Pastoral Succession That Works

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When it's time for a new pastor, will your church be ready?

"I pray this book sells a million copies! My dad used to tell me this too: 'All pastors are interim pastors.' We're stewards, not owners. We're only here for a blip in time, but the church goes on forever."--Rick Warren, founding pastor, Saddleback Church

"Every pastor will face a transition at their church, and it will be one of their best chances at leaving a legacy. Next is an invaluable tool for securing a transition that works and a legacy that lasts."--Bill Hybels, senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church

"Wisdom around pastoral succession is one of the great needs of the church today, so it's about time this book showed up. I have already sent a copy to several of the elders at my church."--from the foreword by John Ortberg, author; former teaching pastor at Willow Creek and pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Menlo Park, CA

"In the kingdom of God, success equals succession--looking for a successor all the time. Next shows pastors how to do that for themselves, and how to model succession for their staff and volunteer leaders."--Mark Batterson, founding pastor of National Community Church, Washington, DC

"Someone said that the moment you succeed, you need to prepare for your successor to succeed. The church has too often failed in this critical mission. I believe this book to be one of the most timely and important of our day."--Jim Henry, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention; pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church, Orlando, FL

"This book is incredibly rich with good advice. Even a simple pastoral handoff like I experienced, from my father-in-law to me, could benefit from the wise insights and great stories."--Wilfredo "Choco" de Jesus, lead pastor of New Life Covenant Church, Chicago, IL

"Vanderbloemen and Bird are giving leaders permission to ask formerly forbidden questions now so that churches can thrive rather than limp through inevitable pastoral transitions."--Marnie Crumpler, executive pastor of Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA


William Vanderbloemen, Author

William Vanderbloemen (MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary) served for fifteen years as a pastor before founding Vanderbloemen, the leading search firm specifically focused on succession planning and connecting churches and Christian organizations with the right leadership for their teams.

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Warren Bird, Author

Warren Bird (PhD, Fordham University) is vice president of research for the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability ( An ordained minister and former seminary professor, he is also author or coauthor of thirty-one books including How to Break Growth Barriers. He and his wife, Michelle, live in a suburb of New York City.

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