abstract irving Discovering and Implementing Effective Leadership Practices in the Leadership Team and Deacon Ministry of First Baptist Church of Gonzales

Discovering and Implementing Effective Leadership Practices in the Leadership Team and Deacon Ministry of First Baptist Church of Gonzales

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TITLE Discovering and Implementing Effective Leadership Practices in the Leadership Team and Deacon Ministry of First Baptist Church of Gonzales
 
RESEARCHER Christopher T. Irving
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO)
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: February 2012

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this project is to train and equip the lay leadership and deacon ministry of First Baptist Gonzales in biblical servant leadership principles.

METHODOLOGY
The selected group of 20 participants volunteered to participate in this project. The group members were expected to participate in all 12 sixty-minute training session and to fulfill their commitment to the project. Participants completed the Leadership Practices Inventory at the start of the program and again at the end of the program.

KEY FINDINGS
The author contends, based on biblical rationale, that each church has the responsibility for the selection of leadership and the training of leadership according to scriptural mandates. The pretest and posttest assessment posed three questions to the class regarding the level of competency in leadership ability. The pretest revealed that 68 percent of the participants moderately agreed and 5 percent strongly agreed with the statement, “I feel confident in my ability as a leader for my committee or ministry team.” However, when asked to rate their competence level to lead, 79 percent of participants rated themselves average or below average. The posttest revealed a substantial increase in overall confidence and competence to lead committees or the ministry team. According to the author: “The gain in understanding the principles and application of these principles by participants proved to increase not only their awareness of the foundations of servant leadership, but also their practice of these principles” (p. 99).

The pretest revealed 63 percent felt they were not equipped to handle leadership in difficult situations, while this change dramatically in the posttest which showed that 74 percent sense they are adequately equipped to handle difficult leadership situations based on their spiritual giftedness. When asked if they felt like God had called, equipped, and empowered them to be servant-leaders, the pretest and posttest showed an overall increase in all three of these areas.

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