It’s Time to Pass The Baton

“The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order
what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.” – Titus 1:5

Throughout Scripture and throughout our lives we are constantly reminded that nothing lasts forever. From Moses to Joshua, from Elijah to Elisha, from Paul to Timothy and Titus, even from Jesus to the Twelve. No one is indispensable in his or her role. In God’s kingdom we are all interim leaders, bringing all we are in Christ to serve for our season, then (hopefully) preparing well the next generation to receive the baton of leadership. I like how Paul expressed this to Titus in the verse above, “that you might put in order what was left unfinished.” Few leaders ever fully finish what God has called them to do.

Fourteen months ago, in the first week of March 2020, I huddled with my Digital Strategies core team in an AirBnB during a weeklong offsite retreat. In between meals and walks on the beach we prayed, assessed where we thought the ministry was, and discussed strategic future opportunities.

One morning I shared with the team my strong sense from Jesus that it was time for me to pass the baton.

I had contributed what I could bring to leading our global digital efforts. It was time for God to identify a new leader from among an incredible pool of spiritually mature and digitally talented people. We spent a few hours discussing what that role would need next and assessing bench strength. Then I asked each leader to email me privately the names of leaders whom they would willingly follow in the VP Digital role and the reasons why. My plan was to take those names to my boss and initiate a transition process the following week.

But Covid. One week later travel lockdowns kicked in and our digital team rose to the challenge. We instantly began working overtime to offer free global webinars to the body of Christ on how to do online evangelism, 1-1 discipleship and large group live streaming as the pandemic waxed. Two weeks later, we were informed of Cru’s presidential transition. It was not quite time to pass my baton. The ministry needed stability and acceleration for what turned out to be another year.

But the time has come. A few weeks ago I announced to our global digital team that after 10 years (time flies!) in this role I would be stepping aside by the end of June. My heart longs to shift more weight into the spiritual side of leadership and let the younger horses run. It is my conviction that we must constantly weave the next generation into organizational leadership. When your bench is that strong, people need to lead or they will leave.

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded Indigitous.org, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at www.onleadingwell.com.