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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perceptions of the senior pastors' transformational leadership style and its relationship to the eight markers of Natural Church Development
by Rumley, David D., Ed.D., Indiana Wesleyan University, 2011, 217; 3477630
Abstract (Summary)

What if research could demonstrate how a more collaborative approach to church leadership had a positive impact on the overall effectiveness of the church? Would pastors adjust their leadership style and would seminaries expand their pastoral training curriculum? Research continues to affirm the importance of leadership in the health and effectiveness of organizations from multiple contexts. Everything from schools to politics indicates the need for leadership. Yet, little quantitative research has been done to see the impact of leadership within the church arena. Is it possible that leadership style correlates to the effectiveness of corporate America, but has little correlation within the church? Should seminaries continue to focus on training pastors for exegetically-correct sermons and leave void the need to nurture and guide real-life people to meaningful relationships within the community? Should pastors continue to lead parishioners from an authoritative position or should pastors collaborate with lay leaders to jointly develop a church atmosphere that reflects shared values developed through a collaborative approach? Does strong leadership indicate more empowerment and less control within collaborative efforts?

This research sought a statistically relevant linear correlation between the leadership style of the senior pastor, as defined by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, and the effectiveness of the church, as defined by Natural Church Development. The Natural Church Development scores were averaged for fifteen churches that participated in the research. Each senior pastor participated in the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire giving each a rating on transactional, transformational, and laissez-faire leadership traits. Regression analysis was used to determine correlation between the variables. These two variables (NCD average score and MLQ averages for transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire) were examined with linear regression testing. The result was a statistically strong linear relationship with transformational (Adjusted R2 = .24) and transactional leadership (Adjusted R2 = .25), but no statistically significant correlation with laissez-faire. The leadership of the senior pastor does relate to the effectiveness of the church as defined by the eight markers of Natural Church Development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Freemyer, Jim
Commitee: Townsend, Robert, Whitesel, Bob
School: Indiana Wesleyan University
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clerical studies, Management
Keywords: Church growth, Church health, Clergy, Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), Natural Church Development (NCD), Senior pastors, Transformational leadership
Publication Number: 3477630
ISBN: 978-1-124-94359-6
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