BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
One of the most crucial ingredients that determine the effectiveness of an organization is leadership. Because this is true in business, volunteer and religious organizations, leadership has been widely studied all over the world. In one of the most comprehensive studies of leadership, Bass and Stogdill Handbook of leadership were reviewed in over 1,000 page volume. Despite its massive nature, the work fails to name all the articles on leadership written before 2013. 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 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 &. Hogg, 2015). 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, 2011). 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, 2014). 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 consequential to a thriving church.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The advancement of the work of the kingdom has a heavy dependence on the leadership; any problems being witnessed in the church of God today are traceable to the challenges in leadership. Even in our contemporary times, there have been reported cases on stunted growth and other growth –related challenges in the church of God as a result of challenges in leadership.
It became a major problem when the key actor, the pastor, who is one of the major solutions to the overall growth of the local church, is also waiting for solution to come from someone else; not knowing that every aspect of the church majorly is moulded after the type of church leadership that is on ground. It is from this problem that this research work was conducted as a modest contribution to the postulations on the issue of pastoral leadership especially as it attracts the growth of the local church.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine leadership as consequential to a thriving church. Other general objectives of the study are:
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work is significant in the following ways:
1. 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.
2. 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 leadership as consequential to a thriving church, case study of Four Square Gospel church, Owolora L.G.A in Lagos 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.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Growth: In the context of this research, growth is in all ramification of Christian experience. It can be numerical, spiritual, in love, in giving, in living a holy life and every facet of Christian ways of living as expected by God. Growth can occur as a stage of maturation or a process towards fullness of fulfilment.
Leadership: The act of being at the fore-front as an object of example; showing others the way to follow. In the context of this research work, leadership refers to the act of modelling the pattern and the principle of the kingdom for others to be equipped and to follow in order to create an avenue for kingdom expansion.
Local Church: The church is the congregation of the saints; a church is the gathering of the called out ones. An assembly of the children of God for the purpose of worshipping God. A local church however is the congregation of the assembly of the saints in a particular local area.
Pastor/Pastoral: A pastor is an individual who provides spiritual leadership for a church. A pastor is a shepherd or a caretaker of God’s flock. He is a shepherd of God’s flock that is under his care, serving as overseers – not because he must, but because he is willing as God wants him to be, not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording over those entrusted to him, but being examples to the flock.
OTHER SIMILAR THEOLOGY PROJECTS AND MATERIALS