Hybels on Succession Planning
Talking about the approach to succession planning they are developing (he’s 60).
First, there’s a planning phase. “Every important issue pertaining to succession must get surfaced. Who picks? What is the time frame? Will the pastor have any role after the transition?” And so forth. This should not be rushed.
Second, seek to find an internal person who can be the successor. If you can’t find an internal, then look for an external candidate. But look for an internal candidate.
Last phase is the actual transition itself. You gradually increase their responsibility and decrease yours, over the period of about 18 months.
His feelings on this: “I am extremely proud of our board and how they did the process. I also feel great about Willow’s future. It is also tough to consider.” (Note: They aren’t transitioning; “I still have many years left.” But it’s important to have a succession plan, because no pastor will be pastoring forever.)
“Senior pastors: Do the right thing for your church. When you get into your 60s, make sure that your greatest legacy is that your church is well led after you are done.”
They are in the second stage now — contemplating possible internal successors. “We’ll keep you posted on this in future summits.”