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William Vanderbloemen

Autor(a) de Next: Pastoral Succession That Works

4 Works 243 Membros 4 Reviews

Obras de William Vanderbloemen


Conhecimento Comum




This book was very helpful in provoking me to think more carefully about how to plan my own succession in 3 years’ time. It is very much geared to a North American context, so parts of it were not relevant to my own environment. It was, however, very good as a planning aid and I will be asking my elders to read it as well.
gwhittick | outras 3 resenhas | Oct 9, 2022 |
LT Next, William Vanderbloemen and Warren Bird, BakerBooks, 2014, 11/17-12/5/19,
Recommended by Kevin Folger, 12/11/19

Theme: pastoral succession
Type: teaching
Value: 1-
Age: college
Interest: 1-

9 Every pastor is an interim pastor.
10 We like how Dave Travis, CEO of Leadership Network, defines pastoral succession. He says it’s the intentional process of the transfer of leadership, power, and authority from one directional leader to another.
Chapter 1 Why Every Pastor Needs This Book
24 One trend that we’ve noticed is that the right person to succeed another is often the one who has been prepared elsewhere.
31 For Pastors: Name three people (e.g., colleagues, mentors, board members) with whom you can privately discuss succession, and determine the date you will call them to discuss it.
Chapter 2 The “Ten Commandments” of Succession Planning
33 The most common practice is a paid three-month break every seven years. If you’re a multi-staff church, include them in the policy.
Ask yourself this question: “What would happen next if I were hit by a bus today?” Answer it on two levels: personal and church.
34 Now ask each staff or key volunteer to create their own “hit by a bus” plan for their own succession. Affirm that they should all include the idea of actively developing one or more apprentices.
35 In the spirit of 2 Timothy 2:2, what if you create an environment of apprentices, interns, and assistants in which every leader, both paid and volunteer, sees it as their number one job to develop one or more other leaders?
37 …a true leadership team made up of multiple senior pastors (think of a law firm with “partners” rather than the model most churches follow of a sole proprietorship with valued employees). Under this model decisions are shared among the senior pastors.
38 For Brady, this means that on more than one occasion he has talked with the church’s elders specifically about what will happen when he’s no longer the senior pastor of New Life—whether that’s one, ten, or even twenty years from now. They have a plan that they revisit from time to time.
Chapter 3 Three Essential Questions: What Is Succession Success? What Captures My Passion? How are My Finances?
43 In 2009 the final step of the plan involved a church-wide celebration. At that point Dennis’s title changed from senior pastor to founding pastor, and Wes moved from teaching pastor to lead pastor.
44 But halfway through the message, something different happened. His soon-to-be successor, Daniel Fusco, a thirty-six-year-old jazz musician with a beard, dreadlocks, and an uncanny resemblance to Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz, joined the pastor on stage and took over the second half of the sermon.
Chapter 4 Deciding When It’s Time to Leave
49 And so begins the far-too-often-played story of the pastor who keeps hanging on, long after the vision and energy for the current ministry are gone, long after the community around the church has changed, or long after the congregation has stagnated.
50 Ten Ways God Might Show You It’s Time to Move
51 Typical Ages When Pastors and Others Retire
55 After successfully setting up a launch team, Jeff delivered his first sermon to about one hundred people in a high school wrestling room.
57 Churches of fifty are more interested in a pastor who relates well to every member, even if the sermons are marginal. Churches of five thousand expect super sermons whether everyone knows the pastor or not.
“Something as seemingly simple as changing the order of worship may cost a new pastor half his starting chips the first Sunday and create a misimpression of arrogance, insensitivity, and pushiness. It may take a year of sermons and hospital visits just to get back even,” Leith says.
Chapter 5 Resigning “Young” to Start Another Ministry Chapter
61 Irreversibly graying congregation. Most churches age with their pastor, the average age in a congregation being about five years younger than their senior pastor’s age. Staying too long can leave the congregation with a median age that is too old to effectively welcome younger generations. This situation also makes it more difficult to woo a new, younger successor.
Chapter 6 Four Church Cultures, Four Succession Styles
Chapter 7 Founder’s Syndrome
81 The gifts needed to lead (and especially to plant) a thriving church are uncommon. They include exceptional initiative, bold leadership, magnetic charisma, and, of course, great preaching. These are rare gifts.
82 More often than not, if you will ask for help to spot potential successors—both candidates already inside the church and those somewhere “out there” but not yet found—you are more likely to find a successor sooner.
85 For Boards: What provisions could be added to your church’s bylaws to create both definition of a mandatory retirement age and an incentive to comply willingly?
Chapter 8 Wisdom from Unlikely Sources
96 Succession might involve not calling a new senior pastor. In a number of examples, the succession process leads the church to consider a different sort of model for ministry, one where the role of the outgoing pastor is replaced with a new or modified role.
Chapter 9 What Happened at the Crystal Cathedral and First Baptist Dallas
Chapter 10 The Term Limit Factor
115 We become less flexible every day that we are alive.
118 According to Leadership Network research, Moody Church in Chicago is the oldest church that’s been a megachurch for the longest time—for most of its life from the 1860s to today. That makes it a long-term exception.
Between its founding and the writing of this book, the church has had eighteen senior pastors, with an average tenure of just under nine years each. The pastor since 1980 is Erwin Lutzer. Current worship attendance is 1,800.
