Does your church have a farm team?

By Mike Klockenbrink

On several occasions I’ve had the privilege of being part of a great team whether it was sports or at work. As much as I desired to have those times go on forever, the reality is that just doesn’t happen.

I’m reminded because of Spring Training, that I see the same each year in baseball. When they need to pull someone up to the majors, they call on the farm team. The whole purpose of the farm team is to provide training and experience for players. At any given time any successful player could possibly move up. This isn’t only for sports, as some business schools are referred to as farm clubs for the business world.

So when you look around the office, do you have a farm team to pull from when you need your next player? Most of us would refer to this as succession planning. If Bill moves into his new director role, who is going to replace Bill?

You could play this scenario over with everyone on staff. I recommend that you start with your key staff positions or areas of responsibility.

There is no guarantee that when Bill moves on someone will be ready to fill that void. On occasion you may have to go to the outside to find the right person. However, it’s awesome when you’ve been grooming someone for that next level of responsibility and when the time comes, they step right in.

You must have a succession plan. This plan will be fluid and continue to change. Do you know the career aspirations for everyone on your staff? If you do, are they on track to achieve those goals? Don’t assume that these aspirations won’t change. Over time people are exposed to different experiences and develop a better understanding of who they are and how they’re wired up. From one year to the next, they may want to change direction.

So today you have a position that becomes available. You may have someone ready to fill that spot or they just need a little more grooming. Wherever you’re at, you need a succession plan. You need to be able to go to your farm team and have them send someone up, someone who has been trained and given the necessary experience to fill that role. Batter up!

Mike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church, Folsom, CA. []


The editors of Church Executive would like to know if your church has a succession planning process in place. Please leave your comments below.


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