Planning the Transition

Planning the Transition

October 26, 2011 by

Let’s talk about a church communication issue that’s incredibly unsexy, unexciting and completely not controversial. Yet it happens all the time.

The transition.

  • What happens when your web volunteer gets burned out and quits?
  • What happens when your social media person moves on?
  • What do you do when you fire the assistant, it doesn’t go well and you realize they have the password to the Facebook page?
  • What do you do when your go-to copy person switches churches?

Does your church have a plan in place for any of these transitions? One thing churches rarely plan for is the transition. The one thing you can be sure will happen is the transition. So get it together now and come up with a transition plan. You’ll need it sooner than you think.

Cover some of the major questions:

  • What does a project actually require? Type up an outline of how each job gets done, whether it’s the weekly bulletin or updating the website.
  • What does somebody need to do the job? Are there passwords, urls or login info that are needed? Create a list and store it somewhere safe (there are lots of theories on how to deal with passwords—you make the call, but having a plan is better than no plan).
  • What needs to change in a transition? Come up with a list of things that need to change during a transition—from passwords to Facebook permissions to staff lists on the website.
  • Will training be required? Make sure training is part of any transition plan, whether the out-going person trains the in-coming person or however you handle it. Just plan for it so you’re not expecting the rookie to work miracles on the first day when they’re still learning how to punch in.

None of these questions are fun or exciting, but answer them today and tomorrow you’ll be glad you did.

Otherwise you end up recreating the wheel as churches rehash the same thing over and over again because they have no transition plan. A volunteer leaves and no one can update the website. Soon a perfectly good website gets scrapped because no one thought of a transition plan. The same thing happens with social media, video, music, editing, planning and practically every other area in the church. Preserve all your hard work by making sure someone else can carry on when you’ve won the lottery and moved to Jamaica (to pick a more positive transition).

Photo by jimflix!
Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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2 Responses to “Planning the Transition”

  • Brad Hill
    October 26, 2011

    Great post, Kevin. Succession planning is vital in just about any organization. Churches tend to have a tremendous revolving door, both at the volunteer level as well as at the administrative staff level. These are the folks who “get it done” every day, but the church is spending tons of unnecessary effort training and re-training these people when a transition occurs!

    Your points are dead-on. We also wrote a parallel piece to this a while back on our blog:
    “Help! My Web Guy Just Quit!” http://churchwebsites.org/my-web-guy-just-quit-help-2

    The church who plans well, produces the best results in their online ministry efforts!


  • Christian church yorba linda
    November 2, 2011

    You are right kevin we tend to ignore such things which seem less important first and understand its consequences later. Right planning is necessary to prevent such things from happening.



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