Presentation on theme: "Succession: Making A Smooth Transition Chicago Conference with Lyle Schaller."— Presentation transcript:
Succession: Making A Smooth Transition Chicago Conference with Lyle Schaller
Background: Virginia Baptist Mission Board invited eight pastors of very large churches to attend this conference in Chicago with Lyle Schaller. Lyle Schaller is the author of many books. In recent years, he has focused on growing the Very Large Church.
Background: Before the conference, each pastor prepared: Biographical information about himself Brief over-view and history of his church Staff make-up and scope of present ministry Statistics for worship, Sunday school and offerings for the past 10 years
Schallers General Comments Americans choosing to attend very large churches: Worship AttendanceNumber of Churches 1 - 100....................... 21,684 100 - 200........................ 7,943 200 - 300........................ 2,639 300 - 500........................ 1,917 500 - 800........................ 799 800 - 1000........................ 209 1000 plus......................... 425 TOTAL CHURCHES: 35,616
Attendance Statistics: Most SBC churches are small, but most members go to larger churches: Worship Attendance % of SBC Churches% attending 1 - 12572% 31% 126 - 50024% 38% 500 plus 4% 31%
Why People Choose Larger Churches: Not primarily because they are large churches but because they are the only churches able to provide QUALITY, RELEVANCE, and CHOICES. Quality: facilities, ministries, preaching, staff, etc. Relevance: whatever the church is doing must apply or connect as being relevant to my life. Choices: at every level (ministries, ways to plug-in, times and variety of services, etc.)
Schaller: Bonsacks No. 1 Issue is Succession The larger the CHURCH, the longer the TENURE, & the sharper the GROWTH pattern, the more crucial is succession, and the more difficult it is to work it out.
Schaller: Bonsacks No. 1 Issue is Succession Whenever there is major change in a church, people need stability zones to see them through the transition.
Schaller: Bonsacks No. 1 Issue is Succession Continuity in churches is usually found in RELATIONSHIPS. Thus, long pastorates help churches grow because the pastor becomes a stability zone in the midst of continued change.
The Way Weve Always Done It: The long tenured pastor retires and the church finds an interim for a year or so. During that time, the church thinks about what kind of pastor theyre looking for.
The Way Weve Always Done It: Finally the new pastor is called and the church works to adjust to its new leader. The retired pastor steers clear of the church... so they can finish grieving and make an attachment to the new pastor.
Why The Old Way Doesnt Work: First, pulpit committees in long-tenured pastorates have little experience in what theyre doing. Second, in very large churches, the new pastor doesnt understand the DYNAMICS or the CULTURE of that particular church.
Why The Old Way Doesnt Work: Third, new pastor is usually a generation younger... relates to a different group of people other than the old leadership, and has no attachment to the current staff.
Schallers Suggestion: A New Approach First, pastor puts together a small group of key leadership and staff to formulate MINISTRY direction for the next 7 to 10 years. Second, work with the same group to consider what kind of staff will be needed to do this ministry plan.
Schallers Suggestion: A New Approach Third, find a new pastor, (in the next 2 to 3 years), with current pastor heavily involved in the process. The church must take advantage of his knowledge and experience while hes still here. In talking with a prospective pastor, the church will already have its ministry direction and staffing to share with the new person.
Schallers Suggestion: A New Approach In the very large church (over 800 in worship), PREACHING must be EXCELLENT. New pastor must be able to consistently deliver A or A+ messages.
Schallers Suggestion: A New Approach The current pastor must agree to continue to STAY ON in ministry to the church... for an additional 5 to 7 years with two major responsibilities in his new job description: Focus on the things he really wants to do. See that things work out well for the new pastor. Lay leaders involved from beginning in this process must be committed to making things work out with the new pastor.
More About Dr. Moores Responsibilities: Dr. Moore would provide aSECURITY ZONE for those who love him & his ministry... so the church didnt end up losing these people while the new pastor learned the church CULTURE and how to pastor a very large church.
More About Dr. Moores Responsibilities: Dr. Moore would continue to preach... as would the new pastor. Preaching could be worked out in a variety of ways. Presuming new pastor is an excellent preacher/teacher, he would help continue to draw new people. The church would get used to several teaching/preaching pastors who did exceptional jobs, even if different styles.
Some Added Benefits Of This Plan: If this model worked, then when Bob did leave, several things would likely happen: He would leave a much smaller hole with much less negative impact on the church. Hed be free, indeed expected, to help out with training, teaching, preaching (JBS… Easter Pageant... 6 week sermon series, etc.).... without being a threat to the current pastor.
Some Added Benefits Of This Plan: Longevity of current staff would more likely to be preserved, adding value to the church.