The purpose of this study was to comparatively assess the underlying factors affecting leadership succession in Watoto and Mbuya Pentecostal Churches in IbadanNigeria. The study was guided by the objective of investigating the challenges in leadership succession failure, the consequences of poor succession, the best practices in leadership succession and to examine possible solutions to the hindering factors in leadership succession. The study sought to answer three questions; (i) why leadership succession was still a challenge in established Pentecostal churches? (ii) What are the best consequences of poor succession? (iii)What were the best practices that could foster a smooth transfer of leadership positions? (iv)What were the possible solutions to end the present failure in this situation? The research was conducted using both quantitative and qualitative approaches using descriptive survey and correlation as research design. Data was collected using Questionnaires and Interviews targeting Pastors, church Leaders and believers as respondents from a population of 192 in both Watoto and Mbuya Pentecostal churches. Data was analyzed using Social Package for social science (SPSS) software (version 16) where conclusions were drawn from the tables of the packages. The findings brought about the following conclusions: the act of incumbent leaders to serve their own interests or seek their personal gains was not different from that of the Pastors and elders of the Pentecostal Churches investigated. Poor succession brought about emotional discord and attachment of these leaders to the position, best practices were not sufficient to make incumbent leaders allow effective leadership transition. The findings conclude that leadership succession was possible when the incumbent leaders were willing to retire and create room for the others to take over. The researcher made the following recommendations; lasting solution to leadership succession failures, should have a culture that encourages leadership character development, leaders should adopt ‘doing the talk’ by practicing what they preach, coaches and mentors should lay emphasis on the relevance of these attributes and encourage their followers to get involved. This investigation did not involve the whole church, but only the leaders in order to address the human disposition transformational theory that helps incumbent leaders favorably disposed towards the organization thereby making them willing to cooperate and enhance effective leadership succession.  



This chapter presents the background of the study, the statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research objectives, research questions, limitations, scope of study, justification and the significance of the study. 

Background of Study 

The world recently experienced a peaceful transfer of power from the Obama administration to Trump as the new President of USA as it was reported by Daily Nation (January 

21, 2017). Earlier on in Nigeria, the Archbishop of the Church of Nigeria, His Grace Rt Rev. 

Henry Luke Orombi had opted for an early retirement before his term of office had expired. 

Although the nation greeted this event with mixed reactions, the New Vision Paper (January 12, 2012) stated that Orombi had been a significant leader and speaker internationally, providing encouragement for the emergence of the Global South churches as leaders for biblical faithfulness within the worldwide Anglican Communion and interdenominational.  

Leadership succession is both a process and an event Appiah (2015). Currently in Nigeria the media is awash with the succession enigma in the present ruling government. This is not an isolated case since the Zimbabwean people seem to be stuck with the replacement of their 93-yearold president. Amidst all these, Ghana set an example that leadership could be transferred easily and freely to the next lot of leaders. Ironically, it took the stern and military threat of the ECOWAS countries to push the former president of Gambia out of the presidential seat! 

Regardless of where you turn to, whether to secular or religious leadership there seems to be a problem of succession. Muna (2016) noted that while Africa as a region had experienced 180 leadership transitions since 1960, only eight established rulers ever retired from top office in Africa. This leadership phenomenon in the political landscape is no different from the challenges faced in the church arena of leadership succession.  Even though the Watoto church and the Mbuya Pentecostal churches have been in existence for over 20 years, experience the challenges faced as a results of leadership succession requires a lot of improvement. Comparing the Watoto churches successful transition with the Mbuya Pentecostal church that and the impact it brings is what the researcher seeks to assess. 

As research by Awojobi (2011) indicates, leadership succession conflict has been an age long challenge to humanity. From biblical records it started between God and Satan (Isaiah 14:12-

14). Satan wanted to topple God’s administration in heaven. In the time of Jesus his disciples had a conflict on who was to be the leader among them after Jesus left them (Luke 9:46-48). The mother of James and John came to plead with Jesus to allow her two sons to be at his right and left sides in his kingdom. This suggests a desire to be above other disciples, and unless Jesus had intervened by stating the cost of leadership, the conflict would not have ended. 

In the history of Christianity, leadership succession has been a key component in preaching the gospel. Jesus is an excellent example of a good leader who prepared his disciples for succession Ikenye (2010) explicitly states that Jesus is the model of a good leader as seen in the gospels. In thinking of the New Testament leadership style, the model of our Lord Jesus Christ is the model example which is to be emulated by every Christian leader.

