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.
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.
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.
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.
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.