Effect Of Pastoral Leadership On Local Church Growth


Effect Of Pastoral Leadership On Local Church Growth

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  • Name: Effect Of Pastoral Leadership On Local Church Growth
  • Type: PDF and MS Word (DOC)
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1.1       Background of the Study

One of the most crucial ingredients that determines 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.



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