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Praise For Next

  • "Succession planning isn't something people want to talk about, but it's a looming crisis. NEXT is a unique tool for helping pastors and church boards think through this crucial issue."

    -Rick Warren, Founding Pastor of Saddleback Church

  • "Every pastor will face a transition at their church, and it will be one of their best chances at leaving a legacy. NEXT is an invaluable tool for securing a transition that works and a legacy that lasts."

    -Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church

  • "In the Kingdom of God, success equals succession - looking for a successor all the time. NEXT shows pastors how to do that for themselves, and how to model succession for their staff and volunteer leaders."

    -Mark Batterson, Founding Pastor of National Community Church

  • "Wisdom around pastoral succession is one of the great needs of the church today, so it's about time this book showed up. I have already sent a copy to several of the elders at my church."

    -John Ortberg, Pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

Succession has become a more important issue as a rapidly increasing number of pastors and boards have begun to talk about succession, but lack models and guidance.

Authors William Vanderbloemen & Warren Bird are leading authorities in this field, working with thousands of churches on succession. Next includes real life stories of successes and failures and offers practical steps to help churches and pastors prepare for seamless transitions to new leadership.

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 struggling, it can find itself suddenly in very dire straits indeed. But the outcome doesn’t have to be that way.

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 churches. 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.