Why elect a president early?

Our new U.S. Foursquare president will be elected during this year’s convention, but they won’t formally take office until Sept. 1, 2020. Why would we begin the process more than a year early?

Glenn Burris Jr.
Glenn Burris Jr.

As a nation, we elect a president in November, and the person takes office just two months later. This is generally thought of as a transfer of power and position, not of a mantle of anointing or spiritual calling. This can potentially create an enormous uproar and chaos. We’ve all heard stories of outgoing presidential staffs making it incredibly difficult for the incoming ones.

When we proposed a bylaw change in 2017 to allow a president to be elected a year early, the change was met with resounding positivity from the convention voting body. Why? Because it is our deep belief that the success of the incoming Foursquare president will be a success for all of us.

Throughout Scripture, we see the benefit of leaders who mentored or coached the next leader: think David and Solomon, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy. If the Lord tarries, we will all transition out of our current assignments. So, it’s important that we are as responsible as possible to help the next leader lead well.

Here are some advantages gained in holding elections one year early.

Training

It doesn’t matter whether the person is inside of the Foursquare corporate structure or outside. They will have a long running lane to learn this role, even if they’ve had no experience with Foursquare corporate business or responsibility. This person will be able to observe, listen and learn before they have the ultimate responsibility to lead and make critical decisions.

I’m very excited about sharing the things I’ve learned, affirming the new leader in their role and anticipating all that God has in store as we—with intentionality—lead through this process.

They will be able to learn key leadership groups with whom they will partner and/or help lead, such as vice presidents, district supervisors and national leaders, to name just a few. They will experience the cadence of planning Foursquare Connection and other events. They will get to know the “why” behind past vision focus and decisions.

Transition

We allow the incoming president to gracefully transition out of their current assignment. They can focus on helping their current ministry role toward its successful future.

Their family will also begin to adjust to this new assignment, the weight of responsibility, and start to discover the unique ways they will be able to serve the Lord in this new season for their family.

Planning

I will maintain my responsibility and authority of president until the new term begins in 2020. However, we want the incoming leader to begin to weigh in on decisions and planning that will affect our movement during their term.

I’m very excited about sharing the things I’ve learned, affirming the new leader in their role and anticipating all that God has in store as we—with intentionality—lead through this process. Nothing would be more fulfilling to me personally and to our movement than a successful transition to the future God has spoken over The Foursquare Church.

is president of The Foursquare Church.
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