. 5:17.

 Priestly succession in general deals with us being able to raise our children in the admonition of the Lord.

 Our children are expected to be saved though we cannot force them to be – 1 Tim. 3.

Kingly Succession

 The kingly line deals with secular matters and should generally follow the natural family line of succession.

 The only time this changes, is when there is disobedience or rebellion.

 Succession with respect to one’s secular business/profession follows this line – Mk. 6:1ff.

 It’s about preserving your name.

Ministry Gift Succession

 Ministry succession follows the Prophetic not the Kingly line.

 The ministry is God’s business – Matt. 16:18ff; Lk. 2:49.

 It is not your personal or family business.

 The prophetic line follows a more spiritual family line of succession – Eph. 3:14-15.

 “Blood is thicker than water” – Prov. 18:24.

 It is about preserving God’s name.

Spiritual Sonship

 Prophetic / Ministry Gift Succession is based on the principle of Spiritual “sonship” and not natural “sonship” – 2Tim. 2:1ff.

 Every Scripture that defines prophetic succession points to this pattern.

 Moses & Joshua;

 Elijah and Elisha;

 Paul and Timothy;

 Joshua and the Judges.

 In order to succeed you, your natural son must become your spiritual son.

 This pattern was established in Scripture and practiced by Jesus and His Disciples.

 None of the 12 Apostles were from Jesus’ natural family.

 Note that James Jesus’ natural brother connected spiritually with the Apostles before he became a major Apostle.

 Spiritual “Sonship” guarantees ministry continuity & progress while natural “Sonship” guarantees Kingly continuity and progress.

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