Leadership, Religious

Intergenerational women's ministry : encouraging and building each other up

Lisa F. Turner
The purpose of this study was to explore how church directors of women’s ministry (DWM) create intergenerational programs for women. If DWM are equipped to plan intergenerational programs, they will be able to contribute in greater ways to the church’s overall mission.
The study employed a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with six directors of women’s ministry who lead an intergenerational women’s ministry. Four research questions guided this study: What planning process do DWM use to create intergenerational programs for women? What are the outcomes for which DWM create intergenerational programs for women? What challenges do DWM face in creating intergenerational programs for women? What leadership strategies do DWM employ to navigate the challenges of creating intergenerational programs for women?
The literature review focused on three areas related to the Biblical framework of relationships, intergenerational worldview differences, and leadership agility. The literature, the research questions, and the data are inseparable throughout the study. They are woven together in this exploration of creating intergenerational programs where women of all ages can build meaningful relationships and grow spiritually.
The study found that it is extremely important to have an intergenerational leadership team in order to create an intergenerational ministry. A surprising finding was the criteria some DWM use to measure success. Rather than utilizing attendance as the measure, one used how many women were involved in making the event happen. The study also found three major challenges that DWM must overcome when creating an intergenerational ministry: resistance to change, technology, and competition with other women’s ministries. Another finding was that leadership agility is a necessity for DWM because in today’s world change is inevitable and they must be ready to adapt to the unexpected. The study concluded with practical suggestions and recommendations.

Getting your feet wet without drowning : transformational change in adolescents from domestic short-term missions

Andrew Stern
The purpose of this study was to examine how church leaders who participated in a domestic short term mission (STM) during high school engage local community needs years later. While STM is a prevalent and costly event in church youth ministry, little study has been done to measure the impact of adolescent STM on future church leaders.
This research utilized a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with seven church leaders. As adolescents, they participated in a domestic STM. The interview analysis concluded that participants’ domestic high school STM had significant immediate and long-lasting impact in their vocational calling, leadership development, work in their community, and biases around race and culture.
The literature review reveals that STM has a biblical basis. STM is evidenced in wall-building in Nehemiah 3. The impact of wall-building in Nehemiah 3 is transformational for both individuals and the community in Nehemiah 5.
Contemporary research concludes that STM is a cornerstone of church youth ministry. This study showed the importance of adolescent STM in revealing and affirming ministry calling and leadership gifting. This research affirmed that STM facilitates transformational learning when it is coupled with service learning practices. This transformational learning broke down bias around race and culture. Neurobiological research affirms that adolescent brain development supports this transformational, perspective-changing learning during STM. Global learning objectives aid STM planning and evaluation. Church leaders advocate for STM because they value its role in beginning the process of breaking down bias.
Coinciding with recent STM research, this study affirms that domestic STM is better suited to adolescents when compared to international STM. Domestic STM provides sufficient but not overwhelming challenge to foster transformational learning for adolescents. As one participant said, adolescent domestic STM fosters “getting your feet wet without drowning.”

Anglican elders? : shared pastoral leadership in Anglican churches

Christopher David Edward Moll
Because the Church of England is historically clerical, the incumbent pastor formally shares the pastoral burden or cure of souls with the Bishop. Evangelical Anglicans are impelled by both Scripture and mission to consider the New Testament pattern of plural local leaders or elders. This research explored the experience of Anglican ministers and church planters who established locally-shared shared pastoral leadership through a Ministry Leadership Team (MLT).
The purpose of the research was to explore the benefits of shared leadership for making and maturing disciples. In surveying the literature advocating the benefits and biblical precedents of shared leadership, it was noted that in contrast to other evangelicals, Anglicans apply the biblical data using the Normative Principle derived from the work of Richard Hooker. Four questions guided the research: (1) How does the local church’s shepherding ministry strengthen the work of making disciples? (2) What are the benefits of a ministry leadership team in the work of making disciples? (3) What practices have promoted collaborative working between members of the ministry leadership team, with particular regard to the work of making disciples Church? (4) How is the pastors’ Anglican self-identity manifest in the practice of shared local ministry leadership?
Nine UK pastors were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire with the data analyzed using the constant comparative method. Common and clear benefits are articulated by the respondents. The lay offices of churchwarden and PCC were also re- evaluated with respect to the responsibilities outlined in the New Testament for church
officers. The respondents exhibited a clear and confessional Anglican identity. Possible models for accommodating a MLT within the existing parochial structures are explored. Finally it was noted that in these theologically complementarian churches, the role and place of female pastoral leaders was not fully resolved.

