Every church and ministry goes through changes in leadership, and the issue is far bigger than the wave of pastors from the Baby Boomer generation who are moving toward retirement. When a pastor leaves a church, ministries are disrupted and members drift away. If the church is already struggling, it can find itself suddenly in very dire straits indeed. But the outcome doesn't have to be that way.What if when a pastor moved on, the church knew exactly what to do to find a suitable replacement because a plan and a process had been in place for some time? While there is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution to the puzzle of planning for a seamless pastoral succession, Next offers church leaders and pastors a guide to asking the right questions in order to plan for the future. Vanderbloemen, founder of a leading pastoral search firm, and Bird, an award-winning writer and researcher, share insider stories of succession successes and failures in dozens of churches, including some of the nation's most influential. Through case studies, interviews, and real-time research, the authors demystify successful pastoral succession and help readers prepare for an even brighter future for their ministries.