Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Codependency in church systems: The development of an instrument to assess healthy church leadership
by Shortridge, F. Wesley, D.Min., Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, 2016, 208; 10100495
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
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
Publication Number: 10100495
ISBN: 978-1-339-64406-6
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