Leadership Succession: “Whatever You Celebrate, You Will Replicate”

“Succession”: it’s a hot topic that people speak all over the place.

When the senior leader leaves, it often puts the organiozation and everyone in a peculiar position. However, as a ministry team leaders ought to think through not only senior leader level in our leadership development, but in every level of leadership pipeline.  All those levels/layers are important, therfore we must be thinking of, “reproduction” in each sphere.

Succession is not a term we often hear when we speak of volunteers and leaders, but succession by definition itself is “replacement” or “reproduction”. As leaders, it ought not to be simply us bearing our own fruit-growing on our tree, but in growing fruit on other people’s tree. So therefore, it is not something that we add to ourselves or add to the organization, but developing others and multiplying ourselves.

This again, so often comes from a business model of operating an organization, however as a church we should be the best on the planet in developing leaders as we are called to make disciple who makes disciples!  Everyone in the organization is a teacher, so in a sense, we are creating a teaching organization. Traditional church mentality is, “I will DO the job” rather than “I will DEVELOP people to do the job” It’s not the staff who recruits and does the job, but it is the volunteer who recruit and does the job. The sad truth is, most of the churches are not functioning in such a way.


When we see Leadership Development specifically within a church, there are two options. Either we can

  1. Build them.


  1. Buy them.

If we go with the second option (which majority of the churches do today) we are importing culture when we buy someone, so at the end either they comform to the culture, or the people conform to their culture.

If there’s an element that the organization wants a change, then it is wise to buy someone who is not influence by the culture with fresh blood & fresh eyes, but vast majority of the time, senior leader, you don’t want to buy them but instead build them to that point. As Christians, we aim and do well on Ephesians 2:8-9 but simply end there. We don’t make our journey as christians all the way till Ephesians 4, where we develop leaders who are able to lead and nurture others and get all the way to the Great Commission. We must begin to look at those biblical conviction and step out of the faith journey and simply we do it.

We become a, “Professional Doer” rather than grow from a volunteer standpoint to a leader, instead suddenly we see a church say, “Now, we will hire you to do this job” The problem here is we never move to 2 Timothy 2:2. We are not able to introduce each other to the spiritual son, spiritual grandson if we don’t have this in our mind set.

We must be thinking critically through these process of having the kingdom ministry. Process of recruiting and equipping is probably more important than we actually think. Too often our leaders are coming across from the point of, “desperation” of recruitment. We must move from the mentality from “desperation” to “inspiration” instead!

We need a change of mind-set: Most of us think of recruiting as just, “Getting warm bodies” to make the system work.

We don’t have to think like that way, we are recruiting those who are recruiter. We are thinking outside the box not as,“doers” but now thinking of getting “developers” in our recruitment.

“Well, we can’t expect that from our volunteer commitment.” Yes, there is an element of truth, yet if we think in such mind-set those who are willing and able to offer their five loaves and two fish mentality, how much more will God be able to do His transforming work for the sake of the gospel? Jesus will be able to feed the multitude!


“Whatever we celebrate, we will replicate.”

We must also operate as a leadership team, involving people through the layers of culture promoting discipleship, leadership development that in grains our very DNA in every area such as in our language / stories that we talk about. So we affirm, encourage and celebrate those things as a church like a mad party! For whatever we celebrate, we will replicate.

In ministry setting, there are always three different categories of people.

1. Learner

2. Doer

3. Developer.

We treat them different as we see them from the phrase of the stages, we hadn’t them off to the next succession line of progression of leadership pipeline in whatever category they are in. What happens too often, is people cruise through and course through the responsibility / stewardship God has given to us.

Why is this important? Because I believe Jesus said it was important! We are not speaking only of voluntarism but making in an impact for the kingdom advancement ministry.

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