Estrategia de crecimiento y su efecto en el crecimiento integral de la Iglesia de Dios de la Profecía en San Marcos

Miguel Ángel García Sarceño
Given the low growth that the Church of God of the Prophecy of San Marcos has experienced for more than ten years, we pose the following problem: Is there a relationship between the growth strategy and the low overall growth in the membership of the Church of God of the Prophecy of San Marcos?

To start the investigation, we set a general objective and three specific objectives:

General objectives: Determine the relationship between the growth strategy and the low integral growth in the membership of the Church of God of Prophecy in San Marcos.

Specific objectives: 1. Determine the relationship between the missional strategy and low integral growth in the membership of the Church of God of Prophecy in San Marcos. 2. Determine the relationship between the organizational, structural strategy and the low integral growth in the membership of the Church of God of Prophecy in San Marcos. 3. Determine the relationship between the strategic role of leadership and low overall growth in the membership of the Church of God of Prophecy in San Marcos.

Gospel Hospitality: A Foundational Pillar for Unifying Clergy and Laity as a Collaborative Community

Pamela Rivera
The ongoing categorizing of African Methodist Episcopal churches by membership size and budget has promoted an unconscious practice of succession leadership. This injurious practice ends up impeding the participation of lower-tier churches and hinders the building of authentic Christ-like relationships. This project intends to introduce gospel hospitality as a spiritual value that invites all clergy and lay leaders to the table of relationships as equal advocates. The researcher used constructive narrative theology to collect and interpret the data that was generated through the project. The data concluded, ‘Gospel Hospitality is a Foundational Pillar for Unifying Clergy and Laity as A Collaborative Community.’


Dawn Spies D.Min.
The time between pastors can be a season of renewed focus on God’s actions in the life of a congregation. Walking through this interim time can also be colored by stress, grief, and frustration. Intentional interim ministry (IIM) provides a congregation with a trained and experienced guide to help a congregation discern God’s leading and prepare well for their next pastor. Communicating the need for and benefits of IIM to Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) associated congregations provides targeted options for congregations addressing an upcoming pastoral vacancy.

LCMC’s congregational polity and mutual accountability calls association staff and pastors to provide resources, support, and best practices for congregations entering a time of pastoral transition. An introductory presentation and facilitator training were created, taught, and evaluated with the goal of equipped intentional interim pastors to facilitate the presentation for LCMC as requested.

The facilitator training and an example of the introductory presentation were evaluated using two questionnaires. To further refine these tools, LCMC leaders with experience working with congregations in pastoral transition were invited to participate in a semi-structured interviewed. The initial training, evaluations, and interviews identified strengths in the introductory presentation where common questions were addressed, clarifying the need for and benefits of IIM, and reminding congregations that transition is a natural part of life in the church. Unaddressed questions were also identified. While the facilitator training was useful, the erroneous assumption that a brief training session for facilitators would be sufficient preparation to meet any congregations, including conflicted and anxious congregations, was identified. Overall, training pastors to facilitation an introductory presentation was successful, and a refined version of these tools could be utilized within LCMC to communicate the need for and benefits of IIM to congregations entering a time of pastoral transition.

