The time will come in every organization when leadership roles and personnel will change. Pastors and local churches especially face the challenges of transitioning to new leadership as pastors accept new positions or retire. God has never left anyone to serve in a ministry role perpetually. Therefore, if that particular ministry is to continue, someone has to receive the torch, or mantle, of leadership from the departing or retiring minister to ensure its continuance.
Successfully handing off the office of leadership to a successor requires preparation, godly wisdom, understanding, and a heart to please God. Likewise, it also requires the successor to wisely and faithfully receive the torch at the hands of his predecessor. When this happens properly, as it did with Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, and as it did in the New Testament with Paul and Timothy, the results are favorable because the action is an expression of God’s will, and because it ensures continuity in the spreading of the gospel.