After the miraculous working of God, Elijah began to fear for his life.  The powerful queen of Israel put a “contract” out on him, and he ran for his life.  While in exile, the prophet asked God to take his life and end his suffering.  God answers by being present with His man comforting and supporting him.  Eventually, God puts Elijah back to work and commands him to anoint his replacement for future ministry.  We never see the prophet getting upset or feeling unimportant; instead, he gladly finds Elisha and anoints him as prophet to Israel.  Why would he be so confident?  It has to do with his ultimate goal.  Elijah eventually wanted to leave the earth and go to heaven, but he wanted to leave someone prepared and ready to continue the work that he started.  If a pastor is not careful, he sees everything from a control/competition standpoint and holds so tightly to a church or ministry that when he leaves or dies, the church or ministry falls completely apart.  I believe that Elijah sets the perfect example for all church and ministry leaders.  The best way to “pass the baton” is to identify the person who will take your place and then train him and give him an opportunity to become the church’s pastor or the ministry’s leader.  After four or five years, he can step into that role of pastor with no real transition.  Why?  The first leader was more concerned about the church’s best and not his own.  It is a beautiful picture of exactly what Elijah did with Elisha.  

Help me, Lord, to let go of that church or ministry that I want to control and carry myself.  Help me to find that next leader to train and prepare to take my place knowing You still have incredible plans for me in the future.