[VIDEO] VanderLive: Key Tips for Addressing Succession Planning

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Tim Stevens - Vice President of Consulting

Tim brings more than twenty-five years of senior leadership ministry experience to the Vanderbloemen team. He is also a gifted writer with seven published books on church vision and strategy including Simply Strategic VolunteersPop Goes the Church, and Fairness is Overrated. In his role as the Vice President of Consulting, Tim leads our team of Executive Search Consultants as they help churches find their key staff. 

 

Quotes


(2:58) "Every pastor is an interim pastor."

 

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  • (6:58) - “Its never too early to have [the succession] conversation."
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Resources (20:08)

Books - 

    • Updated version coming Spring 2020

Events - 

  • Coaching Networks

Blogs - 

 

Core Ideas

(2:47) Why is succession planning important?

  • "Every pastor is an interim pastor"
    • Most pastors know this, but never picture themselves doing anything else and don’t plan for their departure
  • Can be a difficult discussion
    • Church may be afraid to seem too eager to replace the current pastor
    • Pastor might think having the discussion will cause him to leave before he is ready

(5:48) Timing - when to start planning

  • May be helpful to begin thinking about succession the day your new pastor arrives at your church 
  • Pastor should start thinking about it in his early 50s
    • Its never too early to start planning

(7:30) 3 Types of Transitions

  • Each church is different
  • Gap Transition
    • There is a period of time, or "gap," between the retiring and incoming pastor; the church is led by an interim pastor during the search for a new pastor
      • Could be a sudden, emergency situation
      • Could be planned - a gap may be necessary to minimize comparisons between the pastors
  • Overlap Transition
    • A long-time pastor brings in a successor for a period of time before he or she retires
      • Helps hand-off credibility
      • However, longer overlap = harder transition
  • Baton Transition
    • The new pastor starts as soon as the retiring pastor leaves

(12:44) Retirement of a Founding or Legacy Pastor

  • Challenges for the pastor
    • Grieving process
    • Identity struggle
  • Challenges for the church
    • Letting go of a beloved pastor

(16:19) Critical Issues in Succession Planning

  • Finances
    • Is the pastor financially ready for retirement
    • How can the church financially care for the pastor in an appropriate way
    • Financially planning for the new pastor
  • Identity
    • Pastor's identity apart from the church
    • Might have more mental energy than physical

(20:08) Resources

 

Questions

  • (23:50) "Once succession is planned - as an outgoing leader, what do I do? Do I remain on staff, do I have a place on the board?"
    • It is important to have a season of rest
    • Offer to help
  • (25:44) "How do I communicate a succession plan to the congregation?"
    • Each situation is different
      • Could be communicated by the lead pastor or by the board
    • However, communication is important - when information is not provided, people will make up their own information
  •  

about Tim

Tim brings more than twenty-five years of senior leadership ministry experience to the Vanderbloemen team. Tim joined Vanderbloemen from Granger Community Church where he served as the Executive Pastor for twenty years. He was a part of growing Granger from a church of 350 to over 6,000 with a staff of 125. Tim’s leadership helped Granger connect with people who think church is irrelevant. He did this through the creative blending of architecture, strategy, and technology. He was instrumental in balancing operations with building effective teams.

Tim is also a gifted writer with six published books on church vision and strategy including Simply Strategic VolunteersPop Goes the Church, and Fairness is Overrated. His newest book, Marked by Love: A Dare to Walk Away from Judgment and Hypocrisy,  was released by Barbour Books in October 2018. He also writes on leadership through his blog LeadingSmart.com.

In his role as the Vice President of Consulting, Tim leads our team of Executive Search Consultants as they help churches find their key staff. Tim provides strategy, development, and overall direction to the Executive Search Consultants to ensure the Vanderbloemen Search Group process serves our clients and candidates as best as possible.

Tim and his wife, Faith, have four children and live in Houston, TX.

 

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