*In one of the most entertaining exchanges in entertainment history, the comedic duo of Abbott and Costello ask the question, “Who’s on First?” in a radio skit about baseball.

What proceeds is a back-and-forth word-play about the lineup of unusually named players, “Who” is on first base, “What” is on second, and “I-Don’t-Know” is on third. You can imagine the ensuing hilarity as the game is called.

If I were to carry that same interchange from the playing field to the pulpit and ask a question about ascension planning in the church, the punch line might very well be the same.

I travel in many circles around the globe and I am astounded to find that very few church and para-church organizations have a succession plan in place.

What I discover instead is a host of septuagenarians crowding the plate, while the bull pen of forty- and-fifty-somethings anxiously awaits their turn at bat.

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