Pastoral Transitions


The strength of our Book Reviews collection lies in the categorical breakdown that we have created for you below. We have divided the most common ministry design issues into categories so that you can more easily find the solution that you are looking for. Our eventual goal is to have an in-depth review for every book that will give you further assistance in discovering the reading pathway that can lead you to the solutions to the ministry issues you may be facing.


Pastoral Transitions

  • Next: Pastoral Succession That Works

    By William Vanderbloemen and Warren Bird

    “Every church and ministry goes through changes in leadership, and the issue is far bigger than the wave of pastors from the Baby Boomer generation who are moving toward retirement. When a pastor leaves a church, ministries are disrupted and members drift away. If the church is already struggling, it can find itself suddenly in very dire straits indeed. But the outcome doesn’t have to be that way.

    What if when a pastor moved on, the church knew exactly what to do to find a suitable replacement because a plan and a process had been in place for some time? While there is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution to the puzzle of planning for a seamless pastoral succession, Next offers church leaders and pastors a guide to asking the right questions in order to plan for the future. Vanderbloemen, founder of a leading pastoral search firm, and Bird, an award-winning writer and researcher, share insider stories of succession successes and failures in dozens of churches, including some of the nation’s most influential. Through case studies, interviews, and real-time research, the authors demystify successful pastoral succession and help readers prepare for an even brighter future for their ministries.”

  • Next!: Future proof your church with succession planning that works

    By John Finkelde

    “Succession planning is a complex and difficult process.

    Evasion and inaction are too often the order of the day as church leaders grapple with the challenges of leadership transitions.

    In Next! John Finkelde shares extensively from contemporary succession management research and his own journey of transitioning his church to a next generation leader.

    John Finkelde’s experience of being both an incoming and an outgoing pastor will guide you towards a succession planning template that will help you avoid the pitfalls that face pastors in transition.

    Also, with chapters each from John’s wife, Dianne, his daughter Erin Bayntun and his successor Jase Schroeder, Next! brings a well-rounded view of the succession journey.

    You will learn why:

    Leaders avoid the succession process

    Succession planning is critical for your church

    Planning is essential

    You will also discover how to:

    Lead the succession process

    Choose a successor

    Engage with key stakeholders in your church

    Lead your church through the transition”

  • Succession Transition: A Roadmap for Seamless Transitions in Leadership

    By Gordon Krater and Bill Hermann

    “Leadership succession can make or break an organization, large or small. Less than a third of family businesses successfully transition from the first generation to the next. And fewer than 10 percent of near-retirement-age business owners have a formal succession plan.
    With more than 60 years of combined experience at Plante Moran, Managing Partner emeritus Bill Hermann and current Managing Partner Gordon Krater have collaborated to capture a formula for creating sustainable organizations. The formula has been successfully used to make Plante Moran one of America s top accounting, tax, and consulting firms and helped it earn a best places to work designation from Fortune magazine for an enviable 13 years straight.

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of only focusing on succession near the end of a leader’s tenure. But the process begins with understanding an organization s culture, defining its recruiting processes, developing its training programs, and identifying experiential learning opportunities for its future leaders. While every organization has unique circumstances, this book captures universal ingredients to facilitate successful successions.

    “It takes a village to raise a child,” the saying goes. Similarly, interactions with the elders in your organization create learning opportunities among future leaders. Hermann and Krater share specific examples and observations that demonstrate the key ingredients to help create your sustainable organization.”

  • The Elephant in the Boardroom: Speaking the Unspoken about Pastoral Transitions

    By Carolyn Weese and J. Russell Crabtree

    “Carolyn Weese and J. Russell Crabtree experts in the field of church leadership have written a nuts-and-bolts guide to developing a succession plan for smoothing pastoral transitions. Filled with strategies and solid advice, this handy resource is based in solid research and the authors’ many years of experience working with churches in a wide variety of denominations. Weese and Crabtree clearly show that leadership succession should be part of every church’s planning process.”

  • Transition: Developing a Theology of Pastoral Succession

    By Dave Lescalleet

    “This study was designed to give pastors and churches a primer on the importance of pastoral transition and to help them begin developing a theology of succession. It is broken up into three sections. The first examines eight garden variety ‘case studies’ of pastors and churches that found themselves unprepared for pastoral transition and the challenges they encountered. The case studies range from pedestrian causes (i.e. retirement and transfer) to more difficult challenges (i.e. moral failure, church splits). The hope was to demonstrate not only how crisis can befall a church at any moment but also to offer instruction on how to possibly avoid such obstacles. The second section looks at general transition principles found in Scripture as well as current models of transition that are practiced in denominations today. The scriptural principles are few to be sure but necessary to remember when dealing with transition. The survey of denominations was to offer an overview of what is practiced in the church today and to glean from both strengths and weaknesses that are evident with each model. The third section lays out a four-part blueprint to help churches begin the necessary work of building a foundation for transition and succession. The blueprint is given as a general help as well as offering some specific guidelines to churches that are either in crisis mode or perhaps are preparing for a future even though in the present pastoral transition is not necessary.”