Relational Leadership: A Study of Organizational Health and Clergy within the Wesleyan Church

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Bradford, Brian Voyght
2011; D.; Min.; 756222100; Christian; leadership; church; management; big; churches; personnel; Wesleyan; Other Religion
thesis / dissertation description
In many large churches (over one thousand in weekend worship attendance) today, a vast relational disconnect exists between senior pastors and pastoral staff team members. As a result, many staff pastors feel unsatisfied in their team roles and relationships as well as feeling devalued as leader. This relational deficiency frequently results in a lack of communication, trust, and belief in and with the senior leader. The staff pastor’s productivity decreases and the church ceases to be what God designed it to be—a place of relational and social connection.The purpose of this study was to determine characteristics of relational leadership and utilize these traits to assess the relational and leadership health of the top twenty flagship churches of the Wesleyan Church of North America. The assessment was completed using two instruments: the Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) and the Relational Support Scale (RSS). The OLA measured the organizational health of the churches using six servant leadership characteristics. The RSS measured church health in regards to four relational leadership characteristics. Semi-structured senior pastor interviews were also utilized as a supplementary measure.This explanatory, non-experimental, mixed-design study used standardized, Web-based surveys, phone calls, and e-mails to gather the necessary data.An analysis of the findings suggests that senior pastors tend to view their relational leadership performance and ability in a more positive manner than do their pastoral staff members or key lay leaders.