Change in leadership Change of leaders is normal – it is part of life Change of leaders is biblical Neither one or the other means it is easy „Normal“ does not mean it happens well by itself „Biblical“ does not mean that God necessarily takes care of it all by himself
The key question What is it all about? David: „The battle is the Lord’s“ (1Sam 17:47). It’s about ministry It is not about my self-actualization as a leader When „me“ and „ministry“ get too closely intertwined, I am afraid losing (part of) my identity while giving the leadership over to someone else Luke 10:20 „Do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.“
God’s work God’s work is eternal Leaders in His work are not God uses very different kinds of leaders to get His work done Joseph, Josuah, Gideon, Esther, Nehemiah, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Peter... - God’s leaders are very diverse
Reasons for change Leaders get tired – physically as well as mentally Leaders of different age and experience have different strengths and qualitites New situations and circumstances require new and different leaders Change is needed by leaders as well as by the people, to break the routine Replacement of leaders does not indicate a failure
Expect the change You don’t see when you don’t look (= think about it) Unexpected change may not go well Leaders tend to get used to their role Have a godly vision that does not go around my person God may at some point need you and me elsewhere God may need someone else at my place here
Prepare for change Paul teaching Timothy 2Tim 2:2 „What you have heard from me [...] entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.“ John the Baptist – as the „friend of the bridegroom“ (John 3:29), ready to step aside John 1:30 „This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’“ Jesus commissions his disciples: now you will take over Acts 1:8 „You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses...“
Biblical examples Some are not good at all Kings came to power by assassination Saul could not accept a replacement (active resistance) David waited far too long with making a decison about the successor (passive resistance) Some are good
Moses God reveals His plan Num 27:12-13 The LORD said to Moses, “Go up this mountain of the Abarim range, and see the land that I have given to the Israelites. When you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people. Do we notice the signs God gives us to resign?
Moses The reaction of Moses Num 27:15-17 Moses spoke to the LORD, saying, “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint someone over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the LORD may not be like sheep without a shepherd.” Grant these people a new appropriate leader! Not: Give me a little more time! Let me see the fruit of my labors! Let me only celebrate the arrival and then I am ready to go...
The selection God makes His decision about the successor Num 27:18 The LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him.“ Sometimes it is not all that clear to us who the right successor is, but we can trust the Lord has made His choice Some great leaders think that the continuation is all their responsibility
The recognition God expects Moses to publicly recognize and give his support to the new leader Num 27:19-20 Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and all the congregation, and commission him in their sight. You shall give him some of your authority, so that all the congregation of the Israelites may obey. Instead of bitterly resigning to a corner: „OK, if you want Joshua, go ahead and see how far will you get with him...“
Continuing support God expects Moses to keep supporting the new leader even after his resignation Dt 1:38 Joshua son of Nun, your assistant, shall enter there; encourage him, for he is the one who will secure Israel’s possession of it.
Problems? Do you think Moses had no problems with this decision of God? I bet he had – after all he gave for these people to reach the Promised Land! So where is the Scripture verse telling us about that? There is none. Because this inner struggle was not meant for public
GOD NEEDS EVERYONE Throughout the ministry and in all changes God needs each one of us
Everyone is valuable God teaches us to value old as well as new leaders Heb 13:7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 1Tim 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example...
Are you ready? Is 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?“