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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Conflicting Expectations within the Church and Their Impact on the Role of the Pastor: A Grounded Theory Study
by Hollins, Jamaal Taiwan, Ph.D., Sullivan University, 2018, 199; 10792962
Abstract (Summary)

The ideal role of the church pastor has not been fully addressed withing church communities, and recent changes in society have led to different understandings of the role of the pastor, hence leading to different expectations. This research aimed to understand burnout, intent to leave the ministry, and turnover in contemporary society, by exploring the role of the pastor from both congregants’ and pastors’ perspectives. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, role theory, social exchange theory, and leader-member exchange theory were used to guide this research. Qualitative research using a constructivist grounded theory approach was carried out in Kenya involving congregants and pastors in Pentecostal churches. During data analysis, concepts emerging from the data were related to each other as the researcher explored participants’ responses that were categorized, leading to the emerged themes such as reservation, distrust, volatility, boundlessness, and frustrations. Combined, these categories indicated the pastors’ and congregants’ perspectives on the role of a pastor, which led to the emergence of expectations-driven conformation theory. The results indicate that the expectations in contemporary Pentecostal churches require a selfless pastor who can meet the congregants’ perception of the primary role of the pastor, which is not necessarily what the pastors understand as their role. The grounded theory establishes that pastors conform to expectations with the aim of satisfying the congregants, which is impossible due to conflicting expectations. Pastoral recruitment and training are critical, and this study confirms that it is imperative for pastors to practice within the scope of their trained roles. The issues of burnout, intent to leave, and turnover can be addressed if roles can be explicitly defined by understanding the organizational context, characteristics of members, nature of needs, and level of interdependence in an organization.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Malka, Charles S.
Commitee: Daniel, Teresa A., Wilkin, LaVena
School: Sullivan University
Department: Conflict Management
School Location: United States -- Kentucky
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Pastoral Counseling, Management
Keywords: Christian, Church, Conflict, Expectations, Kenya, Pentecostal
Publication Number: 10792962
ISBN: 978-0-355-85982-9
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