Examples of Succession Planning
Succession planning is critical for success. It is important in your personal, business, and ministry endeavours. You learned about the basics of succession planning and why it’s important last month. Today, let’s take a look at some more Biblical examples of this.
Succession planning is important in both a financial and spiritual sense when it comes to your family. In a spiritual sense, you are called to train up your child in the way of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6). You’re to share the truth of God’s word with them at every teachable moment so that they will grow up to love the Lord and teach their children about Him.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. 7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.” – Deuteronomy 6:5-9
In finances, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” – Proverbs 13:22 The Lord owns all of the money in the whole world. He can take it and give it to whomever He desires in order to benefit His work. If you’re a faithful steward of God’s money and teaching your family to be, then He will see fit to continue that blessing.
Abraham was a great example of both of these. He taught Isaac about Yahweh and invited him to witness the relationship Abraham shared with the Lord. Abraham was courageous and faithful enough to do the unthinkable even with his son as witness. He also accumulated great wealth according to the blessings the Lord gave him and then chose to be a faithful steward of that. In turn, he was able to leave a legacy for Isaac and his sons.
“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” – Exodus 3:6
The Lord gave Himself this name and had the Israelites declare it many times throughout the Bible. The fact that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob clearly shows the three generational blessing of passing the “inheritance to his grandchildren.
In keeping with the spiritual ideas, you are also to create succession plans for the gospel. Jesus told his disciples to, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you…” Matthew 28:19-20a
Elijah and Moses were great examples of this in the Old Testament. Moses kept Joshua close to him, allowing him to learn the law and experience the Lord in a much greater sense than most of the Israelites. Joshua proved his character worthy of this after he returned from spying out Canaan, proclaiming the land ready for them to take over. He was also on Mount Sinai with Moses the first time he went to receive the law. Moses also put him as the commander over Israel in the battles they fought in the wilderness, knowing Joshua would continue that kind of leadership in the promised land. Because Joshua was so close to Moses and the Lord, he led the Israelites well.
Elijah brought Elisha alongside him for the rest of his days as well, teaching him what he knew and offering experiences for Elisha to practice his faith and prophecy. In turn, Elisha also had a very strong prophetic ministry.
Paul and Barnabas did this well in the New Testament. Barnabas chose John Mark and Paul chose Timothy. They taught them all that they knew, had them live life and do ministry together, and encouraged them in their faith. They gave them opportunities to share with others, which in turn led them to lead churches and make their own disciples.
Leaving a lasting spiritual legacy is the best kind. This is what will produce the greatest fruit in anyone’s spiritual inheritance and something you can actually take into eternity with you.
This applies to vocational ministries as well. We are all called to be disciples for Jesus, but speaking in leadership form, it is crucial that you bring someone alongside you in whatever form of ministry leadership you’re in. The more you can closely shepherd someone in this, the more you allow her to understand the Lord’s work in your ministry and why you do what you do, as well as learning how to overcome spiritual warfare. Her heart and passion will expand for the ministry and she will be able to faithfully carry on that work for you, honouring the Lord as well.
It is essential to have a succession plan in business as well. You wouldn’t want to get to retirement or pass away without anyone equipped to carry on what you’ve started. If you wait until just before retirement, your business could either flounder or be sold off and shut down. Taking a capable employee that has a lot of potential under your leadership is honourable and exciting. Many people want opportunities to be challenged and have the ability to grow in business. If they are invested, they’ll be looking for ways to do this. If there aren’t any, eventually they’ll leave and find somewhere else they can.
I know it’s hard to run the business and have to think of consistently training someone else to do your job. It can also feel threatening, especially if they can do the job better than you. But isn’t that what you’d want anyway? You want to teach someone to the point that they can take your business beyond where you were able. They won’t be good in all of the areas that you were, but their strengths will compliment yours.
The biggest thing you can do is start praying for your employees. Pray for their personal growth and lives. Pray for the Lord to unveil your spiritual eyes to see who He wants to continue the work He’s started in you. Then, naturally come alongside that person and see how things develop. You don’t have to make it a formal thing for a while. Throw some opportunities and challenges their way and see how they do. As they gain more responsibility, give them a raise and promotion. Then, when the Lord shows you the time is right, have the conversation about eventually taking the business over. The more the responsibility they’re given and proven to handle, the more prepared they’ll be.
Succession planning is an exciting part of life. It’s rough in the daily grind and can get messy at times, but that’s the beauty of living life together. We grow in the highs and the lows. Remember how king Solomon shared that this life is empty if we’re living for ourselves. We must do it with the Lord and others. If you’re not doing it already, start asking the Lord to prepare you and show you who you should be discipling into the succession plans of your personal, ministry, and business areas of life.