Passing the baton.

If you’ve read these tips for any length of time, you’ve noticed that I address this topic each year. Passing the baton to new leadership now is critical in preparing for the fall.

The earlier you choose leaders for next year the more they can prepare for their roles. Here are some things to help in the transitioning process.

Passing the baton to new leaders

1. What is God calling our leaders to?

I was recently reminded of the Movement Leader Job Description. By way of reminder, here are the essential responsibilities:

  • Shepherd, lead and coach a student leadership team to work together to build a spiritual movement.
  • Help your team own the vision being mindful of the ethnic demographics of the students and faculty as well as sending to a global partnership.
  • Create a plan with your team to: [Lead with Cru DNA]
    • Reach students and faculty with the gospel,
    • Build them in such a way that they spiritually multiply into other leaders,
    • Send them out as Christ Centered laborers, [outreach opportunities, pioneering other movements, developmental conferences, missions trips, as they graduate]
    • With an emphasis on prayer.  [build dependence on the Lord]
  • Identify and ensure that your team has the necessary resources (money, supplies, training in cultural competency, etc) to fulfill the mission.
  • Keep a consistent appointment with a coach to help you fulfill your vision.
    • report movement indicators monthly.

2.  What does a leader look like?

Picture of a Leader looks at qualifications for leadership. This could look pretty impossible. But the key here is not perfection, but growing in these areas.

3.  Developing personal vision.

You can provide your new leaders perspective by suggesting they read Cultivating a Vision for my Campus. This will direct them through a process of hearing from the Lord and putting their vision into action.

Vision and motivation are so important for your leaders. Another helpful diagnostic is Evaluating your Ministry. This is best done as a team over several weeks.

4. Planning.

Finally, Nine Principles for the First Six Weeks offers principles and tips for planning.

In his book, Life with a Capital L, Matt Heard refers to cultural commentator David Brooks, who, in The Social Animal, wondered why chess experts are so accomplished. “The reason? It’s because they can see the entire game board at once. How? A higher IQ? Not necessarily. It’s because they have learned over time to see the game board in a different way.” Quoting Brooks, “When average players saw the boards, they saw a group of individual pieces. When the masters saw the boards, they saw formations. Instead of seeing a bunch of letters on a page, they saw words, paragraphs, and stories.”

As a leader, it’s vital that you set up your leaders for the fall even while you are seeking to end the spring well.

All three of our boys ran track in high school. The relays were always exciting races. I’ve seen teams blow leads and lose races because they messed up the baton pass. That hand-off is the most important part of any relay. If the baton is dropped, the team may be disqualified, or, at the least, lose precious seconds and momentum. The next runner gets into position to receive the baton and then takes off running. They must keep in mind both what is happening with the runner handing off and the race in front of them.

This is such an apt metaphor of what happens in transitioning leadership. They watch the current leadership to consider what and how to lead as they plan for their own time.

Let’s do what we can to ensure that baton pass goes well.

Previous Coaching Tips


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