Chapter 11 Messy and Unexpected Endings
121 The bad news is that messy and unexpected endings for pastors do happen. At Vanderbloemen Search Group, situations like this comprise maybe 1 out of 4 of the cases that come to us.
Chapter 12 Unintentional Interim
133 Anthony in turn blessed his predecessor at every opportunity. “I honored his legacy and the work he did, mentioning his name at every chance I got and highlighting his successes,” Anthony said.
135 In the business world, 40 percent of new CEOs fail within the first eighteen months on the job.
136 Bad personality match. Search committees, whether consciously or subconsciously, will seek a candidate who demonstrates strengths that appear to compensate for areas of weakness in the previous pastor. Such overcorrection often leads to a candidate who proves to be a poor match for the congregation’s personality and needs. If a church has always valued and responded well to a pastor with strong shepherding gifts, but decides on candidates who are teachers and leaders more than shepherds, they may find they overcompensated to the point of an incompatible match.
137 Randy [Max Lucado’s successor] knew he was right where God wanted him to be. “I had to stop drawing my sense of identity from my performance,” Randy reflected. “If I could just trust in my position in Christ, the entire congregation and I could together do more for the kingdom—and in the process have a lot more fun with a lot less stress.”
Every arriving pastor will one day be a departing pastor. It’s not a question of if, but when.
Chapter 13 Forced Farewell
Chapter 14 Where to Find a Successor
147 Finding and grooming leaders for succession is one of the chief tasks of leadership. In many cases the outgoing senior pastor can shape or influence the process. Even if you are allowed to have a hand in selecting your successor, this responsibility is far too large for anyone to shoulder alone.
What qualifications and process do your constitution and bylaws outline (and do they need clarification or revision)?
148 Any candidates for succession will want to know what the church’s vision is, whom it is actually reaching at present, what its strengths and potentials as well as its weaknesses are, where it is going, and where it wants to go. If the current leadership lacks clarity on these present realities, then senior level discussions of those issues are necessary.
At the time of succession, the outgoing pastors ranged in age from the forties to the eighties. They had served thirty years as senior pastor on average. Two-thirds had overlap between outgoing and incoming pastors, but on average there was a thirteen-month break between outgoing pastor and successor. While many churches want their sixtysomething outgoing pastor to be succeeded by a thirtysomething, the table in appendix 1 suggests that a fortysomething successor is the more likely reality.
149 When you’re ready to begin naming specific potential succession candidates, the best starting place is usually to look at “family” members, which are more formally defined as internal candidates.
150 “I’m no longer your pastor, and I won’t do your weddings or your funerals. Tom Pace is your pastor: he will do them. I will come back and be your friend, and I would love to be your friend forever—but I won’t be your pastor anymore.”
152 It was about building an entire group of leaders, a team that could work together for the long haul—and would develop future talent at many different levels.
153 “It’s not about me. It’s not about the board. It’s about the health of this enterprise,” he said. “So we’re not going to fail in our duty to make sure that these enterprise goals and commitments are transitioned generation to generation.”
Candidates to Probably Avoid
154 A pastor who bends personal theology or practice in order to fit yours.
A pastor who has been a great teacher but hasn’t led anything of significance and/or has no ability to lead or cast vision (unless all you want is a great teacher).
Someone with an agenda to remake the church into something that isn’t consistent with your current DNA or history [is not good].
155 In hiring new staff, Will Creek’s Bill Hybels emphasizes three elements: competence, character, chemistry.
The bottom line: don’t make it up as you go. Have your board or appropriate body develop a policy if none exists. Make sure it’s articulated in a safe context where people can ask honest questions without being judged as disloyal or out of place.
In the end, you must turn over every rock, look everywhere you can, and trust that God will guide you to the best candidates possible. With a prayerful approach to the process, you may find that you have more candidates available than you would have initially guessed.
Chapter 15 The Money Question
164 Ideally, a planned departure has a one- to two-year transition period. Do your articles and bylaws adequately and clearly address the steps to be taken for a planned departure? Will you appoint an automatic and specifically identified successor?
165 Is your proposed total compensation package for a new leader adequate enough to recruit and retain the quality of leader your church needs to continue to fulfill its God-given mission?
Have you addressed a sabbatical policy?
Chapter 16 Preparing for the Next Pastor
171 “…That means that the church continues to be about Jesus, and not about positions or people in authority.”
174 The book The Elephant in the Boardroom says that the first principle for a successful transition is this: honor thy predecessor.
Chapter 17 Thinking Long Term
… (mais)
keithhamblen | outras 3 resenhas | Dec 7, 2019 |
I am at the beginning of a pastoral succession process. The church I start leading on Sunday, has had a pastor for the past twelve-and-a-half years who is loved by the church and the wider community. This is a woman who has networked, started ministries which reach out to the community and has prayerfully led the church through difficult circumstances. She has a heart for racial justice, community outreach and mission. She leaves this position to focus more in these areas and she will still be part of the church family.

