Succession is the hot topic in leadership development, but the subject has rarely been addressed in Christian literature. As a college, university, and seminary president who experienced three successions in leadership, David McKenna is eminently qualified to speak on the subject. He begins by introducing us to the Succession Principle:
What we bring to leadership is important.
What we do in leadership is more important.
What we leave from our leadership is most important of all.
Once our priority shifts from success to succession, the door is open to read John 17 as the Prayer of Succession for Jesus. In this final report, Jesus transfers to his disciples and to us the same enduring trust, transforming truth, and unifying love that he has received for leadership from his Father. With these legacies come specific gifts of succession to complete our task, develop disciples, advance the kingdom, and see the fulfillment of Christ's promise, “Greater things than these shall you do.” Succession in the spirit of Christ, then, is written not in terms of success, but in the seamless transition of sustainable gifts culminating in the gift of greater things.