[Blog] The 4 Pillars of Honor

blog Aug 12, 2022


by EXPAND Consulting Partners

One word you will hear the EXPAND team repeat again and again is honor. Why is this word so important to us? Because it is the principle modeled by Jesus as He deferred to His Father again and again.

We all know that the church building is not the church. It is people, not steeples, for whom Jesus came to die. In any church, the spectrum of honor should be wide, honoring the first-time guest as well as the oldest serving member of the church, the Lead Pastor as well the newest volunteer or staff member.

It’s all about the people. People matter, and it will be people who will have to respond to the necessary changes, shifts and new ways of doing things. People will have questions and opinions. Some of them will leave. Others will stay. New people will come. So, when we talk about the sustainability and scalability of a church, we are talking about people coming, staying, growing and bringing others with them to church. Therefore, we must be sensitive to the people and the changes to which they will need to adapt and adjust. Strong doses of empathy, patience, respect and understanding will be required of the church leadership. When we take people for granted, we are assuming the worst. When we respect and honor people, we are assuming the best.

The purpose of a successful succession or transition is to ensure that the church of our Lord suffers no harm, the mission is uninterrupted, losses are minimized and gains are maximized. We see this purpose stated clearly by Jesus in John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” You’ll notice that this verse identifies three characteristics of sustainability and scalability that we seek with a successful transition:
· That we would bring forth fruit
· That our fruit would remain
· That our prayers would be answered

In other words, the purpose is bigger than your church and your Pastor. The purpose is to ensure the capital “C” church—the body of Christ—suffers no harm. Your church does not operate in isolation—no church does. We have found in our consulting experience that churches that do not understand this principle of honor do irreparable damage to the name of our Lord, the church and its witness.

God has always been about process—from the garden of Eden, throughout the Pentateuch and into the Epistles. Circumventing processes might appear to accelerate reaching the goal, and it may even seem expeditious in the moment, but it short-circuits the system. As EXPAND consultants, we will guide you with a customized process, helping you achieve your aspirational goals of a healthy, God-glorifying and successful succession or transition. We will ensure that all entities engaged in this process are in agreement and support all aspects of it. Process is like the tracks of a railroad. Regardless of how beautiful and powerful the train is, it will derail if it does not follow the process. Process is your friend.

God, in His foreknowledge, has provided everything you need to achieve your goals. Let’s talk about the obvious provisions first.
· People in the church
· Lead Pastor of the church
· Leaders in the church
· Volunteers in the church
· Church facilities
· Finances
· Opportunities to serve the community

What we often miss out on is what we call the “God factor.” The God factor reminds us that the Comforter, the Guide, the Parakletos—the Holy Spirit—is with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. The greatest strengthening provision the church has is the words of the Founder of the church, our Lord Jesus Christ, who said in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my Church.” Your church is His church. He came for the church. He died for the church. And He is coming back for the church. He will ensure that, with good, godly counsel, you and your church will have your best days ahead. Trust Him, and trust His provisions.

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