I am the 'noob.' I care about many of the same things as the previous pastor and want to see the church impact the wider community but am still at the beginning of learning how to lead a church. I want to do that well. So I read Next: Pastoral Succession That Works with interest hoping to garner whatever kind of wisdom it had for me at this moment in my pastoral career. Authors William Vanderbloemen and Warren Bird have years of experience in helping church leaders lead effectively. In this book, they research successions that work, successions that fail and how church boards and pastoral leaders can plan for a good succession process.

This book wasn't written directly to me, but for out-going pastors, search committees and elder boards to help them think ahead. Vanderbloemen and Bird noticed that many successful pastors stay in their role past their prime, with no real plan of succession. As a result, the church looses momentum and when the inevitable switch happens it falls off mission and loses membership. They suggest intentionality about the succession process. After all, every pastoral position (or really any position) is temporary. All pastors are interim pastors who steward the church for a term, and they should be thoughtful about how to prepare the way for their successor.

Because Vanderbloemen and Bird base their findings on qualitative research, this book is full of stories of the succession process at various different kinds of churches (both glorious successes and epic failures). They observe that some of the best succession stories happen when churches groom someone from their staff or membership to take the place of the out-going pastor. This makes sense to me, though I think large mega-churches are more likely to have the pool to draw on for this sort of succession (and I am kind of glad the church I was hired at didn't follow that route). Also, they speak highly of father-son successions without any worry about nepotism (i.e. Joel Osteen is one of their 'success' stories).

However, they do not have a formula 'one-right-way' approach. They assert that if God is in it, successions will work. Three pieces of salient advice I found helpful were: (1) intentionality about the succession process-especially in the first 100 days, (2) help from the out-going senior pastor, (3) new pastor honoring their successor and the church's past.

I think churches will benefit from reading this book, especially when they are in the midst of a search process. Vanderbloemen and Bird talk about the intentional, good sort of succession, but they also address succession problems when a leader unexpectedly dies, has a moral failure or resigns early. A board with proper foresight can plan for every contingency. Vanderbloemen and Bird suggest creating a succession plan and revisiting annually.

At times I disagreed with their pragmatic bent. They seemed to measure the success of a succession in terms of congregational attendance. Organizations go through ebbs and flows and I think a church that shrinks from thousands to hundred when the new pastor comes but is more faithful to the gospel, has had a successful succession even if their metrics do not bear this out. God can be in apparent failures too. This doesn't mean that new pastors should not strive to bring in new sheep and to bear fruit in their ministry. It means that the picture of what it means to be a good, and faithful pastoral servant is more complicated than the picture that Vanderbloemen and Bird suggest.

But practical advice is important and I think that this book will be read with benefit. My own case is not the typical succession and I am blessed to have the input of the previous pastor, a good and faithful servant, mentor and friend. I give it four stars: ★★★★

Thank you to Baker Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
… (mais)
Jamichuk | outras 3 resenhas | May 22, 2017 |
The advice and wisdom shared within the pages of NEXT: Pastoral Succession That Works is nothing but brilliant! Every pastor should consider reading this together with their elder and/or staff leadership because pastoral succession is one of the most overlooked yet one of the most important conversations and decisions a church will ever face.

I agree wholeheartedly with the authors that “every pastor is an interim” and there is “no success without a successor.” I believe that a truly devoted and loving pastor would never want to leave a ministry behind without a plan, a future, and a successor. Preparing for and finding a successor is a “process and not an event” and the best time to start planning is NOW and not when a crisis arises. I believe that some of the greatest wisdom in the book includes:

- Making it a regular practice to develop leaders and share in leading,
- Preparing a succession “emergency envelope,”
- The fact that too many pastors stay too long, and
- “Sometimes even the unlikeliest candidates can become pastoral
successors with amazing results.”

Several case studies and great insights are shared while the book also encourages each pastor and church to find what works best for them because there no “one way” when it comes to succession.

This book can save the church leadership a lot of headaches, provide the pastor with a healthy legacy and rewarding future, enable the church to continue transforming discipleship, and secure a bright outlook for the entire ministry. A must read for all pastors, elders, and churches wanting to make sure their hard work. A special thank you to Baker Books for providing a copy of this book for review through Goodreads!
… (mais)
Steve_Hinkle | outras 3 resenhas | Nov 4, 2014 |

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