Developing leaders and planning for succession

By Jeremy Suisted

Over the past six months, I’ve noticed that almost all of the churches across our movement—big and small, urban and rural—are struggling with the same issue.

Leadership development and succession planning. 

We can tend to focus on developing our own leadership skills and capabilities, and yet neglect focusing on transitioning our leadership. 

This is a gap in many of our leadership teams—and one that takes dedicated time and energy to overcome. The Bible models the discipleship of leaders over time--think Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, Jesus and the disciples, Paul and Timothy...

A great place to start is by soaking in Paul’s letters to Timothy. Read them in their entirety, and read prayerfully, asking: What would this look like to be lived out in our church? How does Paul encourage and call out leadership in Timothy? How does he instruct him, and give him space to grow?

A few helpful resources that complement ongoing discipleship are:

Mark Dever offers nine practical tips for growing leaders in his article at The Gospel Coalition. He has particular insight on creating a list of people-worth-watching, encouraging active observation of future leaders and acting towards this.

Eldership Development: From Application to Affirmation. This eBook by pastor Phil Taylor is an incredibly transparent and practical insight to the actual process used by one church’s successful leadership development program. Offering frameworks and conversations around the church’s two-year leadership development journey, this is a great conversation starter for any leadership team.

Jeremy Suisted is Coaching Coordinator for CCCNZ, helping facilitate elders and leaders coach other elders and leaders, find out more.  


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