Passing the Leadership Baton: A Winning Transition Plan for Your Ministry

We are thrilled that Passing the Leadership Baton is now available! This highly anticipated book by Tom Mullins offers compassionate practical advice for orchestrating a successful leadership transition—a topic that is vital for every leader and church. It’s also the first release in the NEXT book imprint, a new co-publishing partnership between Leadership Network and HarperCollins Christian Publishing, the world’s largest Christian book publisher.  

Every Church Needs a Transition Plan

“The true measure of success for a leader is measured by succession. If you love the Church, and want your local church to continue to thrive after a change in leadership, then learn the lessons Tom has to offer. They will help you to transition well.” —John C. Maxwell

Whether by plan or due to some unexpected event, every leader’s time of service will inevitably come to an end. Are you confident that your organization would be able to move forward in a way that builds on its current success if God were to take you home today?

Those who fail to consider the importance of planning for transition and follow through to action take the risk of potentially devastating outcomes not only for themselves—but for the very organizations that they have invested their life’s work. As leaders, we must prepare ourselves, our organizations, and our successors to receive the baton of leadership so that there are even greater days ahead,” encourages Mullins.

Learn From Those Who Have Gone Before

“This outstanding book flows out of one of the best leadership transitions I’ve seen, and will benefit and influence churches and their leaders for generations to come.” —Jack Graham, Senior Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church

TomMullinsTom Mullins and his wife started Christ Fellowship Church in 1984 with a group of about five families who met in their home. Over the next several decades, Tom invested his life into helping Christ Fellowship grow to a multi-site congregation of over 25,000.

Then in 2011, after more than twenty-five years leading the church, Tom left at the top of his game and passed the leadership baton to his son Todd. Behind the scenes, the successful transfer had been paved by a five-year process of planning, letting go, and preparation of the new leader. Reflecting back, Tom says, “It was one of the most gratifying and successful things I’ve been a part of in ministry. Since Todd has taken over, we have experienced exponential growth and have expanded our impact beyond anything we had experienced in the past.”

“How-to” Advice to Plan and Prepare Well for Transition

“This book … is a must read for leaders. Tom has been there and done it to perfection. It’s about detailed planning, insight, judgment, and listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit.” —Jim Blanchard, Chairman, Synovus Financial Corp. 

Passing the Leadership Baton helps leaders and churches tackle important issues such as:

  • Determining the best timing for transitioning the current leader out and the new leader in.
  • Insight on how challenging transition can be for most leaders and what leaders should do to personally prepare for it.
  • Creating an atmosphere receptive to change by everyone who will be impacted including family, Board, leaders, staff, and volunteers.
  • Selecting the successor and preparing them for success.
  • Tips for the successor in managing his or her own transition.
  • Handling crisis-driven transitions resulting from the unexpected death or moral failure of the predecessor.

More than just a how-to book, Passing the Leadership Baton is an engaging read filled with personal anecdotes that bring the book’s principles to life. Tom shares from his own personal story every step of the way and also includes examples from recognized leaders such as John Maxwell, the Stanleys, Olsteens, Falwells, Schullers and many others whose experiences add richness to the pages of the book.

A Challenge to Take Action

“Tom Mullins’s book, Passing the Leadership Baton, is essential reading for all of us who dream about building something that will outlive us,” says Phil Tuttle, President of Walk Thru the Bible.

The results of not planning ahead can be devastating for both leaders and the church. No doubt, creating a seamless succession can be a challenge but done successfully, it may very well be one of the greatest rewards you’ll experience as a leader.

“Successfully handing off the leadership baton to a successor is essential if we want our organizations to thrive in the years following our own investment,” says Mullins. “A transition will be one of the greatest tests of your leadership, but it will also serve as one of the greatest rewards and testimonies of your legacy.”

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