In 2013 Bill Hybels foretold a looming succession crisis for churches. He ended up being more right than he knew. He observed that there had been an explosion of mega-churches, many still led by a founding pastor approaching retirement age.
His prophecy has very much come true. Not only did his own succession not go well, we’ve seen several succession plans unravel recently. John Piper’s successor at Bethlehem Baptist recently resigned. There are pastoral searches underway for two of the three major locations at the spin off churches of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City. And the challenges facing David Platt and McLean Bible Church likely also have some roots in succession.
There are three major models of succession: the internal successor, the external peer successor, and the unofficial interim. In this podcast I discuss these models, as well as other considerations of succession. Given high profile succession challenges we’ve seen at churches run by world class leaders, this is an area requiring significant attention.