The Lead Pastor Succession Plan

For 58 years Pantano has thrived because of the quality and depth of its leadership. We have a great team of Elders that includes our Lead Pastor. Our staff and volunteer leaders are empowered and equipped to lead well. We have a staff and leadership structure that has proven over the last six decades that we can…

A message from Glen Elliott

Why a Succession Now? | UPDATED July 28, 2021

The Lead Pastor Succession Plan

Current Update

Slingshot has sorted through many candidate profiles. Since we started, we’ve received 12 candidates from the search firm. All 12 have been dismissed after various levels of interviews.

The candidates were dismissed either because there was a lack of experience and/or formal ministry and Bible education, their teaching style, or concerns about being a good fit at Pantano. In addition, there are two main reasons why some potentially qualified candidates might not want to consider our church: 1) location (the hot, dry desert or far from extended family) and 2) concerns about following a long-tenured pastor who’s been at Pantano as long as Glen has (wondering if the church will support the “next guy” as you’ve supported Glen).

The Elders met with Slingshot to refine the kind of Lead Pastor we are looking for to get a more focused set of candidates. We want to look at racially diverse options, and we want candidates with at least seven years of experience in an executive-level leadership position in a large church.

If you have any questions, there’s a place at the end of this page to send your questions to Glen Elliott.


For 58 years Pantano has thrived because of the quality and depth of its leadership. We have a great team of Elders that includes our Lead Pastor. Our staff and volunteer leaders are empowered and equipped to lead well. We have a staff and leadership structure that has proven over the last six decades that we can weather the storms that have come on us such as the pandemic we are facing today. 

Someone once said that every leader serves as an interim.

Someone once said that every leader serves as an interim. Moses prepared Joshua to succeed him and take the promised land. Jesus focused on preparing the Apostles to establish the church. Succession is a normal aspect of any healthy organization. Glen Elliott, our current Lead Pastor, began preparing for his succession with the Elders four years ago. Knowing the time would come for our church to find her next lead pastor, he helped lead the Elders through a preparation process. This process was completed and put on the shelf until Glen and the Elders agreed to put the plan into motion.

Glen is 65 and ready to begin the search process. This was his choice and he initiated it. No one asked him to step down from his current role. He wants to make this change when he’s at the top of his game, not when he or the church is in decline. This is the best time to make this transition. Glen is completely confident this is what’s best for our church and for him. 

Glen and the Elders believe that for our church to continue to be healthy and to reach the emerging generations and to remain alive, vital, and relevant we need to have a younger leader. We are looking for one who will build on the success of our past and move us into the future as our Lead Pastor. 

Pantano has been a healthy church with significant influence in our community and world.

Glen wants everyone to understand this: He’s not intending to leave Tucson or Pantano. He is not retiring! He’s not tired, burnt out, or done in ministry. But with clarity and guidance from the Lord, he is entering a season of transition which we believe is God-ordained. Pantano has been a healthy church with significant influence in our community and world. Glen, the Elders, and staff believe that Pantano’s best days are still ahead, building on a healthy present and past! This is the right time to make this transition.

Key Aspects About Our Succession Plan:

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Please continue to love our church as you have. Continue to serve as you have served in the past. Continue to give as you have given. Continue to pray for our church, Elders, and staff.

Please pray that God will bring the best next leader to Pantano. He’s been faithful in the past in bringing the very leaders that we needed. Pray for the Elders and the search team as they interview candidates. 

Common Questions

We are looking for a younger man who is qualified to be an Elder at Pantano and has the character, experience, and skills to lead a large multi-site church. We are looking for someone who loves our basic vision, mission, and values and holds our biblical beliefs. We also want someone who is bold and equipped to bring needed and healthy changes to make Pantano even more effective in reaching people not connected to God or a church, help them grow to be like Jesus, transform our community, and advance the work of the Kingdom. We are not looking for someone to take us in a completely different direction, but we do want our new leader to have the freedom to be innovative and bring fresh ideas.

Ask Glen a question related to the succession plan

Ask a question related to the succession plan using the form below or by sending an email to stormtrooper@pantano.church.

© 2021 Pantano Christian Church
All Rights Reserved.

© 2021 Pantano Christian Church | All Rights Reserved.

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