The current study explores how tweens’ (age 8-12) leadership practices effectively influence their self-concept development. This study’s purpose is articulated in three research questions: (a) what is the influence on self-concept for tweens (age 8-12) serving in a leadership role over other children in a house church? (b) What environmental/relational factors impact tweens’ self-concept as proximal supports within the context of leadership practice? (c) What is the influence of systematic support on tweens’ leadership experience in leadership over other children in a church ministry context? To answer these questions, the current study is designed using grounded theory along with the integrated understanding of social science and theology regarding tweens’ self-concept and leadership development.
A total of 31, in-depth interviews with children shepherds in five churches with the house church ministry model in Texas and California were conducted face-to-face, and 30 interviews were transcribed. The data were analyzed with NVivo12 and produced seven emerging themes under two different categories. Regarding the first question, the first four emerging themes indicate that this leadership practice influences not only children shepherds’ self-concept development, but also social, pro-social, and proactivity development, the groundwork for successful future social adjustment. Related to the second question, the fifth and sixth themes explain that children shepherds can increase their self-confidence as leaders through the social-emotional support of their immediate community. Corresponding to the third research question, the seventh theme suggests that children shepherds receive the most practical support to run the children’s program from their church’s supportive ministry such as monthly/weekly informational meetings, mentoring, a monthly Bible study package.
Conclusively, it can be said that the volunteers, ministry staff, and 30 tweens involved in this study presented a good example of how education and church ministry can develop children’s self-concept for their future social adjustment through children’s leadership practice. It is evident that a community can assist an individual child to mature in their self-concept with their social, pro-social, and proactivity development. As a result, it may be the case that this form of development in their tween period can transform eventually into stronger engagement with their communities.
|Advisor:||Lawson, Kevin E.|
|Commitee:||Carr, Jane, Talley, David|
|Department:||Talbot School of Theolgy|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational psychology, Social psychology|
|Keywords:||Children shepherds, House church ministry, Leadership development, Perception of tweens, Self-concept development, California, Texas|
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