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Lasting Influence

Your job as a leader isn't over until over until you've prepared the next generation.

Stuart Briscoe says he didn't know what mentoring was until a few years ago. But if the church he led for 30 years is any indication, Stuart was doing it before he knew what it was. When Stuart retired in 2000, Mel Lawrenz, an associate pastor and eyewitness to Stuart's ministry for 20 years, was called as senior pastor, and Elmbrook Church in suburban Milwaukee thrives today under Mel's leadership.

Bob Russell depicts mentoring as "osmosis," but his succession plan is very intentional. Now 59, Bob shares the pulpit with Dave Stone, 18 years his junior, the associate pastor already identified by the elders as the next senior minister of the burgeoning Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, when Bob chooses to retire. And recently, the church brought on staff a third preacher, age 26, and the mentoring cycle continues.

Few pastors are this close to the selection of their successors, but all pastors face the issue of raising up leaders within the congregation, both staff and volunteer, ...

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