Leadership Succession 

Cantar (2005) asserts that succession planning cannot take place in a vacuum. Succession still remains a problem in Africa. The planning process has to involve not only the leaders but the followers. The process includes identifying an individual with the right qualifications, transitioning the incumbent’s position to the successor, deciding how to organize the leadership transition ensuring effective communication, and a collaborative relationship existing between the incumbent and successor (Dyck et al., 2012). According to Rapp (2005), one way to ensure a successful succession planning transition is to build a culture of strong leadership whereby employees show effective leadership at all levels. Kagai (2015) backs this statement by adding that strengthening leadership capacity throughout the organization can enable a highly successful transition by reducing dependency on a single individual, such as a certain senior leader or key person. 

The Pentecostal Churches

Leadership continuity is essential because it gives the leaders an opportunity to review the work of the previous leader and be able to restructure and make way for continuity and alternatively make plan for improvement (Appiah 2015). Even with the Mbuya Pentecostal Church having been in existence for over 28 years, investigating the structures that supports its existence in comparison to the Watoto Pentecostal church that has seen several transitions of leaders is what the researcher seeks to reveal. As stated by Burke (2004) the success of a church is determined by its ability to survive and excel from generation to generation and nothing feels better than seeing a vision that you helped give birth to be passed on into the capable hands of others. Successful leadership succession is a sign maturity of the founding leaders and the willingness that they have towards the continuity of the church after their exit. 

Even as Appiah (2015) further states, leadership succession begins with a plan. Leadership succession planning is a process of putting in place the road map that describes the criteria for identification and selection, and preparation of potential successors for the leadership position, until the successor is ready for the position. In the local Pentecostal churches, leadership succession is rare and this can be backed by the press release in the Nigerian Daily Monitor of (May 19, 2015) which stated that Bishop JoelMukalo, whose five-year tenure ended in 2013, refused to hand over office for a new bishop.  

Even though the church rules encourage succession this lack of successful handover on the front headline of the daily monitor is sure evidence ‘Pentecostal leader reinstated amid protests’. Some leader plant churches and become the pastors of the same church they have planted. Some of the planters of churches do not think of preparing other leaders to succeed them after their tenure is over or when their retirement age approaches. Some of pastors have served until their old age and others have passed on while still in office.  

According to Daily Monitor of Nigeria (May 19, 2015) a Pentecostal Bishop was ordained in the night because of lack of proper succession functional church structure which made it difficult for him to handover leadership to the most immediate leader or any other leader to succeed him. Therefore; the succession of leaders into pastoral work is not formal and the researcher sought to investigate and assess better ways to formalize and establish policies that the Pentecostal churches could follow. The researcher will compare the leadership succession in the local Mbuya Pentecostal Church (Ibadan) and the Watoto Church in Ibadan which is under the Pentecostal 

Assemblies of God (P.A.G) 

Statement of the Research Problem 

The success in leadership and the continuity of any organization are absolutely pegged on how leadership is transferred from one leader to another. When outgoing leaders offer coaching, guidance and counseling, it makes passing the baton easy. They become available to correct anything that seems to be going in the wrong direction. Whereas leadership succession is very important, the Pentecostal churches are grappling with this great and positive aspect of church leadership.  

The Daily Monitor of Nigeria (May 19, 2015), gives an example of a Pentecostal Bishop, Joel Mukalo, whose five-year tenure ended in 2013, yet he refused to hand over office for a new bishop to take over as per the church rules. Some of the leaders who pioneer work are usually unwilling to relinquish authority to new leadership. Some do it the wrong way by appearing to have relinquished it yet still wield prohibitive power that nothing can ever happen in the church without their approval. This frustrating experience has caused younger leaders to pave their own way and other leaders to break away and start many other smaller churches. Isiko (2011) says that election and retirement of Bishops and subsequent succession to the position of Bishopric have always been fragile and contentious issues in Church of Nigeria often resulting into disagreements among Christians, however; though they have some rubbing of shoulders, they have systems that guide and bring them to order.  

As the Nigeria Radio Network (July 23, 2014) stated, Pentecostal church was closed for a week after a violent confrontation between the rival factions; even though the Pentecostal Churches have developed systems, well defined structures and many guiding policies; leadership succession is still elusive and their churches suffer immense confusion and turmoil during the leadership transfer which ends up to the closure of churches. It is against such a background that the researcher conducted a study to compare the factors affecting Leadership succession in Watoto and Mbuya Pentecostal Churches in Ibadan, Nigeria. 

