The role of church leaders in the growth and survival of a church
This study was conducted to examine the role of church leaders in the growth and survival of a church. Additional objectives were to identify the roles and responsibilities of church leaders in a church and also to identify the other factors that impede the growth and survival of the church. The research design adopted for this work is a cross-sectional survey and descriptive analysis of a random sample of different categories of church leaders (bishops, pastors, and priests). A total of 120 well-structured questionnaires were distributed to key executives. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the research questions, while chi-square was used to test the null hypotheses. The survey results show that the majority of those surveyed believe that church leaders play a critical role in ensuring the growth and survival of the church. The study results also show that a church grows when church leaders are actively involved in church affairs.
1.1 Context of the study
In fact, leadership is a dynamic two-way process of personal influence through which a manager or leader shapes the attitudes and activities of others towards the achievement or attainment of organizational goals (Abogunrin, 1986). Even before the emergence of modern concepts of leadership, the Apostle Paul, in the Pastorals, lists the qualifications of church leaders to ensure sustained growth and survival (Dairo, 2007). These remained the model for a long time. For every church leader to successfully steer the church ship, these qualities must be ingrained. But contemporary experience in Nigeria has shown a marked departure from the Pauline list of qualifications for church leaders that really impacted church growth and survival. In most cases, the expected understanding of both leaders and followers is lacking. This often results in crises in the "Body of Christ."
There are some commonalities in the different definitions of leadership. It would be presumptuous for someone to attempt a definition that satisfies the public, particularly as it relates to church leadership. Leadership is nothing if it is not linked to collective objectives; and the effectiveness of leaders is not to be judged by newspaper clippings, but by actual social change measured in intent and in meeting human needs and expectations that will manifest in the long-term growth and development of the church.
Oluwasegun (2005) defines leadership as the ability to reach consensus and commitment to common goals that go beyond organizational requirements and are achieved through experience or contribution and satisfaction from the work group. Leadership can also be defined as the relationship in which an individual or the leader influences others to willingly collaborate on similar tasks to achieve what the leader wants. is a guide Leadership is the ability of management to make subordinates work toward the goals of a group with confidence and enthusiasm. It implies that the leader assumes responsibility for achieving the group's goals, and therefore, it is imperative that the trust and cooperation of both parties is visible at all times (Oluwasegun, 2005). Leadership is an art of getting things done. You can learn, improve, develop and refine. It is the key process of influencing and the process always includes several key components such as the leader and followers interacting in situations and influencing the opportunities emanating from the leader and followers based on their value system and goals, the leaders and followers are trying to achieve something (Dairó, 2004).
In relation to church leadership, this means that the church leader, together with his group, directs, motivates, censures, and develops a defined goal and meets individual or group needs within the church. This is seen as the only way for the church to grow and survive. In the New Testament it was most often used as a Christological title for the exalted Jesus. The results of the semasiological and lexicographical study of secular Greek indicate an extremely versatile range of meanings for the word "community leader", beginning with the one who is first, the one at the top, the one who leads.
According to the New Testament, the terms bishop, minister, and elder are synonymous. Bishop means "overseer," and the elders had the responsibility of overseeing the work of the church (Acts 20:17,28; 1 Peter 5:1-3). "Elder" is the translation of the Greek word presbytes, which means "an old man." Paul used the word presbytery in (1 Timothy 4:14) and was not referring to a denomination, but to the "elderly body" of the congregation that Timothy ordained. Elders and bishops (two names for the same office (cf. Titus 1:5–7)) were mature people with spiritual wisdom and experience to ensure the survival of God's Church. Furthermore, "pastor" means "shepherd," someone who leads and cares for the flock of God (Vine, 1996:67).
1.2 Description of the problem
According to Dairo (2008), many churches in Nigeria are characterized by false doctrines, preconceived notions, and man-made regulations that often subvert the leading of the Holy Spirit and fight fiercely against church growth and survival. According to the Apostle Paul, a church leader should be a caring man who can inspire followers. Not all church leaders may possess these qualities to the same degree, but a leader must possess these quality attributes to a degree that is tangible in his life to ensure sustained growth. If a man is known to be tough instead of gentle, excessive instead of soft, shameful instead of respectable, he has disqualified himself (Bible Org. 2004). The work of church leadership is a noble task. Such an office needs the right people to serve. Accumulation of material wealth by capitalizing on people's "gross ignorance" of biblical teachings on wealth by church leaders, and limited growth and survival of many churches due to increased awareness of these dubious strategies. However, the researcher examines the role of church leaders in the growth and survival of a church.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The objectives of this study are the following:
- Exploring the role of church leaders in the growth and survival of a church.
- Identify the roles and responsibilities of church leaders in a church.
- Identify the other factors that work against the growth and survival of the church.
1.5 Research questions
- What is the role of church leaders in the growth and survival of a church?
- What are the roles and duties of church leaders in a church?
- What other factors prevent the church from growing and surviving?
FOR:Church leaders play no role in the growth and survival of the church
AND:Church leaders play a role in the growth and survival of the church
1.6 Importance of the study
The following is the meaning of this study:
- The results of this study will educate church authorities and the general public in Nigeria on what church leaders need to do or integrate into the system to ensure growth and survival.
- This research will also serve as a resource base for other scholars and researchers who are interested in doing more research in this area later and, when applied to some extent, will provide new insights on the subject.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the Study
This study will cover the activities of the churches in Nigeria with a particular focus on the roles and duties of church leaders.
1. Financial limitation
Insufficient financial resources tend to hinder the researcher's efficiency in obtaining relevant materials, literature or information and in data collection (Internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time restriction
The researcher will carry out this study simultaneously with other academic work. Consequently, this will reduce the time spent on research work.
Findings, conclusions and recommendations
The objective of the study was to know the role of church leaders in the growth and survival of the church. The survey results show that the majority of those surveyed believe that church leaders play a critical role in ensuring the growth and survival of the church. See Table 7 above.
Another finding from the study shows that a church grows when church leaders are actively involved in church affairs (see Table 10).
The following recommendation results from this study
Church leaders need to focus more on preaching the message of peace and harmony than on church growth, which is the order of the day in most churches today. Churches should also discourage bad means of church growth.
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