An Analysis of Selected Variables that Influence Postsuccession Performance in Southern Baptist Churches
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The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between presuccession contextual and performance variables, successor origin, and postsuccession performance. Old and New Testament Scriptures give certain latitude to churches concerning the methods used in selecting a new pastor. The need for leadership is established and encouraged. The leadership of the Holy Spirit is expected. Inside, outside, and relay successions were all identified in Scripture and used by biblical leaders in various circumstances. The use of all three identified methods of leader succession in churches and other biblical forms of organizational leadership is consistent with methods used in secular organizations as well. The researcher gathered statistical data on 3563 churches cooperating with the Southern Baptist Convention. Each of these churches called a new pastor in the year 2003 and performance data were analyzed for the 5 years preceding the succession and the 5 years following the succession providing a la-year longitudinal analysis. The contextual variables of exit initiation, organizational size, and exit methods of the outgoing pastor were also considered. In addition, the perfonnance of churches using the intentional interim process were analyzed and compared to perfonnance of churches that did not use an intentional interim. Key words: Pastor, Leader Succession, Leaders, Intentional Interim, Succession Planning, Transitional Pastor.