Commitments Designed for a Successful Pastoral Transition

The clock is ticking. 

A little over a year remains in the timetable for my retirement from vocational ministry. Once again the goal is set for my 70th birthday in September of 2022.

During the succession process at Orlando Grace Church, I drafted a document of promises of how I would conduct myself over the months of the transition to ensure a successful passing of the baton.

I have revised them below to fit our context at TRBC.

One, I shall run the race hard for the glory of God and the welfare of TRBC over the rest of my course as pastor-teacher—however long the Lord determines that I remain on point.

Two, I shall consistently take initiative to keep the conversation about succession ongoing so that no one else may feel awkward about having to force the issue due to my reluctance.

Three, I shall do everything in my power to ensure that the baton handoff occurs—when it does—in a fashion that safeguards the peace and purity of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church.

Four, I shall regularly pray about the succession process for wisdom and guidance from the Lord from start to finish.

Five, I shall determine to listen carefully and defer in humility as much as possible to the concerns/desires of the rest of the succession team in executing the plan.

Six, I shall neither exit prematurely from my role nor linger past-time in the same, but seek to discern with the rest of the body the most opportune time for the transition.

Seven, I shall diligently seek to determine from the Lord what next non-vocational assignment awaits me and Jan, whatever and wherever that may be.

Eight, I shall act as the number-one cheerleader for the next pastor-teacher and do everything in my power to ensure the man’s good success and favor with the people and community.

Nine, I shall tend carefully to the needs and concerns of my fellow elder throughout the succession process such that his voice is heard and his welfare served.

Ten, I shall exit when the time comes with a heart of gratitude and humility for the privilege of having pastored faithfully, albeit imperfectly, so great a church as TRBC.

May God give me the grace to complete my stewardship from Him.