Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Derek Voorhees

Second Advisor

Tim Dolan


Church staff encounter unique spiritual formation challenges that are not experienced in other vocations. In addition to managing stressors that are typical in every workplace setting, the church staff must also address the implications that arise because their pastor is also their employer, and their place of worship is also their workplace. These challenges are magnified in the large-church environment due an increased focus on employee performance and an emphasis on a corporate organizational structure. Over the last few decades, large churches have adopted best-practices from the corporate world, practices which focus scrutiny on increasing staff performance, further adding to staff members’ stress and anxiety.

While there is a great deal of writing on the subject of staff management in church leadership, there is surprisingly little material dealing with the spiritual formation of church staff. This dissertation considers how church leaders and staff can compensate for the unique spiritual and emotional obstacles that large-church staff members face. The thesis of this work is that there are three key elements which contribute to the success of a large-church staff configuration:

1. the availability of a spiritual director to the staff,

2. an enhanced belief in the sacredness of each ministry role, and

3. an intentional workplace rhythm of life.

Spiritually formative pathways which incorporate these three elements help compensate for the spiritual obstacles faced by large-church staff. This dissertation demonstrates how infusing these elements into a staff culture will mitigate against emotional and spiritual despondency, and significantly enhance the spiritual formation of large-church staff members.

Included in

Christianity Commons