Daily D – 1 Chronicles 22:5
David said, “My son Solomon is still young and inexperienced. And since the Temple to be built for the LORD must be a magnificent structure, famous and glorious throughout the world, I will begin making preparations for it now.” So David collected vast amounts of building materials before his death. 1 CHRONICLES 22:5 (NLT)
This is a fascinating chapter. David set up Solomon for success. The best leaders do that for those who succeed them. A local pastor has served his church for two decades. The church has accomplished many good things in that time. As the pastor prepares to retire at the end of this year, he has engaged our team to help them with a process to prepare for and to secure their next pastor.
We have worked together for the last year toward this end. The church knows what to do before the pastor leaves, what to do after he leaves his role, and what to do once the next pastor is in place. That is setting up the successor for success.
Our friend who passed away recently constantly taught his children and grandchildren how to do things. He not only wanted to hand down essential skills, he also wanted to teach them how to think, how to be smarter than what they were working on. Such reasoning abilities can help a person know what to do with just about any puzzling situation. That is setting up the successor for success.
There are times in training and development when it is good to metaphorically throw someone into the deep end and see if they can swim. The military enjoys testing officer candidates by placing them in impossible situations with limited tools to see how creative they can be in solving a problem. However, when it comes to moving from duty to duty, there are well-worn paths regarding who does what how and when.
Who are you setting up for success? Who will have it better than you did?
Have you ever inherited a mess, or messes, requiring clean up? Have you ever had to bring order to the chaos someone else left behind? In one place I served, I could not figure out why local business owners kept their distance from me for the first couple of years I was there. Then I was told one of the staff members before me left town owing money. It took a while to live down his reputation. That is not the way to set up your successor for success.
Chances are pretty good you are not the last one to hold your position. What will you do to ease the way for the next person? King David secured the laborers and the materials for success in Solomon’s first major project. He also provided the leaders to support and to guide him (v. 17). He made sure Solomon understood that God was with him and would empower his success (vv. 18, 19).
It may be that your best leadership ever is in preparing the way for your successor and successfully leaving and getting out of the way when the time comes. What will you do to set up your successor for success?
I will set up my successor for success.
Our Father, empower me to leave things in better order than how I found them. Empower me to provide wise guidance and appropriate preparation for those who come behind me. Remind me to leave when it is time to leave. Give me the grace to cheer on those who step into my former roles. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”