In spite of the prevalence of methods and literature devoted to church health, many churches remain plateaued or are declining. Some churches ignore reality and base their worth and identity on things less than biblical identity and Christian mission. Many declining churches demonstrate an environment similar to the codependency seen in addictive family systems. The published literature has expanded the understanding of the concept of codependency that was traditionally applied to family systems affected by alcohol and substance abuse by applying it to dysfunctional organizational structures. This project builds on this research. It investigated the hypothesis that dysfunctional churches exhibit dynamics similar to codependent family systems. The project adapted the Spann-Fischer Scale for Codependency, and in a pilot study of nine churches, two scales were developed: Church Health (a = .891) and Church Codependency (a = .745). A moderate negative correlation (r = -.431) between these scales supported this hypothesis. It appears that the concept of codependency possesses elements that could assist church leaders to better understand dysfunctional churches. The project suggests a new approach to church health in certain environments and provides a new lens through which those desiring to help the local church grow might view their work.
|Advisor:||Mostert, Johan, Oss, Doug|
|Commitee:||Gill, Debbie, Olena, Lois, Oleson, Ava, Oss, Doug, Taylor, Cheryl, Walls, Randy|
|School:||Assemblies of God Theological Seminary|
|Department:||Doctor of Ministry|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Organization Theory, Organizational behavior|
|Keywords:||Addiction, Church, Church growth, Codependency, Organization, Systems|
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