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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Zechariah 13:9 “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ ”
Zechariah 9:9, 10 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Ezra 3:12, 13 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
Daniel 2:30 “As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.”