This qualitative phenomenological study using a modified van Kaam method developed by (Moustakas, 1994), data were collected from a purposive sample of 22 leaders of Protestant churches in Montclair, New Jersey through semi-structured, recorded, and transcribed interviews to explore their perceptions and lived experiences of declining membership, increasing expenditures, and operating independently or belonging to a national body with denominational oversight. Membership decline in Protestant churches involves a myriad of issues that include understaffing, increased costs, migration to mega churches, and a cultural shift where people are comfortable in big institutions. The data reflected that 72.7% of the participants expressed that, in order to remain effective and provide viable services to the community new leaders need to come from within the local churches. The data also identified areas from which church leaders experiencing declining membership and increasing costs could benefit: (a) history, (b) communication, (c) capital donations, (d) financial growth, (e) community participation, (f) stewardship, (g) leadership, (h) growth, and (i) success.
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Management, Mass communications|
|Keywords:||Church growth, Clergy, Community service, Employee morale, Leadership, Local churches, Membership decline, Open communication, Strategic execution|
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