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Pastoral leadership styles: their effect on the growth of Southern Baptist churches in the western United States




Luckel, Henry H., author
Venneberg, Donald L., advisor
Chermack, Thomas J., committee member
Gloeckner, Gene, committee member
McCulloch, Michael, committee member

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Eighty to eighty-five percent of protestant churches in America are stagnant or are in decline. The average church is not keeping up with the growth of their communities, and therefore cannot adequately meet either their spiritual or physical needs. This study looked at Southern Baptist Churches in eleven western states in the United States with a mixed methods design. The quantitative portion of the study used the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) from Kouzes and Pozner (2003) to see if any of the specific leadership practices were related to church growth between the years 2005 to 2010. Pastors were solicited via email and asked to take an on-line survey, self-reporting their leadership style. Among 131 pastors who responded, 88 met the criteria of the study and comprised the population. None of Kouzes and Pozner's leadership practices were shown to have any significant effect on the growth of the churches studied. The quantitative portion was followed by interviews of pastors in growing and also non-growing churches, and then results were compared. These interviews led to the conclusion that pastors who lead their churches to be intentionally active in their communities, and who make God the central theme of study tend to lead growing churches.


2013 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.

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