A manual for churches : towards congregational maturity

Michael Hambley
This manual is designed to assist the local church in developing a missional conversation. Recognizing that conversation shapes and reflects the cultural context, this manual is presented with the objective of locating the congregation's conversation in the narrative of Scripture. As that narrative begins to shape the conversation of the local church, a new culture is formed within the church and a new engagement with the wider culture is made possible in which the church carries out its vocation as the people of God. Paul's epistles served as the primary basis of research in discerning the pattern of a congregational narrative in the story of Christ's body.

This manual, then, is about an adventure in conversation. Congregations, as bodies called upon to express the story of Christ's body in their shared lives, have both an opportunity and an obligation to demonstrate the particular shape of community that God has crafted for missional witness in North America. To that end, this manual presents conversation as an instrument of transformation. The images, symbols, metaphors, and parables at play in the conversation of the local congregation can be formidable when embodied in their practice of being church.

Pastoral leadership in dysfunctional congregations : a family systems approach toward wholeness

John M Hirsch
Many churches in America today are experiencing extreme levels of stress and conflict. One survey concluded that at any given time more than 30,000 Protestant churches in the United States are in serious conflict. This equates to about one church in twelve in serious conflict. At the same time, there is a growing body of knowledge in the field of family systems theory that can assist a person's managing of his/her life in a way that can influence these congregations toward a higher level of functioning. The purpose of this project was to discern the potential benefit to parish pastors involved in a limited experiential process using family systems theory as the basis for teaching and interpreting their family of origin issues for personal growth.

The Preface to the paper provides an example of a highly anxious and low functioning church. It is a true story not unlike those of many churches in America today. It provides a point of reference for the first chapter which introduces a family systems view or theory as a model for interpreting the behavior of congregations and their members.

Since Bowen's theory is based on an evolutionary biological model of living organisms and since the church from the beginning has been a living entity, the theory has been used to interpret and explain life within churches and synagogues.

The third chapter describes a project in which clergy were asked to participate in a limited number of small group sessions over a 4-6 month period. The sessions involved some interactive teaching about natural family systems theory and, after having done some family of origin exploration, each participant presented a genogram of his family to the group for processing, utilizing natural family systems concepts.

Ritual, transformation and developmental nurture in the church

Michael L Fry
There is a problem in contemporary American culture which introduces us to the process of ritual development in most societies at different points in time. In American history, each cultural group that immigrated to America relinquished some of its cultural differentia in order to become assimilated into the emerging society. In recent generations, there have not been new waves of immigration into America. The larger cultural group has not been able to continue to identify itself in contrast to the incoming groups. As such, it is not just one subgroup of American society facing identity crisis; it is all of American society.

The problem is compounded in that religion in America has become a conservative affair. Religion becomes in authentic when it is not popular and has lost its role as the great equalizer. One of the things religion does for a society is to preserve the rituals of initiation, preservation, and stability for individuals and culture. Any social or psychological crisis may be turned to positive creative use through ritual. These rituals allow for the translation of identity crises into terms of death and rebirth. These rituals empower the enduring of the agony of the crises.
And, the endurance itself becomes the basis of the social and moral structure of society.

Transformational leadership in the church

Peter Borgdorff
This project is designed to explore and develop a perspective on transformational leadership in the church. An interest in this subject emerged as a result of the author's professional development in industrial, educational, and ministerial settings.

Chapter 1 explores selected biblical passages from both the Old and New Testament and selected theological themes which relate to the subject of transformational leadership in the church. Saint Paul's writings are the primary material used for the motivation and purpose of leadership.

Chapter 2 is a report on selected literature dealing with transformational leadership. The scholarly contributions of James MacGregor Burns and Bernard M. Bass are given primary consideration.

Chapter 3 describes the procedures used in the research part of this paper. The thesis tested in the research is that the core values of a transformational leader are different from the core values of other types of leaders and that in both cases those core values influence the style of leadership chosen.

Chapter 4 summarizes the results of the research and provides interpretation of the data collected. Specific core values are identified, especially for transformational leaders, and those values are compared to the values reflected in the control group.

Chapter 5 integrates the learnings of the preceding chapters and proposes a strategy for transformational leadership in the church.
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