Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Transition Papers

Helping leaders and churches through transition.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
 A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? 

Simply stated, we have had no matrix / process for the weighty challenge of church leadership transition. Leaving way too much in the realm of nuance and heart, we have found many transitions loaded with unmet expectations, bitter disappointments and seemingly unfair pressure. Love there has been aplenty, but at the end of the day, there has been no true process through which the “founder” [the pastor who has planted / replanted the church;] the “successor” [the pastor who is now going to captain the team] and the community themselves have had opportunities to speak through the anticipated story unfold - especially if the founder stays on in the community, he had been leading.

So, I am asking for your help to design a proforma that we can use in these transitions, as there are many coming our way. We are not looking to redo the more recent transitions. They have run there course. This is finding the correct questions for future conversations. Your thoughts in this regard are most essential.

  1. Suggested Pathway.
    1. Remember we hold dearly to ‘invited not imposed authority’, so the apostolic voice in is by invitation of all involved,
    2. Translocal gift / apostle to meet with the lead / founding couple,
    3. The second conversation is with the possible successor couple asking these essential questions,
    4. The third conversation is with the eldership couples, individually and as a team,
    5. A fourth conversation could then be with the ‘founders’ and the ‘successors’ and process the two sets of answers together,
    6. Then process this with broader leadership team
    7. Then finally with the whole church
  2. Biblical Peep.
    1. The Old Testament examples of transitions,
    2. The New Testament approach to transition,
    3. Lessons learnt from the text.
  3. The ‘Founding Father’
    1. Do you believe that God has spoken clearly for you to handover the leadership of this community?
    2. To this couple? Now?
    3. What do you believe God has called you to do in this new chapter of your life? With whom? How do you believe this the  mind of the Lord for you?
    4. Where will you anchor yourself and your family relationally?
    5. To whom will you be accountable?
    6. What does that look like to you?
    7. How do you see yourself being funded into the future?
    8. Where will your base church be?
    9. What do you believe that should look like ito:
      1. Elders meetings,
      2. Staff meetings,
      3. Leaders meetings,
      4. Sunday gatherings,
      5. Vision casting,
      6. Decision making,
      7. Prayer,
      8. Teams / individuals availability,
      9. Hosting of events,
    10. If you are seeking to lead a movement / network...  what role do you anticipate this community playing in that?
    11. What role do you see your successor and the elders playing in the new chapter?
    12. What administrative support do you hope the staff will make available?
    13. What financial backing are you anticipating for yourself and for your movement [where appropriate]?
    14. You will feel honored when the following happens...?
    15. How do you wish to empower the new leader and the team working with him?
  4. The Successor
    1. Do you believe that God has called you and your spouse to take on the captaincy of this community - how do you know this?
    2. Do you embrace this leadership team or what changes do you anticipate making?
    3. What does “honoring the father of the work’ mean to you?
    4. What role do you and the elders feel the founder will play ongoingly into the church? - what do you see his gifting as being?
    5. Role on eldership team?
    6. Role in vision casting?
    7. Role in eldership selection?
    8. Role in major financial decision making?
    9. Role in staff meetings, selection...?
    10. Role in global conversations - multi-siting, planting...? 
    11. Do you agree with what he believes the next chapter looks like for him?
    12. Can you and the elders back it fully - explain?
    13. How if at all, are you looking to back him financially, health care, travel...? For how long or until what circumstances may change?
    14. Will you be providing public opportunities for feedback, buy in and prayer? Frequency?
    15. What backing / support are you looking to offer his family when he travels? 
    16. Is their a budget that is made available for his translocal ministry, events, hosting...?
  5. The Community
    1. To make this a true community ongoingly, how often should the ‘founder’ be back at home base, for it to be an authentic base?
      1. Sunday gatherings,
      2. Prayer meetings,
      3. Leaders meetings,
      4. Community events,
      5. Other?
    2. How frequently can the congregation expect feedback? How?
    3. How can they feel like they are part of the unfolding story - 
      1. Pray for?
      2. Travel with?
      3. Attend events?
      4. Contribute financially?
    4. How can the community serve him, his family and the journey that is unfolding?
    5. How frequently can the community expect for them to minister / teach back in ?
  6. The Global Story
    1. Is the community fully backing this translocal journey?
    2. Will churches planted be partnering with this translocal ministry?
    3. Will the elders / leaders / congregation be made available for translocal adventures,
    4. How will the partnership work - role of successor in the translocal story?
    5. Other?
  7. Q and A ?

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