Weese, The Elephant in the Boardroom


Carolyn Weese and J. Russell Crabtree, The Elephant in the Boardroom: Speaking the Unspoken About Pastoral Transitions - How to Think About and Create a Strategic Succession Plan for Your Church. Jossey-Bass, 2004.

Referenced in: Ministry Transitions and Interim Ministry Summary

This is a Leadership Network Publication, which attests to the quality of research and insight. It is especially helpful in transitions where an honored minister has served a long time, often called ‘succession planning.’ The authors encourage churches to anticipate and plan for the transitional crisis long before the long-term pastor’s resignation. Like most other materials on congregational transitions, the authors emphasize strategic planning, discerning congregational culture, and developing a transition plan. Yet there are several unique contributions, e.g. the discussion of how Jesus handled his own transition from John the Baptist and to the twelve. There is a helpful section on different church cultures (family, icon, archival, replication), and how some church cultures tolerate pastoral transitions better. They stress the importance of building on health with their asset-preserving and capability-and-maturity-model. There is also a section on responding to the crisis of sudden transitions.

**For a summary, click here for the Kindle Version, go to right column, and download the free sample. If you don’t have a free Kindle Reader on your computer, there’s a link for that too.

From the Publisher

One way or another, every church will eventually lose its pastor or minister yet few congregations prepare for this dramatic event. The pastor’s departure evokes a range of reactions and problems—sorrow and grief, uncertainty, loss of mission and momentum, power struggles—yet no one wants to talk about this elephant in the church boardroom.

Carolyn Weese and J. Russell Crabtree—experts in the field of church leadership—have written a nuts-and-bolts guide to developing a succession plan for smoothing pastoral transitions. Filled with strategies and solid advice, this handy resource is based in solid research and the authors’ many years of experience working with churches in a wide variety of denominations. Weese and Crabtree clearly show that leadership succession should be part of every church’s planning process.

Using assessment tools and quizzes, the book walks church leaders through the process of identifying their particular church’s culture type and creating a succession plan that will meet their congregation’s needs. Firmly rooted in biblical principles and the best management thinking, The Elephant in the Boardroom puts the focus on health, asset building, and resiliency. Its many illustrative examples from real-life situations and solid explanations offer elders, deacons, board members, and other lay leaders a how-to manual for planning, preparing, and executing a leadership transition.

About the Author

CAROLYN WEESE is executive director of Multi-Staff Ministries, a consulting group based in Goodyear, Arizona, serving hundreds of churches from many denominations in thirty-six states. She has twenty years experience helping congregations with leadership development, succession planning, and other human relation issues.

J. RUSSELL CRABTREE is executive director of Holy Cow! Consulting in Columbus, Ohio, a company that offers organizational development services for religious, government, and nonprofit organizations.

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***For additional information on this resource, including reviews, click the bookstore links. Check the reference at page top or the links below for resource guides on related topics.***


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