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Life Church Team Leader Succession Planning

By 10th April 2024May 10th, 2024Blog Post

Life Church Team Leader Succession Planning


For the last few years I’ve been leading our eldership team through some of the principles and aspects of Senior Leader succession planning  – to enable us as a team and as a church to navigate the journey from me as the ‘founding pastor’ to a leader for the future. We’ve been working on it together, with the help of John and others in Commission. This is an important and essential step to enable me to continue function as a leader at Life Church and in my wider ministry, whilst making sure that the church is led well in the years ahead.

The Prophetic

When we first planted the church I felt prophetically that I was to make a commitment to the Lord to be based in Southampton for a minimum of 20 years should he want me to – that 20 years would be up in three years’ time – 2007-2027.

Leadership Succession is a really healthy thing, and it’s also inevitable – we are all stewards, yet most churches don’t plan for it effectively, so we want to do it really well. We want to honour the past in order to effectively unlock the future.

There have been lots of people involved with me in the process so far. Our elders, our trustees and our apostolic team have all been working this through, and now it has come to the point where we want to share with you folks, the members of Life Church, what we are planning, and we want your wholehearted support. We want you to walk this journey with us.

As I said, most leadership transitions aren’t planned well, but we want the transition from me to a future leader of the team to be like the smooth passing on of a baton in a relay race, rather than a shock and a big change for us all. With this in mind from mid-march this year, and for the next year, I am inviting Si Munsie to join me as senior leader, and we will work as a team, together, until Spring next year.

This is a year for him to continue to grow in leadership, with the added security of having me alongside him. It’s also a year for me and the church to receive his leadership more actively, and for me to adjust to a new way of operating.

I want you to know that I have full confidence in Si, as do the rest of the eldership team. He is a spiritual son, and I know that over the last few years he has grown into a spiritual father too, so it is right for him to begin the transition into the senior role.

For now I shall co-lead with him, but in a year’s time, I will step back and Si will become the senior leader, while I will continue as an elder on the team, and on staff until at least 2027, then we will review. This will be alongside my wider ministry with Commission, where I’ll serve on the Commission Apostolic Team with Guy & Vinu, Tim Blaber, and two other Indian leaders called Sydney and Emmanuel. I’m also serving on our UK Leadership Team bringing oversight to our 60 UK Churches and leaders.

So, today marks the point when my role stays the same, but Simon carries more responsibility and authority, and is seen as leading alongside me – the two of us leading the elders and the church together. In reality, this is already happening, but today it becomes official. We will do this for a year, and then Simon will lead the team.

There is obviously an emotional cost to succession, so I know that Si and I would both value your prayers. Jo and I love this church and every part of it has us in the DNA. I am not driving this succession process because I am giving up or stepping away, but because I know what the church needs to flourish in the years ahead.

We also love Si and Jo, and know that Si feels the call of God on his life, but also the weight of the responsibility of serving God’s flock at Life Church so please keep us both, and our families, in your prayers.

With love
Chris Kilby