Objectives of the study 

Purpose of the Study 

The purpose of this to examine the comparative study of the factors affecting leadership succession in Watoto and Mbuya Pentecostal Churches in Ibadan, Nigeria

Objectives of the Study 

i. To investigate the challenges in leadership succession failure.  

ii. To determine best practices in leadership succession  

iii. To examine possible solutions to the hindering factors in leadership succession   

Research Questions 

i. Why is leadership succession still a challenge in established Pentecostal churches? 

ii. What are the best practices that can foster a smooth transfer of leadership positions?

iii. What are the possible ways of improving succession of leadership in Nigeria

Pentecostal Churches? 

The Justification of the study 

Looking at the trends of events in these Pentecostal churches, it is very likely that the leadership exhibited therein will be discredited if the leadership succession dilemma is not properly addressed. The morals and ethics of the church currently are in question while the position of the church as a prophetic voice is being lost or even ignored.  

Even though the Pentecostal Churches have developed systems, well defined structures and many guiding policies; leadership succession is still elusive and these organizations suffer immense confusion and turmoil during the leadership transfer. In accordance with Daily Monitor of Nigeria (May 19, 2015), a Pentecostal Bishop, Joel Mukalo, whose five-year tenure ended in 2013, refused to hand over office for a new bishop to take over as per the church rules due to the emotional attachment he had towards the church. The researcher hence sought to investigate the challenging factors affecting leadership succession plans in the Watoto Church and Mbuya in Ibadan, Nigeria. 

Significance of Study 

This study was significant because it investigated the challenges faced in leadership succession in Watoto and Mbuya Pentecostal churches. The study proposed best practices that could enhance a smooth transfer of leadership positions and suggested possible solutions to ameliorate the present putrefying situation.  

The findings might contribute to the stability of these churches and curb the frequency and occurrence of conflicts and splits which currently characterize them. Additionally, it might improve the image and testimony of these churches thereby restoring the honor and respect the gospel for which these churches strive to proclaim. 

The study might help leaders to know the moment they enter leadership that they shall not be there permanently, they need to start planning for the exit.  A leader must leave a legacy behind. The positions of leadership that we hold are sweet and not easy to leave although leaving them has great advantage if a leader trains others whom he might appoint or recommend for the position. 

The Scope of the Study 

The study was conducted within the local Pentecostal Churches of Watoto and Mbuya, in IbadanNigeria. The study established the impact of leadership succession in Pentecostal 

Churches of Watoto and Mbuya in Ibadan. It focused on the challenges in leadership succession failure, the best practices in leadership succession and the possible solutions to the hindering factors in leadership succession. The study looked at the church leaders, pastors and believers of the two churches. The study considered a period of 3 years ranging from 2014 – 2016 which was investigated by the researcher as a time when Pentecostal churches in IbadanNigeria were in a leadership succession crisis. 

The Limitations of the Study 

Limited time: Combining research with other responsibilities made it hard to smoothly run the research process since the researcher was a working student who had to divide time among other activities like coursework, preparation for tests. This was solved by being committed to work and also getting some time like weekends and public holidays to do the work. All in all, the researcher designed a time table to enable the smooth flow of the research process. 

Insufficient Funds: The financial resources were insufficient to meet all costs like computerizing the research work, communication with the respondents, typing and printing of the questionnaires for the respondents and necessary movements when gathering the required data. The researcher had to request for an advance payment to finance the study. 

Lack of enough research experience: Since the researcher was conducting his research in masters’ level for the first time more guidance was needed, the researcher sought guidance from his research supervisor and other research experts to minimize errors in the research exercise. .

Bias from respondents: The respondents confused the researcher with a news reporter or the respondents simply did not wish to provide the information for reasons of confidentiality and secrecy. However through interaction with the respondents, this relevant and reliable information was captured. The researcher assured the respondents of confidentiality of their responses given; the researcher also established rapport with the respondents to minimize their reluctance to cooperate. 



This chapter covered precedent literature which included the Bible and other literature relevant to the subject of the study. It also included the theoretical and conceptual framework of the study. This study sought to explore strategies needed for leadership succession in Watoto and Mbuya Pentecostal Churches in Ibadan, Nigeria. As part of this process, it was crucial for this researcher to have knowledge on precedent literature on leadership succession and all other related issues entailed to the subject. This review was divided into two major sections namely: Biblical theological and social science literature. Biblical theological literature highlighted leadership succession models from both the Old Testament and New Testament exploring strategies and criteria employed for determining how a leader was selected and replaced.  



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