For a long time, pastoral succession planning has been a taboo topic in the church world.
It's something that has caused uneasiness in church boards and congregations alike because it's often incorrectly viewed as a pastor looking for a way out. Additionally, pastors often think that succession is synonymous to retirement, so young pastors put off the topic and then find themselves needing an emergency succession plan when God calls them to another church or they have an unexpected situation requiring them to step down. Every pastor, young or old, new or tenured, need a pastoral succession plan.
In reality, pastors that don't prepare for succession often leave their churches afraid and confused. In the wake of a bad succession plan or the absence of one, churches have suffered major damage, some even closing their doors for good.
Recently, William Vanderbloemen wrote a book with Warren Bird called Next: Pastoral Succession That Works to address healthy pastoral succession planning. Here is an infographic that details the "10 Commandments of Succession Planning" from chapter two of the book. That is, the 10 action items for every pastor, of every age, at every church to plan for succession.