This study investigated the state of leadership mentoring and succession planning in the Charismatic Churches in Bushbuckridge. In order to gain a full understanding of the Charismatic Movement which emerged in Bushbuckridge only four decades ago, it was necessary to trace its origin from the Azusa Street Revival which gave birth to Pentecostalism almost a century ago. The Charismatic Movement emerged as a distinct movement only five decades later following the birth of the Pentecostal Movement. The reviewed literature revealed that the Charismatic Movement is a child of the marriage between the Pentecostal Movement and traditional denominations. The main watermark distinction between the theologies of the two movements is based on the fact that the Pentecostal Movement emphasises speaking in tongues while the Charismatic Movement places emphasis on the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
By virtue of their one-man-founder, Charismatic Churches are likely to experience the same leadership mentoring and succession problems that are common to family businesses. An assessment of leadership mentoring and succession practices in the business world proved that the concept has been researched, practiced, and perfected more in the secular world than in the world of religious and biblical studies. Although this study uncovered some exceptionally successful mentoring relationships in both the New and the Old Testaments, they do not provide details of what those who were involved in the mentoring relationships did for them to be successful. It is in the secular world that mentoring relationships, stages and models have been researched and practiced. It is when mentors and protégés are pared correctly and their relationships managed properly throughout all the mentoring stages that organisations can be assured of smooth leadership transitions. A triangulation of the qualitative and the quantitative methods was used to collect data in this study. On the qualitative side of the research, data was collected by means of interviews and focus group studies. Interviews with the apostolic fathers of the Charismatic Movement in South Africa raised a concern over the lack of leadership mentoring and succession programmes, especially amongst the younger generation of churches. The concern was confirmed in all the focus group studies which were conducted in Bushbuckridge.
The data which was collected from the qualitative side of the study provided a basis for the content of the questionnaire the researcher drew up for the quantitative side of the study. This side of the study contradicted the views of the participants in interviews and focus groups in that it reported that many Charismatic Churches in Bushbuckridge do in fact have leadership mentoring and succession programmes (85% and 72% respectively). The quantitative side of the study further revealed that education levels and gender have a statistically significant effect in leadership mentoring, while location does not.
The researcher suggests that the contradiction in the outcomes of the two research methods deserve a follow-up study. This study presents to Charismatic Church leaders in Bushbuckridge lessons drawn from the leadership mentoring and succession practices of both the biblical and secular worlds. This study would be incomplete without the bringing to the fore of an illustrative text in the 2 Timothy 2:1-3. Generally speaking, adherents in the Charismatic Churches read and interpret the bible as authoritative for faith and life. The participants‘ call for the introduction or/and enhancement of leadership mentoring and succession is therefore harnessed by the biblical message in 2 Timothy 2:1-3. Such model of leadership could serve as an important and significant form of discourse in Africa in the context of leadership.