The purpose of this study was to comparatively assess the underlying factors affecting leadership succession in Watoto and Mbuya Pentecostal Churches in Ibadan Nigeria. 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.