Rethinking leadership model of Protestant churches in Wenzhou (1867-2015)
The focus of this dissertation is the leadership model. From 1867 to 1952, missionaries provided leadership to Wenzhou churches in the form of pastoral leadership to individual congregations. By contrast, contemporary churches of Wenzhou have been adhering to a system of patriarchal administration over a number of congregations, including the assignment of volunteer lay-preachers who are not expected to carry out any pastoral duties. This model of church leadership is found to have many problems that hindered the development of churches. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore how to build up pastoral leadership in Wenzhou. The emphasis of pastoral leadership is for pastors to lead and nurture churches. Through their leadership, preaching, pastoral care, visitation, teaching, counseling, discipleship training, evangelism, etc., they enable their flocks to grow spiritually. Since churches in Wenzhou are unique in their geography and history, it is impracticable to import entirely western modes of pastoral leadership into Wenzhou. The author has to integrate these two so as to produce contextualized modes of pastoral leadership suitable for the future development of Wenzhou churches.
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