Transitions are often some of the most important events in our individual lives and the lives of the organizations we serve. When a transition takes place there is greater risk of something radically going wrong than is the case in our normal daily routines. In my professional career, I have observed many such disasters that can affect organizations negatively for years, if not decades.

It appears that our culture is now heading into a time of significant transition and some would even say we are headed straight into a perfect storm that will radically affect Christ-centered organizations' ability to function. In a culture moving further and further from values grounded in biblical truth and morality, the "greatest" generation is moving off the scene; the massive baby boomer group (made up of many current CEOs and board members) is rapidly sliding into retirement; and a smaller pool of younger prospective leaders (often with different values) are coming up the ranks to take their place. Smooth and successful CEO selection, transition and development are key elements in relation to these changes.

Stewards of a Sacred Trust
CEO Selection, Transition and Development for Boards of Christ-centered Organizations

For more than 30 years ECFA has been committed to helping Christ-centered organizations earn the public's trust by developing and maintaining standards of accountability that convey God-honoring ethical practices. As an accreditation agency dedicated to encouraging Christian ministries to earn the public's trust, ECFA has established standards that encompass financial accountability, fundraising, and board governance. One of the core elements of ECFA's ministry is providing ongoing capacity building for Christ-centered organizations in these three areas.

As the distance between the secular models of leadership and a Christian worldview increases, the need for successful transitions and training from a Christ-centered perspective intensifies. The secular perspectives are plentiful. However, little is available that pulls together professional excellence and spiritual discernment based on a biblical worldview. What is considered "Christian" is often a two-tiered view of leadership in which the Christian faith is simply overlaid on a secular premise. We believe that a Christ-centered ministry's ability to successfully manage the CEO selection, transition and development will strengthen the cause of Christ and significantly improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of many organizations.

If an executive officer is poorly selected, poorly trained and operating ineffectively, the weakness can derail an otherwise powerful force for the Kingdom of God. To meet these challenges, it is essential to increase organizational capacity at Christ-centered ministries by providing their CEOs and board members with the practical skills to lead in tumultuous times.

Because board governance and CEO training are so vital to the future health of Christ-centered organizations, I am delighted for ECFA to offer this book that draws on the rich experience, knowledge and spiritual insight of my friend, David McKenna. Over a period of more than 50 years, he served as president of three Christian institutions of higher education, chair of the board of two Christian universities, was founding chair of Christian College Consortium, board member of a wide range of Christ-centered organizations, and consultant for presidential searches, assessment and board development with a wide range of organizations.

My prayer is that God will use this book mightily as a tool to strengthen Christ-centered organizations in their efforts to fulfill the Great Commission.

Dan Busby