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As my church and  I move into the twilight zone of relinquishment of a two-decade ministry and preparation for a yet unknown successor, the story of Elijah passing his mantle on to Elishah is instructive.

Change of leadership simultaneously raises levels of anxiety and hope. Succession must be carefully managed. I am no Elijah and, as yet, we do not know who our Elisha is. One thing we do know is that change is often necessary if our effectiveness is to be the “double measure.”

This is true of any human community – be it family, church, sporting club or business enterprise. There is a reason Swiss-made luxury watches lost leadership in the world market – by deciding not to embrace the digital revolution.  And now most people use their smartphones for even more accurate time-keeping!

Change is most positively effective when managed through a proactive plan of relinquishment and succession. I am thankful that my church has had the foresight to have begun succession planning in a timely fashion.

No sweet chariot yet, but let’s enjoy Etta James as she sings: