Christian leadership training for pastors, missionaries, and lay leaders is mostly patterned after academic, business, military, and government models. This leads to a pragmatic, secular, and American approach to building churches and advancing the Kingdom of God. Secular models of leadership training can inform and supplement but never usurp scriptural principles and values. The best Christian leadership training pattern is the one Jesus created to train the twelve Apostles. This model is found predominately in the Gospels. The template this writer will follow is based on A. B. Bruce’s 19th-century seminal work, The Training of the Twelve. This training model is built on Christ’s instruction to the Twelve in four stages: the calling of the spiritual leader, the character of a spiritual leader, the competence of a spiritual leader, and the commission of a spiritual leader.
Brown, Randyl David (2011).
Revitalization of the Christian leader: A model for building learning environments conducive to personal change. D.Min., Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.
The busyness of a vibrant church gives little time for Christian leaders to focus on self-improvement. While thriving in their pastoral duties, ministry leaders can easily ignore the deficient areas of their lives. These
Christian leaders need an opportunity to reflect on life and ministry, clarifying hopes and dreams, as well as personal issues that hold them back. This project sought to create an environment where the lead pastor and pastoral staff at Evangel Temple Christian Center in Springfield, Missouri, could reflect on life and ministry, establish a holistic approach to personal change, and create a specific plan for change. The goal was to put into the hands of these leaders a value-based system for organizing the details they will use to establish a personal plan for change. Using the personage and the writings of Moses, as well as current personal change literature, the participants were shown the flaws of a single-focused system (a central focus on the welfare of the church), and encouraged to consider the value of a multi-focused system based on eight life values (spirituality, health and wellness, relationships, personal growth, activities and interests, service to others, work, and possessions). The writings of Moses on the Sabbath and the Shema encouraged the participant to practice self-care as a biblical precedent. Through a seminar format, the participants entered a reflective environment, began self-discovery, and learned the skills that make personal change possible (gaining perspective holistically, taking ownership of the personal change process, increasing commitment, and finding inspiration). This project successfully achieved its purpose in providing a learning environment for Christian leaders seeking personal change.
Chu, Raymond Iao-Man (2011). Conflict management styles of pastors and organizational servant leadership: A descriptive study. Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to examine the relationship between the conflict management styles among senior pastors and the organizational servant leadership tendencies in their churches. This study should help senior pastors to understand how their conflict management styles and servant leadership behaviors may relate to the organizational servant leadership tendencies in their churches so that they may improve the congregational health and effectiveness of their churches. This research presented theological foundations of servant leadership by extracting biblical principles from two Old Testament and six New Testament passages: 1 Samuel 15:22, Micah 6:8, Matthew 5:1-12, 20:20-28, Mark 9:33-37, John 12:20-26, 13:1-35, and Philippians 2:1-11. It was followed by a detailed discussion on the theoretical foundation of servant leadership and the Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) instrument (Laub, 1999) for measuring organizational servant leadership tendency. A theological foundation of conflict management and a discussion on the Rahim Organizational Conflict Instrument II (ROCI-II) (Rahim, 2001) for measuring the level of the five interpersonal conflict management styles (integrating, obliging, dominating, avoiding, and compromising) were also provided. The findings implied that as pastors embrace the integrating style and refrain from the avoiding style when handling interpersonal conflict in pastoral ministry, they model Jesus’ character directly to the parties involved and indirectly to their congregations. This is discipleship at its core, and it has a positive influence on the servant orientation of their congregations.
England, Tamara D. (2011). The evolving self: A model of transformative leadership training utilizing the concept of mentoring for the ministry context. D.Min., United Theological Seminary.
The focus of this research project was to design and implement an intergenerational mentoring program to train potential leaders for future church leadership. The researcher held a series of training sessions designed to prepare the participants for a three-month mentoring relationship in which elder leaders who had been successful as leaders would mentor potential leaders to ensure their future success. It was determined that when this occurred, the mentored leaders were better prepared and more confident to serve in a role of leadership, they became more involved in the life of the church, and they desired to mentor other leaders.
Jones, Bruce A. (2011). Reclaiming the biblical role of elders: Equipping the saints to lead the local congregation. D.Min., University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.
This project focused on developing a biblically based elder-training curriculum for First Presbyterian Church in Janesville, Wisconsin. Four biblical themes of leadership informed both a retreat for elders and a preaching series for the congregation. The session spent an overnight retreat incorporating wor- ship, instruction, and fellowship to strengthen their understanding of Christian leadership. Following the weekend retreat, the pastor preached on the same themes for the next four weeks. The effect of the training event and preaching series were measured through two inventories conducted before the elder retreat and then after the preaching series to measure the changes in perception of the participants. In addition, an evaluation of the retreat explored the experience of the training. The biblical role of eldership explored four themes: Servant Leadership, Spiritual Leadership, Shepherd Leadership, and Shared Leadership. These themes, informed by Scripture and the Reformed tradition, provided the basis for the retreat and preaching series. The content of the curriculum included both theological and practical application of these themes.
This project identified the importance of well-planned leadership development and the importance of a concentrated time for training. The project reclaimed the importance of elder training for the congregation.
Mays, Ronald Brent (2011).
Comparing turnaround leadership in a rural church and in schools.
Ph.D., University of Louisville.
This qualitative study sought to illuminate successful practices of a turnaround leader in a rural church that are applicable cross-contextually, so as to inform the leadership efforts of various organizations seeking to reproduce organizational renewal on a wide-scale basis. Utilizing the principles of case study research, the researcher conducted participant observations, mined documents, and interviewed the pastor, three part- time staff members, and 24 members of a rural congregation in a south- central Kentucky congregation that had grown 289% in active membership over the last 14 years. Proceeding with the assumption that leaders can, by the practice of specific, intentional behaviors, positively impact the ability of a congregation to reverse its path and experience turnaround, and seeking to illuminate those behaviors, this study was guided by the following research questions: (a) In a rural church that has experienced revitalization (“organizational turn- around”), how do the pastor and congregants perceive the experience? (b) How do they perceive the characteristics and behaviors of the pastor as “catalysts” in this transformation? (c) What leadership principles of successful turnaround church efforts can be extracted from their experiences that are comparable to those reported in the literature on school revitalization efforts? The data from the study revealed that members did not recall specific events as much as they did their pastor who helped bring peace and a culture that was conducive to revitalization. Responses to the question of precipitants to growth essentially described their pastor’s personality and five intentional behaviors.
This study revealed consistent themes that existed in the theoretical framework on schools provided by Kouzes and Posner (1987) as well as in the church and school turnaround lore.
These findings propagate the notion that turnaround leaders often bear striking resemblances to one another, exhibiting many of the same personal character traits and intentional behaviors. These findings also suggest that turnaround leadership is not so much a product of individual, charismatic leadership as it is the product of consistent, sustained attention to sound leadership behaviors.
Pickett, Dwayne K. (2011). The effect of pastoral and staff leadership training on the growth of the Southern African-American church. Ph.D., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of pastoral and staff leadership development on the Southern African-American church in the following areas: (1) church growth—worship attendance, Bible study attendance, and church membership census; (2) community development—ministries that reach into the community and the level of participation in such ministries; and (3) economic growth—income from tithes and offerings, special fundraising, and intra-church nonprofit organizations. The research was done using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Thirty-five leaders from seven African-American churches participated in the study by providing information regarding their educational and professional background and by completing MLQ surveys on themselves and their peers in order to identify leadership characteristics.
Also, each of the seven churches provided data on its growth. Analysis of the data obtained suggests that a connection exists between training and development, church growth, community development, and economic growth. Suggestions given included ways to improve current methods of development or to create new methods. The researcher also recommended ways to enhance this study.
Puls, Timothy R. (2011). Authentic leadership and its relationship to ministerial effectiveness. Ed.D., Indiana Wesleyan University.
Authentic leadership theory has generated much debate in light of the corporate world’s renewed prerequisite for genuineness (Clapp-Smith, Vogelgesang, & Avey, 2009; George, 2003). The intrapersonal dimension of authentic leadership unveils how a person’s self-awareness, worldview and balanced processing shape one’s moral reasoning. The interpersonal dimension stresses how psychological capital (confidence, hope, optimism and resiliency) and emotional intelligence are outwardly exhibited as well as the ability to exchange trust and transparency with followers. This study examined the authentic leadership of clergy and discovered a positive correlation with ministerial effectiveness. A survey of 58 experienced Lutheran pastors of the Indiana District of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod and 164 of their lay leaders was conducted. Each self-rating pastor and other rating lay leader completed the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ) by Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, and Peterson (2008) and the Ministerial Effectiveness Inventory (MEI) developed by Majovski (1982). A moderately significant relationship was found between the ALQ and MEI scores.
Rumley, David D. (2011).
Perceptions of the senior pastors’ transformational leadership style and its relationship to the eight markers of Natural Church Development. Ed.D., Indiana Wesleyan University.
Noting the dearth of quantitative research on the impact of leadership within the church arena, this study examines the relationship between the leadership style of the pastor and the health of the church. The study sought a statistically relevant linear correlation between the leadership style of the senior pastor, as defined by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, and the effectiveness of the church, as defined by Natural Church Development. The Natural Church Development scores were averaged for fifteen churches that participated in the research. Each senior pastor participated in the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, giving each a rating on transactional, transformational, and laissez-faire leadership traits. Regression analysis was used to determine correlation between the variables. These two variables (NCD average score and MLQ averages for transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire) were examined with linear regression testing. The result was a statistically strong linear relationship with transformational (Adjusted R2 = .24) and transactional leadership (Adjusted R2 = .25), but no statistically significant correlation with laissez-faire. Thus the study finds that the leadership of the senior pastor does relate to the effectiveness of the church as defined by the eight markers of Natural Church Development.
Swalm, James E., Jr. (2010). The development of shepherd leadership theory and the validation of the Shepherd Leadership Inventory (SLI). Ph.D., Regent University.
