Ingleside Notes

Pastoral Succession: Biblical Principles and Practical Wisdom for Leadership Transitions in the Local Church

February 18, 2024 / Tim McCoy, Lead Pastor

A Chapter a Day

  • Sunday, February 18, Psalm 116
  • Monday, February 19, Psalm 117
  • Tuesday, February 20, Psalm 118
  • Wednesday, February 21, Psalm 119
  • Thursday, February 22, Psalm 120
  • Friday, February 23, 1 Corinthians 1
  • Saturday, February 24, 1 Corinthians 2

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1. What is pastoral succession?

In their book, Next: Pastoral Succession that Works, William Vanderbloemen and Warren Bird cite the definition provided by Dave Travis, former CEO of Leadership Network. Pastoral succession is “the intentional transfer of power, leadership, and authority from one primary leader to another. Succession is when one senior leader intentionally transitions and hands over leadership to another” (p. 20).

2. Why are we talking about it today?

  • On Thursday, February 15, 2024, our Pastor Search Committee, with the approval of the Board of Overseers, publicly nominated Pastor Justin Nalls to be the next Lead Pastor at Ingleside.
  • On Wednesday, June 14, 2023, our Pastor Search Committee was elected by our church.
  • On Thursday, April 20, 2023, I announced that it was time for the search for my successor as Lead Pastor to begin.

3. How long has it been since Ingleside has had a Lead Pastor transition? years

1) Dr. J. Ellis Sammons (1951-1952)
2) Rev. James W. Windham (1952-1954)
3) Dr. Alvin H. Brackett, Jr. (1955-1978)
4) Dr. Robert G. Johns (1979-1988)
5) Dr. Timothy A. McCoy (1989-2024)

4. What does the Bible say about leadership transitions?

“Scripture, our rule for faith and practice, offers no uniform blueprint, no cookie-cutter template, and no step-by-step approach that outlines a specific path for a seamless succession. As the variety of successions in Scripture illustrate, our universal recommendation is that there is no universal recommendation. Healthy succession is more art than science. The plan and details must be tailored to each situation. It is also a deeply spiritual process that calls for prayer and recognition of God’s leading.” (Next: Pastoral Succession that Works, p. 21).

5. What are some biblical examples of leadership transitions?

1) Moses to
Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, 16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation 17 who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.” (Numbers 27:15-17, ESV)

2) Elijah to
And the Lord said to [Elijah], “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. (1 Kings 19:15-16, ESV; cf. 2 Kings 2)

3) Jesus to and the apostles
(cf. Matthew 16:13-20; John 21; Acts 1:1-11)

4) Paul to and to others
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:1-2, ESV)

6. What are some biblical principles for leadership transitions

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: (Luke 6:12-13, ESV)

Without counsel plans fail,
But with many advisers they succeed.
(Proverbs 15:22, ESV)

3) Initiative by the
And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. (Acts 6:2-3, ESV)

4) Approval by the entire
And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose . . .. (Acts 6:5a, ESV)

22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. (Acts 15:22, ESV)

5) and firm faith (Col. 2:5)
all things should be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40, ESV)

7. What are the remaining steps in our pastoral succession process?

  • Sunday, February 25, 3:00 p.m., Worship Center
    Town Meeting Q&A with Pastor Justin Nalls
  • Sunday, March 10, 3:00 p.m., Worship Center
    Church Vote

8. If Pastor Justin is elected, when will he begin?

The Lord willing, my last day as Lead Pastor will be Sunday, June 30, 2024. Pastor Justin and I will work together for a smooth transition in passing the baton of leadership, and Pastor Justin’s first day as Lead Pastor will be Monday, July 1, 2024.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20-21, ESV)


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