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 is 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.

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"Dave Lescalleet has devoted careful thought and insight to this vital issue for local church life, and the fruits of his work are highly recommended."

Michael Allen, Ph.D.
Kennedy Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Dean of Faculty
Knox Theological Seminary

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