The concept of church leadership may seem to be vague, when we view the entire gamut of the field of leadership. This is more so as it has to do with divine concepts, things that are spiritual, and as it has been classified arguably, that faith organizations are non-profit organization. McCain defines Christian leadership as one that provides positive influence for others. He says a Christian leader is the one who has led himself effectively and served as an ethical, moral effective example for others. He leads with humility, compassion, mastered the arts of forgiveness and can be a child when need be. Leadership in the church is believed to be a call in Christianity. The various leadership styles emanating from the ever increasing number of churches and their consequences on the growth of the gospel calls for concern. It is common knowledge that some Pentecostal churches practice a sort of democratic leadership style, others practice autocratic leadership style in which decisions are taken solely by the general overseer while some practice other leadership styles like shepherding and motivational leadership styles. Mismanagement of church funds has continued to be a topical issue in Pentecostal circle, causing disaffection among church members and this has continued to lead to proliferation of Pentecostal churches in Nigeria.
- Background of the study
Generally speaking, leadership is ideal in the tenets of every existing society or organization. This is because leadership is important to human society. A society or an organization without leadership is like sheep without a shepherd and there is bound to be confusion, disorderliness, lawlessness and nothing positive can be achieved. The history of leadership is as old as that of creation. Leadership occupies a very unique position in every society, organization or community. In a society or organization where there is poor leadership, there is bound to be confusion, disorderliness and lawlessness (Danbaba, 2016). The concept of leadership in faith based organizations may seem to be vague, when we view the entire gamut of the field of leadership. This is more so as it has to do with divine concepts, things that are spiritual, and as it has been classified arguably, that the faith organizations are non-profit organizations. The world system of leadership is characterized by tussles, scheming and counter scheming. Christianity in Nigeria dates back to the 16th century when the Portuguese introduced Latin Christianity in Benin and Warri. Looking at Christianity from that early beginning to the present time, many stages of development had taken place resulting to the planting and growth of churches. Several Christian churches around here and there. We will look at the factors that facilitate the emergence and growth of churches in Nigeria. The global perspective in view of leadership, every organization has its own modus of operandi. Nigeria for instance, runs a participative leadership. An effective leadership is patterned by its goals and vision which help in achieving positive results. This is because any given organization with a with a questionable leadership style is prone to collapse. Therefore, leadership remains a fundamental process in every organization in which such an organization builds a style of operation. On this note, Adam (2013), noted that leadership is a common phenomenon in every facet of life. This implies that leadership is a thing that has captured the attention of many in order bring all pending matters to orderliness. In the same vein, Hybels (2002) states that leader often has impact not only because they are highly gifted but because their leadership styles mesh perfectly with specific ministry needs. Therefore, to distinguish leadership, it must be borne in mind that different styles of leadership abounds. These are political leadership, economic leadership, and socio-cultural leadership. Each of these leadership type operates based on the principles required within the setting. Leadership is someone led a group or team from the front. According to (Knippenberg, D.V. &. Hogg (2013) no one can be a leader if a person doesn’t have this talent in it, you can say it’s a natural talent that god doesn’t give to everyone. Not everyone can be a leader or can lead a team. Your behavior or nature should be cooperative and friendly in order to be a good leader. On this basis, the major focus of this study is religious leadership and how it affects the growth of the church. It is interesting to know that leadership within churches involves series of vital roles such as teaching, counseling, discipline, and policy implementation, and co-ordination, recruitment of staff and retirement of staff. Based on these, leadership in churches faces a great challenge. The world has changed, is constantly changing, and will continue to change. Change is inevitable and occurs throughout facets or cycles of life and is a necessary component for life the analogy described can be applied to the church. Continual change in growth is an important ingredient to shaping the future of the church; therefore, the role of the l leader is an important one. The ecclesial leader must encourage and allow for change to take place, thus not stopping or staunching growth in the church. This can become a daunting task, however, necessary for ecclesial leaders to design structure, and challenge organizational and leadership structures of faith communities with purpose for growth, change, and production in the church. The Lord God Almighty wants the church to progress forward in doing his will. After the flood account, the people that were born from Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gn 10:1) were of all one language and speech (Gn 11:1). Everyone could communicate with the other, therefore was of the same culture; however, as they traveled from the east they decided to stop progressing forward (v. 2) but instead to build a city and tower that would reach the heavens and to make a name for themselves so that they would not be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth (v. 4). Their actions resulted in them not doing the will of God as commanded to Noah and his sons after the flood. Genesis 9 states, “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (v. 1), and, “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it” (v. 7). 1 Their disobedient actions landed them into a state of confusion. