Larry Kreider has navigated many different transitional seasons—from his position in the megachurch he founded to the multiple team leadership roles he’s taken on throughout decades of ministry. In today’s episode, he and Merle Shenk, a pastor in his 40’s, who recently moved continents with his family, share key takeaways from their time in leadership. Listen as two leaders from two different generations share their transition experiences and what they’ve learned from them.


  • Transitions affect everyone.
  • Have a compelling vision for the next season.
  • Allow for the appropriate time and space for people to process and ask questions.
  • Give information on who is aware of the decision so people know whom they can dialogue with.
  • Recognize that there are four types of adapters to change:
    • fast adapters
    • middle adapters
    • slow adapters
    • non-adapters
  • Transitioning leaders need to be self-aware and disciplined in how they use their influence and share their opinion.
  • Incoming leaders need to be able to have the freedom to take risks and potentially the freedom to fail.
  • Recognize that different generations view the work, life, and family balance in different ways and with different expectations.
  • Be aware of transition fatigue for both yourself and your team. Remember to rest and go at a pace you, your team, staff, and family can sustain.
  • When looking for a new leader, seek someone in whom you can see the evident grace of God at work.
  • Understand that the new leader will most likely not have the same experience and maturity as the outgoing leader.

Important Communication Points:

  • Communicate with your key leaders. Allow space and time for dialogue and development rather than rushing through the process.
  • Honor those who have walked closely with you by meeting with them to talk about the transition process before it becomes public knowledge.
  • Honor those who are healthy cultural leaders and volunteer team leaders who serve faithfully.
  • Communicate what you know, but also communicate what you don’t know. It is okay to say that there are things that are still being developed and worked out together.

Related Resources:

*Recorded live at the DOVE International Leadership Conference in 2019

For more information about Larry Kreider, his books, daily devotionals, small group resources, or other teachings, visit