Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Dan Lioy, PhD
Carlos Richard, DMin
A goal of pastors is to grow their ministries with individuals who are committed to God. Church growth is a phenomenon by itself but central to the study of church growth and retention is church leadership. The pastor seeks to shepherd individuals and develop them into faithful Christians in the service of God. Church growth speaks to transforming an audience into a body of believers. A metric of church growth is the number of faithful congregants that attend service regularly. In order to understand the local church an understanding of leadership styles is important due to the multiplicity of leadership styles available to men and women who lead ministries. In Pentecostal churches personality is important and often a significant variable to the effectiveness of the leader. This study examined the way in which transformational leadership impacts the commitment of followers in the churches belonging to the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. (PAW)
In order to develop an understanding of pastoral leadership it is important to examine what style of leadership is useful. In the PAW there are over 1,000 churches with over 1,000 pastors all using their own leadership approaches. This study focused on the Ohio District Council of the PAW a subset of the PAW with less than 100 churches in the state. While there exists a plethora of leadership styles within the PAW, these diverse approaches have not statistically produced large memberships. The various styles have not proven to be effective in impacting the commitment of followers within PAW churches.1 This study examined leadership styles and their impact on commitment. Transformational leadership, servant leadership and transactional leadership and multiple styles and theories of leadership. The study examined commitment and the need for pastors to engage and secure commitment from members.
The emergence of the behavioral sciences assisted leaders in understanding the science of leadership. Every individual is different, therefore, the style a leadership deployed in ministries must meet the needs of the people. A one size fits all approach was proven to not be effective in this study. The magnitude of the variables that affect pastors and people and their commitment in church cannot be relegated to one specific leadership style. Churches are made up of the very young, youth, young adult, young single, young married, middle age, and seniors. The church consist of low, moderate and upper income along with single, divorced, married, hoping to be married and desiring to be single people. The pastor is required to lead every group and inspire members to a relationship with God. This study highlighted the need for the pastor to learn leadership and deploy a flexible approach to leading in order to inspire commitment.
The leadership style of the pastor can change over time based on membership dynamics of age, ethnicity, economic progress, effectiveness of leadership and progress toward ministry mission. The PAW pastor is locked into the doctrinal beliefs of the organization and the current religious landscape is not be conducive to a strict religious doctrine that seeks to mandate behaviors under the disguise of God’s will. The PAW pastor would benefit from holding firm to the strict Oneness Pentecostal experience and permit God in his sovereignty to legislative the behavior people.
Whitehead, Jason T., "Leadership and Commitment in Pentecostal Churches" (2019). Doctor of Ministry. 366.