Passing the Baton


Every successful organization goes through changes and transitions! It is necessary for survival. Resisting change leads to certain death. That’s true whether it’s a large or small church,….whether it’s a family business or a publicly traded company. Peter Drucker, Management Specialist writes: “The ingredient most missing in churches today is a plan of succession. Ministers are getting older and the church is not thinking about the next generation.” Transitions are inevitable and important. The key to a successful transition is preparation.

John the Baptist was sent to prepare the hearts and lives of people for the long promised Messiah. And when Jesus arrived on the scene John immediately recognized him and gladly deferred to his leadership with these words recorded in John 3:30: “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” This Scriptural principle is at the heart of an effective, God honoring succession.


Other biblical examples would be Moses to Joshua, Elijah to Elisha, David to Solomon, Jesus to His disciples, & Paul to Timothy. And I think the Lord’s instruction to Moses in Numbers 8:24-26 has merit and meaning for our present culture. “This is the rule the Levities must follow: They must begin serving in the Tabernacle at the age of twenty-five and they must retire at the age of fifty. After retirement they may assist their fellow Levities by serving as guards at the Tabernacle, but they may not officiate in the service. This is how you must assign duties to the Levites.”


One of the defining moments of King David’s life came in his latter years when he paved the way for his son, Solomon, to be his successful successor. David created a legacy by putting the nation of Israel in a position of continuing greatness without him. He admitted his own limitations and graciously accepted that it was not God’s will for him to build the Temple. David cast the vision for his successor and laid the foundation for his success. He recruited workers, collected materials, and gave generously. Then David stepped aside,…at the appropriate time and in a healthy manner. (I Chronicles 29:23-25)


Here is the transition prayer I prayed for the Markle Church of Christ & have been praying for Glenview Christian Church: “Lord, may the Spiritual Leaders be discerning, the church family be supportive, the timing be perfect, the predecessor (me) be intentional, & the successor be ready.” I firmly believe God has honored that prayer and David Mackie is that person!

— Passing the baton, Greg

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