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EFFECT OF PASTORAL LEADERSHIP ON LOCAL CHURCH GROWTH

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this research work is to examine the EFFECT OF PASTORAL LEADERSHIP ON LOCAL CHURCH GROWTH. It seeks to present pastoral leadership from a biblical perspective which includes meaning, principles, disciplines, ministries, qualifications and portraits of pastoral leadership. This research work shows that the pastor has a major role to play in church growth. He must therefore lead, guard, feed, equip and love. Pastors should lead with servant leadership, keep praying, keep the vision alive, and be a change agent both to the congregation in particular and the entire community in general. The pastor must be a role model; a mirror through which everyone sees the leadership of Christ. A common theme within the church growth literature is the importance of pastoral leadership to church growth. This research work therefore determined that a correlation exists between pastoral leadership style and growth in churches. The work also showed that church growth is not all about number of worshippers alone, it is also determined by other factors or indices.  A survey of members who have been under the pastoral leadership of more than one pastors at different times are interviewed to evaluate the correlation between the pastoral leadership style and the overall growth of the church when different pastors served. The research methods comprise of historical and descriptive approach. For library work, books, journals, internet and materials of biblical exegesis were used. The study ends with the researcher’s recommendation for Christians and for further research work

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

One of the most crucial ingredients that determine the effectiveness of an organization is leadership. Because this is true in business, volunteer and religious organizations, leadership has been widely studied all over the world. In one of the most comprehensive studies of leadership, Bass and Stogdill Handbook of leadership were reviewed in over 1,000 page volume. Despite its massive nature, the work fails to name all the articles on leadership written before 1990.

Within the church of Jesus Christ, pastoral leadership is a vital factor. Many churches flourish or flounder based on the type of pastoral leadership provided. Peter Wagner, one of the leading authors in church growth contends that pastoral leadership is a key to church growth. Wagner’s assertion is supported by frequent commits of lay persons giving credit to pastors when their churches thrive or blaming the pastor when their church is not doing well. Giving the importance of pastoral leadership, one may then ask, what are the ingredient that can enable one to be a pastoral leader?

Pastors must be congregational leaders. Though there are other leaders in the church, but pastors must provide leadership in the congregation. Their leadership involves vision and initiative. They see vision of the ministry, communicate the dreams clearly gain consensus and commitment to common objectives, take initiative by setting the pace in ministry action and multiply their Influence by transforming followers into new leaders. Practically proclaim the gospel to believers and unbelievers by means of preaching and worship as well as evangelism and nurture.

  1. Diligently care for the church members and other persons in the community through pastoral counseling and visitation as well as family ministries and grief support and
  2. Consistently lead the church in the achievement of its missions.

All the work of a pastor is important. Planning and management are linked to preaching, evangelism and pastoral care. The work of shepherding is not done for the benefit of the sheep alone. The Lord has chosen the church as a means of spreading the message of salvation to the entire world. The pastor must be committed to feeding, organizing and leading a well-trained group of God’s people to fulfill His will.

The chief administrator of the local congregation is however the pastor. He is responsible for the over-all actions and results in the work of the church. He needs develops skill in planning, overseeing and evaluating work of the church. He should have the ability and the authority to make decisions and to decide upon the best course of actions. From the social perspective of community of faith, proclaiming usually is practiced one-to-one. Caring is often one-one-one or one-to-a few. Pastoral leadership involves working in a challenging blending of public and private setting. Participative processes are fundamental to effective pastoral leadership. Congregationally, leadership can be used as a lens through which we can examine proclaiming, caring and managing. Preaching for instance provides a prime opportunity for leaders. In this role, pastors can articulate the congregation’s vision, model the congregation’s atmosphere and mood, and demonstrate their trustworthiness and credibility or to illustrate from the angle of caring, leadership is shown concretely in the development of support structures and problem-solving procedure.

Leadership in congregational setting is relational; and interactive in its focus. After all, the leader isn’t the only member of the congregation. There are followers, preferences and the full range of ministry demands and circumstances to consider. Leadership isn’t exercised in isolation. Leaders and followers relate to one another; leaders and situations interact. Without strong pastoral leadership in the local church, the ministries and people will suffer. We must pay attention to pastoral leadership work in local churches. The reasons the importance of pastoral leadership are as follows:

First, the problem of the church is the pastor, because it is he whom God has entrusted to lead the sheep. The pastor is responsible to fulfill that calling. While not everyone is born to lead, leadership skills can be developed, articulated and enhanced. It is the pastor’s responsibility to learn and to be trained. The church has all kinds of problems such as conflicts among people or co-workers, but some of them could be avoided and better handled if the pastoral leadership has the skills to handle them correctly.

