Ministry By Design - Succession Planning

Succession Planning


The succession from one pastoral leader to the next is a critical time in the church.  With Ministry by Design, you can embark on that journey with confidence and clarity.  The greatest fear of many elders, councils and boards is the "unintended interim pastor" that can result from unclear understanding of the congregation's mission and needs, combined with surprises that come when the pastor shows up with the wrong gifts or chemistry for the role.


We work as dedicated partners and facilitators of customized succession engagements tailored to your church.  Through comprehensive processes that involve multiple members of our team and nationally-recognized expert Russ Crabtree (author of "The Elephant in the Boardroom") to scaled-back succession process coaching in smaller churches, we will be with you each step of the way.


The SIMA® Process will give you an unparalleled understanding of the specific gifts of your pastor candidates when you near the final decision, which provides predictive and confident decision making for the leaders of the church.  In addition, we can pair our search and selection services to your succession plan to provide both the pathway and the best possible candidates for your church.


Our goals in Succession Planning are:

- Comprehensive discussion and assessment of your church and its leadership needs through in-depth interviews and the use of the CAT assessment process to generate a "Vital Signs" report

- Facilitated strategy and planning meetings with your board to share findings and lay out specific strategies to move forward together, including coaching for your outgoing pastor, staff engagement and communication strategies 

- Process helps from our extensive pastoral search expertise, culminating in helping you develop a pool of qualified candidates in accordance with your customized strategy

- Facilitation for your final decisions and on-boarding of your new leader


Working with Ministry by Design on Succession Planning gives you the partnership, strategy and expertise you need to bring confidence to the journey of connecting to your next pastor.







Helping pastors discern whether it’s time to stay or seek their next call.


FreshLookâ combines two of the most powerful assessment tools available in the church today to help pastors in their discernment process:  The Church Assessment Toolâ and SIMAâ (System of Identified Motivated Abilities).  We weave together the information from these two assessments to get clarity on a single question:  Is this still a good fit?


The Church Assessment Toolâ is the only customizable, benchmarked assessment instrument specifically designed for transitions and strategic planning.  It will help you as a leader

  • Measure the level of satisfaction and energy in the church you lead.
  • Discover the critical success factors for improving organizational climate.
  • Identify the organizational culture along with the strengths and potential challenges.
  • Discover where members would like to go in the future.


SIMAâ (System of Identified Motivated Abilities) is a unique, research based approach to helping leaders identify the ministry opportunities that are most likely to lead to joyful and effective service. 

FreshLookâ doesn’t simply provide information, it integrates information into a comprehensive picture, assesses fit, and offers coaching on how to move forward.

FreshLookâ is not only designed for pastors, but for those trying to help pastors including denominational support persons.

FreshLookâ makes sense, no matter what decision is made.  If you go, you leave the church better prepared for its transition.  If you stay, you and your leaders are clearer about who you are and how you can best serve them.


For more information, contact Russ Crabtree, or call 614-208-4090