From Surviving to Thriving: Exploring Healthy Pathways to Pastoral Succession in African American Baptist Churches using the Old Testament Succession Narrative of Moses and Joshua Open Access

Newton, Shareka (Spring 2021)

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This project focuses on developing strategic pathways to pastoral succession within the Black Baptist Church and how a close reading of the Old Testament succession narrative of Moses and Joshua can help us gain insight into how a transition should be handled. Through this project the problem of poor succession planning was highlighted from the perspective of failure of churches to establish a succession plan that takes into account the health and wellness of both the outgoing and incoming pastors, as well as the church. The thesis for this project is that a pastoral succession plan that intentionally considers and seeks to support the health and wellness of pastors will ultimately lead to a healthier and thriving church on the other side of the leadership transition. The research highlights problems connected to successions and offers suggestions for strategies that may lead to better outcomes. It also highlights a suggested pathway that takes into account the health and wellness of both pastors and the congregation based on insights gleaned from the research process.

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