1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Generally speaking, leadership is ideal in the tenets of every existing society or organization. This is because leadership is important to human society. A society or an organization without leadership is like sheep without a shepherd and there is bound to be confusion, disorderliness, lawlessness and nothing positive can be achieved. The history of leadership is as old as that of creation. Leadership occupies a very unique position in every society, organization or community. In a society or organization where there is poor leadership, there is bound to be confusion, disorderliness and lawlessness (Danbaba, 2016). The global perspective in view of leadership, every organization has its own modus of operandi. Nigeria for instance, runs a participative leadership. An effective leadership is patterned by its goals and vision which help in achieving positive results. This is because any given organization with a questionable leadership style is prone to collapse. Therefore, leadership remains a fundamental process in every organization in which such an organization builds a style of operation. On this note, Adam (2014) noted that leadership is a common phenomenon in every facet of life. This implies that leadership is a thing that has captured the attention of many in order bring all pending matters to orderliness. In the same vein, Hybels (2015) states that leader often has impact not only because they are highly gifted but because their leadership styles mesh perfectly with specific ministry needs. Therefore, to distinguish leadership, it must be borne in mind that different styles of leadership abound. These are political leadership, economic leadership, and socio-cultural leadership. Each of these leadership types operates based on the principles required within the setting. Leadership is someone leading a group or team from the front. Your behaviour or nature should be cooperative and friendly in order to be a good leader. On this basis, the major focus of this study is religious leadership and how it affects the growth of the church. The concept of leadership in faith based organizations may seem to be vague, when we view the entire gamut of the field of leadership. This is more so as it has to do with divine concepts, things that are spiritual, and as it has been classified arguably, that the faith organizations are non-profit organizations. The world system of leadership is characterized by tussles, scheming and counter scheming. That is why day after day, the world is perceived to be in a state of confusion, disorder, division and crises. Thus, the faith organization which is expected to proffer solution to the problems of the world (especially that of leadership) is now part and parcel of the problem. The secular way of political campaign, bribery and corruption is the order of the day in the faith organization today, thereby giving room to the fact that there is no difference between the secular politics and the church politics. Politics has eventually found its route in the church due to the quest for materialism, power and popularity (Danbaba, 2016). Leadership experts, Barney Wells, Martin Giese, and Ron Klassen, state that “leading the church is essentially a doctrinal task, guided by the Word and empowered by the Spirit” (Knippenberg, D.V. &. Hogg (2014). It is the Spirit of God that empowers the pastors to will and to do the will of God. Another leadership expert, Robert Clinton recognized that Christian leadership is different from secular leadership because God is actively engaged in the process. Walter Wright supports that idea by saying that, “Leadership for Christians is about God, not about us.” Robert Bank and Bernice Ledbetter further explained that leadership is about being in line with God’s purposes and takes place only when the direction and the method are in line with God’s purposes, character, and ways of operating (Fatehi, 2010). It is interesting to know that leadership within churches involves series of vital roles such as teaching, counselling, discipline, and policy implementation, and co-ordination, recruitment of staff and retirement of staff. Based on these, leadership in churches faces a great challenge. The world has changed, is constantly changing, and will continue to change. Change is inevitable and occurs throughout facets or cycles of life and is a necessary component for life the analogy described can be applied to the church. Continual change in growth is an important ingredient to shaping the future of the church; therefore, the role of the l leader is an important one. The ecclesial leader must encourage and allow for change to take place, thus not stopping or staunching growth in the church. This can become a daunting task, however, necessary for ecclesial leaders to design structure, and challenge organizational and leadership structures of faith communities with purpose for growth, change, and production in the church. The Lord God Almighty wants the church to progress forward in doing his will. After the flood account, the people that were born from Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gn 10:1) were of all one language and speech (Gn 11:1). Everyone could communicate with the other, therefore was of the same culture; however, as they traveled from the east they decided to stop progressing forward (v. 2) but instead to build a city and tower that would reach the heavens and to make a name for themselves so that they would not be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth (v. 4). Their actions resulted in them not doing the will of God as commanded to Noah and his sons after the flood. Genesis 9 states, “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (v. 1), and, “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it” (v. 7). 1 Their disobedient actions landed them into a state of confusion. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit confused their language and speech (v. 9), thus there was a break in communication that caused individuals to band together or attach to those who were common to them in dialect. People had no choice but to scatter abroad in the earth with one another (v. 9) to progress forward in bringing about change. Differences in culture and nations of the world began. The Bible reveals that “there are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works overall and through all and in all (Osuoha, 2012). In church leadership, authority comes from the faithful carrying out of one’s call and utilizing gifts given by God. God prepares and trains Christians to do the work that he calls them to do. Biblical leadership is truly by divine appointment as God consistently selected leaders in the Bible in a clear method. However, the idea of leaders being distinctively anointed by God, has consequently led to an authoritarian and hierarchical leadership form found in many Nigerian churches. Many church leaders want to be respected and acknowledged for their position as God’s representatives. The study seeks to examine extant literature on church leadership as a panacea for church growth.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Lack of proper and efficient leadership seems to have resulted in many crises, especially in the northern and southern part of Nigeria. According to Dairo (2008), many Churches in Nigeria are characterized with false teaching, preconceived ideas and human-formed regulations which have too often undermined the Holy Spirit’s specification and has militated greatly against church growth and survival. According to Apostle Paul, church leader must be kind of man that can carry the followers along. All church leaders may not possess these qualities in the same measure but a leader must have these quality attributes to a degree that is noticeable in his life to ensure sustainable growth. If a man is known to be harsh instead of being gentle, intemperate instead of being temperate, disgraceful instead of being respectable, he has disqualified himself (Bible Org. 2014). The work of church leadership is a noble task. Such an office needs the right kind of people to serve. Accumulation of material wealth, by capitalizing on the “gross ignorance” of the people about the teaching of the Bible on wealth by church leaders as also limited growth and survival of many churches because of the increased awareness of these dubious strategies. However, this present study is examining the impact of church leadership on church growth.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine impact of church leadership on church growth. Other general objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
Findings from this study will educate the church authorities and the general public in Nigeria on what the church leaders need to do or incorporate into the system to ensure growth and survival. It will provide valuable insights into existing relationship between the church leaders and the growth of Christian families in our rural communities. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on a study of impact of church leadership on church growth, case study of selected churches in Ogun state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Leaders: Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right.
Leadership: Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to “lead” or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations.
Church leaders: Church leaders include the following set of leaders in church: Senior Pastors, Worship Leaders, Youth Leaders, Outreach Leaders, and Children’s Ministry Leaders, Small Group Leaders.
Growth: growth is defined as the process of increasing in size or something that has grown or is growing.
Christian: Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, who’s coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Church: Christian Church is an ecclesiological term generally used by Protestants to refer to the Church invisible, and/or whole group of people belonging to Christianity throughout the history of Christianity.
Healthy Church: It is defined as a state in which the church is free from rancour, acrimony and any form of relationship crisis or power tussles that hinder growth and development
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