Because shepherding is one of the oldest occupations of humanity, the metaphor of the shepherd as leader dates back thousands of years and is a universal image. The shepherd- leader metaphor, then, is an ideal vehicle through which to study leadership. The purpose of this study was to (a) develop the theory of shepherd leadership by operationalizing shepherd leadership into a behavioral construct and (b) create a validated inventory through which to further the study of shepherd leadership and the practical application of shepherd-leadership principles to the practice of leadership. The initial development of shepherd-leadership theory began with a significant literature review of the shepherd-leader metaphor contained in the Hebrew Scriptures, including the Old and New Testaments. This process continued with a literature review of shepherd leadership in the writings of modern authors both scholarly and popular. The literature review resulted in a theory of shepherd leadership which suggests that shepherd leaders are leaders who lead to insure the well- being of their followers through the behaviors of guiding, providing, and protecting. This creates the perception that a shepherd leader is one who performs certain behavioral tasks associated with shepherd leadership. However, this study revealed that shepherd leadership is primarily about being, not doing. Shepherd leaders perform certain behavioral tasks because they are shepherd leaders; they are not shepherd leaders because they perform these behavioral tasks. Therefore, shepherd leadership primarily is about who a leader is, not what a leader does. The Shepherd Leadership Inventory (SLI) was developed, incorporating 26 items to assess the three primary shepherd leader behaviors of guiding, providing, and protecting. The SLI was analyzed through the use of principal component factor analysis and determined to be both valid and reliable.
Truman, Althea W. (2010). The lived experience of leadership for female pastors in religious organizations. Ph.D., Capella University.
The historical pages of women’s experiences have been inscriptively smeared with structural impediments to self-actualization. Institutionalized policies and practices become stained- glass ceilings which are yet to be completely smashed in both secular and religious organizations. The clergy has been known to openly reject women, and whereas a societal voice invites them to participate in organizational functions and become leaders, an invisible patriarchal force combined with a formidable religious controversial force wrestles their leadership.
This study explored the lived experience of leadership for female pastors in religious organizations. Its purpose is to provide a deeper and fuller understanding of that phenomenon. A qualitative methodological approach based on Moustakas’ (1994) transcendental phenomenology guided the study.
Nine Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) pastors, between the ages of 25 and 59 and holding leadership positions for 6 to 20 years, participated in the study. Data collection involved direct observation and individual interviews comprising openended guiding questions. The results suggest a shared experience marked by themes of Pastoral Significance, Call to Leadership, Gender, Youth Connection, Challenges and Issues, Sexism and Racism, Awareness and Acceptance, Cognitive Dissonance, and Leadership Style.
Struggle and sacrifice are distinct constituents of the results. There is noted struggle with a “Divine Call” that is followed by personal sacrifice. Response to the Call precipitates movement from struggle and sacrifice to peace and joy, and to contentment and self-actualization in the face of denominational rejection, cognitive dissonance, and collective social distance that become structured impediments to leadership emergence and effectiveness. These structural impediments bear implications for leadership in the SDA denominational hierarchy as well as for female pastoral leadership.
Recommendations for future research include a direct extension to the current study for a focus on the responses of single and married women to female pastoral leadership.
Wilson, Kent R. (2010). Steward leadership: Characteristics of the steward leader in Christian nonprofit organizations. Ph.D., University of Aberdeen.
A recent and minimally researched model of leadership centered in the role of the steward offers potential for a focused and expedient model for leadership of Christian nonprofit organizations. The purpose of this research is to add knowledge to nonprofit leadership by defining the primary characteristics of leadership that is focused around the role of the steward. It secondarily describes the extent of awareness and implementation of steward leader characteristics among leaders of Christian nonprofit organizations. This study researches the characteristics of the steward leader through two major phases.
The first phase of research involves the exegetical study of the history and characteristics of the historical steward as revealed in the ancient documents of the classical Greco- Roman and biblical steward. This study results in the development of a preliminary typology of historic steward leader characteristics. Phase Two of the research refines the characteristics of the steward leader by conducting field research using surveys and in-depth interviews with contemporary leaders of Christian nonprofit organizations. The preliminary char- acteristics of the steward leader derived in Phase One were presented to contemporary Christian nonprofit leaders through a quantitative survey to confirm a typology of contemporary steward leader characteristics and to prequalify participants for in-depth interviews. The survey also functioned to assess the extent to which leaders formulated their leadership role through such characteristics. Ten of the survey participants who self-identified their personal leadership style as steward leadership were chosen to participate in in- depth qualitative interviews. The interviews engaged the leaders more deeply in the subject, sought to elicit their understanding, perceptions, and attitudes about steward leadership, and further refined a typology of steward leader characteristics. The research confirms that a primary typology of distinctive leadership characteristics exists among senior leaders of Christian nonprofit organizations who visualize and demonstrate their role as stewards.
Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.
THE HOLY BIBLE,
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission.
All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.
All rights reserved.