The Delicate Transition of Pastoral Succession

 A church's transition from one pastor to the next, otherwise known as pastoral succession, was the focus of a recent Christian leadership webcast in which prominent church leaders spoke about their experiences with the process.

Jonathan Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., succeeded his late father Jerry Falwell, after he suddenly passed in 2007. At the time, there was no plan of action in place and with over 20,000 members to lead, Falwell found himself immediately stepping up as his replacement.

"I had to build relationships because my dad had been the shepherd for over 50 years and now there were people that I had to minister to and make a difference in their lives," said Falwell during the Leadership Network's Succession webcast on Tuesday. "I made the commitment early on that I wanted to keep open lines of communication within the church…I wanted to let them know that I was accessible."