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit confused their language and speech (v. 9), thus there was a break in communication that caused individuals to band together or attach to those who were common to them in dialect. People had no choice but to scatter abroad in the earth with one another (v. 9) to progress forward in bringing about change. Differences in culture and nations of the world began. Although leadership has been well researched over the years, there is still lack of a definition that is universally accepted. Just like Stogdill (1974) puts it, “There are almost as many definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept”. The following are a few examples of such definitions Tsigu & Rao (2015) asserts that leadership is a wide spread process, which calls for authority, responsibility and delegation of power. Leaders help to direct, guide and persuade their followers (employees) towards achieving their personal and organizational goals and objectives. Thus, leadership styles cover all aspects of dealing within and outside of an organization, handling or dealing with conflicts, helping and guiding the workforce to achieve and accomplish their tasks and appearing as a role model for all. According to Kumar (2014) “leadership is defined as a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent”. The purpose of this article is to describe my own understanding of the role of the ecclesial leader to shape the future of the church by design, and to challenge organizational and leadership structures of faith communities through planning and preparation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The place in church for well researched methods and management practices that have spurred organizational growth in secular contexts is debatable. Opinions are divided in the church today, with those who support use of secular approaches viewing the opposite camp as being “too spiritual” at the expense of effective leadership (Hull, as cited in Rainer, 1993). On the other hand, the “too spiritual” camp opposed to secular approaches see “carnality” in practices “conforming to worldly patterns” (ATA, 2012). The issue as Zaki (2016) notes, is that leaders cannot just do about anything possible in order to appease people into their churches just as the markets do, because what they are selling is not a temporary hype that is meant to be replaced in a few months. The church and its membership remain divided on which approaches to 6 adopt in effectively fulfilling the great commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations….” (Matt. 28:19, NKJV). NGCI has recently experienced rapid numerical growth and has been expanding by opening branches in counties across Kenya. To ensure sustained growth, leadership must be clear and united on the right approaches to adopt across the branches. If the unity is not achieved, camps within the church would develop, each pursuing its own agenda, with the end result being disintegration of the church. Christ himself stated that “if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand” (Mark 3:24, NIV). This study sought to investigate the characteristics among church leaders and the various approaches applied in the context of church growth at NGCI, to establish the extent of their impact and recommend the best leadership practices for effective ministry.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to ascertain the effect of leadership role on church growth. Other sub objectives to be achieved by the researcher include;
- To ascertain the effect of leadership role on church growth
- To examine the relationship between leadership quality and growth rate
- To investigate the role of the pastor on the spiritual and financial growth of the church
- To evaluate the impact of the leaders on the development of the church.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research question were formulated by the researcher to aid the successful completion of the study
- Is there any effect of leadership role on church growth?
- Is there any significant relationship between leadership quality and growth rate?
- Does pastor play any role on the spiritual and financial growth of the church?
- Does church leaders have any impact on the development of the church?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the purpose of the study, the following research hypotheses are formulated by the researcher;
H0: there is no significant relationship between leadership quality and church growth
H1: there is a significant relationship between leadership quality and church growth
H02: pastor does not play any role on the spiritual and financial growth of the church
H2: pastor does play a role on the spiritual and financial growth of the church
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will contribute to a deeper understanding of an effective growth oriented leadership style of pastors on personal, missiological, educational, and denominational levels. Personal the call to preach the gospel and to make disciples is the core mission of every Christian church. Being a minister and a teacher of future pastors, it is important to help students to become better pastors, and to understand church growth and their leadership role within the process. The present study will help me to evaluate my courses and the way of consulting with churches, and it will broaden and clarify the understanding of leadership and church growth. The study will also be beneficial to researchers who intend to embark on study in similar topic as the study will serve as a guide to their study. Finally the study will be beneficial to academia’s students and the general public
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the effect of leadership role on church growth, however in the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
A church building, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly worship services. The term in its architectural sense is most often used by Christians to refer to their religious buildings, but it is sometimes used (by analogy) for buildings of other religions. In traditional Christian architecture, the church is often arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle and the junction of the cross is located at the altar area.
Growth refers to a positive change in size, and/or maturation, often over a period of time. Growth can occur as a stage of maturation or a process toward fullness or fulfillment. It can also perpetuate endlessly, for example, as detailed by some theories of the ultimate fate of the universe.
Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to “lead” or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. The literature debates various viewpoints: contrasting Eastern and Western approaches to leadership, and also (within the West) US vs. European approaches. US academic environments define leadership as “a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task
The word “pastor” derives from the Latin noun pastor which means “shepherd” and relates to the Latin verb pascere – “to lead to pasture, set to grazing, cause to eat”. The term “pastor” also relates to the role of elder within the New Testament, but is not synonymous with the biblical understanding of minister. Many Protestant churches call their ministers “pastors.
1.9 Organization of the study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made of the study.