Secondly, concept in the managerial world today have made a great impact on many businesses. The church is not a business, nevertheless, it deals with people, programs and projects as much as any other organization. Knowledge and skills of handling people, abilities to envision the future, methods of setting long range goals and ways of communication are just as important in the church as they are in the business world. Integrating useful material from the managerial world into the ministry of the church will be beneficial.

Thirdly, as some churches are growing larger and larger, pastors are tempted to be as successful as their peers. Sometimes they go beyond their means to satisfy their ambition, and the result is failure. Therefore, it is important that pastoral leaders develop their character along with their ministerial skills.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The advancement of the work of the kingdom has a heavy dependence on the leadership, any problems being witnessed in the church of God today are traceable to the challenges in Pastoral leadership. Even in our contemporary times, there have been reported cases on stunted growth and other growth –related challenges in the church of God as a result of challenges in Pastoral leadership.

It became a major problem when the key actor, the pastor, who is one of the major solution to the overall growth of the local church, is also waiting for solution to come from someone else; not knowing that every aspect of the church majorly is molded after the type of pastoral leadership that is on ground. It is from this problem that this research work was conducted as a modest contribution to the postulations on the issue of pastoral leadership especially as it attracts the growth of the local church.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this research is to better understand pastoral leadership. This will contribute to church growth, and make important contribution to pastoral leadership for local church leaders. Since anything related to the ministry must be based on the Scripture, a careful examination of biblical data in regards to pastoral leadership will be researched so that a clear understanding of what it means to be a leader in a biblical perspective can be delineated. How does the bible define pastoral leadership? What are the function of a pastoral leader? Who were the model leaders in the bible? The bible is not a manual for biblical leadership, but it does provide information on this important subject. God works through one man at a time. He created Adam; He chose Noah in a perverse generation; He called Abraham to be the father of the Jews; He selected Moses to lead the chosen people to come out of Egypt; He appointed Joshua to lead Israel to cross the Jordan River. The list goes on and on. In the New Testament, God still used men for His work. John the Baptist, Peter, and many other apostles and on top of all, Jesus the Son of God. Through gathering biblical materials, a biblical understanding can be formulated. A second purpose is to investigate what pastors need in the ministry today. As the world changes rapidly, the church must also change. This is true in the areas of leadership and management.

1.4       Research Methodology

A survey of members from foursquare  gospel   church, were interviewed. These members had been under the leadership of a pastors at different times before to evaluate the correlation between the pastoral leadership style and the overall growth of the church. The research work also comprises of library and field work. For library work, books, journals, internet and materials of biblical exegesis were used. The study ends with the researcher’s recommendation for Christian and further research works.

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Hypothesis 1; there is no significant difference in the opinions of male and female in respect of leadership styles among the Foursqaure Gospel Church,Morogbo in Lagos State.

Hypothesis 2: There is no significant difference between the opinions of married and single members of Foursqaure Gospel Church,Morogbo as regards the effects of leadership styles and the growth of the church in Lagos State

1.6    Delimitation of the Study

This study focused on Foursquare Gospel church , Morogbo, Lagos State, Nigeria with a worship attendance of between 100-350 worshippers. The church had existed for between 13 to 33 years and those interviewed had been under pastoral leadership of a minimum of two pastors.

1.7       Definition of Terms

Growth

In the context of this research, growth is in all ramification of Christian experience. It can be numerical, spiritual, in love, in giving, in living a holy life and every facet of Christian ways of living as expected by God. Growth can occur as a stage of maturation or a process towards fullness of fulfillment.

Leadership

The act of being at the fore-front as an object of example; showing others the way to follow. In the context of this research work, leadership refers to the act of modeling the pattern and the principle of the kingdom for others to be equipped and to follow in order to create an avenue for kingdom expansion.

Local Church

The church is the congregation of the saints; a church is the gathering of the called out ones. An assembly of the children of God for the purpose of worshipping God. A local church however is the congregation of the assembly of the saints in a particular local area.

Pastor/Pastoral

A pastor is an individual who provides spiritual leadership for a church. A pastor is a shepherd or a caretaker of God’s flock. He is a shepherd of God’s flock that is under his care, serving as overseers – not because he must, but because he is willing as God wants him to be, not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to him, but being examples to the flock.

Attached Files

EFFECT OF PASTORAL LEADERSHIP ON LOCAL CHURCH GROWTH.docx
IMPACT OF POS BANKING ON CHURCHES ( A CASE STUDY OF HOUSE ON THE ROCK CHURCH, UYO)
THE EXTENT OF USE OF AUDIO–VISUAL MATERIALS IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BUILDING TECHNOLOGY IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ENUGU EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

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