Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Leonard I. Sweet
For the past three decades, the evangelical church of America has welcomed and promoted a ministry ethos that is fad-driven, predominantly business-minded in its operation, and leadercentric in its implementation. This is the case even though there is no consistent definition of leadership and no Biblical mandate that justifies its continued reign. This dissertation argues that such a focal point is inconsistent with the example and mandate of Christ for those on a journey with him. He is the leader of the Church and all others that share differing levels of responsibly within his Kingdom are followers. He is the King of the Church and all others are his servants. It is through changing our focus to being a follower and servant that pastors are empowered to be example-setters for the Church, instructing all to take their role as followers and servants. The result of such a focus is the removal of bureaucratic structures that divide Christians into two levels, rendering one as more important to the advancing of the Kingdom than the other. The business focus impacts how the pastor views himself, how people view the church, and how they view the pastoral role. The result of this research is not a new strategy to grow the church, but a surrender to be what the pastor and the church were created to be together. By understating and embracing our role as servants and followers, our local ministry is learning to ask new questions, use new verbiage, have a new understanding of our roles, and structure for a new level of freedom in ministry.
Kessler, D. David, "Serving and Following: Setting Aside Leadercentricity" (2015). Doctor of Ministry. 101.