Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 22:5-17
Because David had shed so much blood as king, God determined not to allow him to build a house for the Lord. Instead David’s son, Solomon, was given that task. So David accepted that his final task was to train Solomon for the job of king and to surround him with a capable team. David provided the vast stores of materials for the construction of God’s temple in Jerusalem. He publicly passed authority to Solomon and made sure that the leaders of Israel acknowledged Solomon as the new king and were prepared to help him succeed.
David recognized that leadership is a responsibility that outlasts one’s own career. In most cases, your work will continue after you have moved on (whether by promotion, retirement, or taking a different job). You have a duty to create the conditions your successor needs to be successful. In David’s preparation for Solomon, we see three elements of succession planning. First, you need to provide the resources your successor needs to complete the tasks you leave unfinished. Second, you need to impart your knowledge and relationships to the person who succeeds you. In many situations this will come by bringing your successor to work alongside you long before you depart. David began including Solomon in the leadership structures and rituals of the kingdom shortly before David’s death.
Third, you need to transfer power decisively to the person who takes over the position. Whether you choose your own successor or whether others make that decision without your input, you still have a choice whether or not to publicly acknowledge the transition and definitively pass on the authority you previously had. Your words and actions will confer either a blessing or a curse on your successor.
What can you do to prepare the work and your successor to thrive, for God’s glory, after you’ve gone?
Prayer: Lord, help me prepare prudently for those who will succeed me in the workplace. May your kingdom continue to advance even when I am no longer in my current position. Thank you that your love and purposes endure beyond my tenure. Amen.
For Further Exploration: Read David Prepares Solomon to Succeed Him As King (1 Kings 1; 1 Chronicles 22) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.
Author: Theology of Work Project
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