Synergy: The Catalyst for Succession

There is an increasing desire to consider how the church will handle the generations. The church's rapid decline in cultural influence, the amount of empty church buildings, the brokenness of families, and a generation of older leaders finishing their race has added up to a riveting reality that there is a glaring void of generations working together.

Impacting ministries find themselves facing extinction or major reduction in scope as generations move further away from each other.

The aching question among many leaders is: "What do we do?"

The recent, tragic loss of Dr. Myles Munroe has been deeply felt by many around the world. At the time of his death, he was carrying a mission to address this issue of needed succession. He had a dream that he believed revealed the conditions keeping generations separated.

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Just before his death he had been making efforts to impart a passion to have generations come together and find the way for succession. He was trumpeting a call to see generations discover how to make the transition of leadership so existing kingdom endeavors would continue for decades to come.

A news report shared him communicating the dream he had that was very insightful and challenging. When I heard him share his dream via this video (see video interview below from 1:30 to 3:16), my heart was gripped again to see this crises resolved. I felt the burden he carried. There were three main points I saw his dream speak of:

  • The old guards wanted to hold onto their positions
  • Young leaders have to fight for a place to be involved
  • Young leaders would have to peel the baton from the dead fingers of older leaders.

These points reveal the serious need to look further into what can be done to resolve these dilemmas. To do that, we have to be willing to question the way succession has been approached, how generations are looked at, and why generations long to have each other but tend to go away from each other. These questions need to challenge the current paradigms. The present absence of successful succession calls us to evaluate how succession is being handled. 

For the last seven years, I've been sent across America and other nations, calling for the church to aim for generational synergy that will provide what is needed for great succession. The objective of bringing 3 generations into synergistic relationships and mission must become the heartbeat of every leader. When 3 generations live out a mindset of "carry the baton together" instead of one carry it and then pass it on, there is easy and natural succession that happens as needed. There is an inherent struggle when one generation carries a baton for decades and then at the end of an older leader's life they start looking for someone younger to take their place.  f the aim stays at that level, there will continue to be less than successful results to carry on ministry assignments. 

There is such a critical need for older leaders to make room for younger leaders and find the ways for succession to be a victorious reality. I am submitting that in order to achieve what is desired in succession, we must aim higher. We must aim for a lifetime of synergy. If we aim for succession only, we fall short of the powerful benefits of synergy. When we aim for and achieve synergy, successful succession is not a struggle. Leaders of each generation living out the kingdom dynamics of synergy will accelerate kingdom advancement and create longer lasting and deeper impact. Then, when an older generation's time comes to graduate, it does not become about filling someone's shoes. Things carry on, as generations have already been shouldering the assignment together. 

The book, Generational Synergy, provides excellent biblical insights of how generational synergy was required to overcome a death culture in the days of Mordecai and Esther and a paralyzing giant in the days of Saul and David. Synergy had a major role in the foundations of the New Covenant Church through Paul and Timothy. We don't see Esther succeeding Mordecai. They worked synergistically. David and Saul worked synergistically to overthrow Goliath, but they divided when it came to succession of the throne. Timothy didn't succeed Paul. They worked synergistically to establish the church for global impact. These efforts in synergy provided the required ability to see significant victory and advancement. In the same way, synergy in our day will create the needed dynamics for global influence.

The critical situations and chaos of our day demand synergy. When synergy is functioning, succession is an amazing byproduct to carry on the victories that were won together. My prayer is to see a resolve to the circumstances depicted in the dream Dr. Munroe saw and communicated. I believe the remedy is achieved by generational synergy. This will release the generations to operate together instead of working alone successively. I pray the hearts of fathers turn toward sons and sons turn toward fathers in ways that are relationally fulfilling, not just about carrying on a project. I pray their hearts would turn toward each other in ways that develop and release each generation to the fullness of who they are so more is achieved together than the sum of what each do on their own. 

Synergy is the catalyst for succession. If synergy is achieved, succession is at its strongest availability. May the generations rise together in a synergistic approach for kingdom expansion. Esther 8 reveals Mordecai and Esther were given the assignment together to rewrite the decrees for the future, and the king would seal it with his signet ring. The future needs the generations of today "writing" together. The King will set His seal of authority on that which has the generations working as one. Those who are able to discover the ways to have generations moving synergistically will be the leading force in the next decades and will see the longest lasting, deepest impact in the years to come.

May batons no longer be in just one generation's hand! May young leaders no longer have to fight to have a place to contribute what God has given them to deposit! May there not be any generation that demands they stay in positions of power! May the hearts of the generations rise and demand we go at the future together instead of waiting for one generation to die off before another can be involved.  May generational synergy be the key unlocking further glory in the nations! May the grace to have generations run as one be unleashed now upon the church! 

Eric Reeder leads RISEmovement and serves on the Leadership Council of Federation of Ministers and Churches International (FMCI) at For the original artcle, click here.

Copyright © 2015 GenerionsRISE, All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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