Devost Abstract July 2010

Correlation Between the Leadership Practices of Lead Ministers and the Workplace Spirituality of Their Churches as Reported by Church Members

Richard A. DeVost

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TITLE: Correlation Between the Leadership Practices of Lead Ministers and the Workplace Spirituality of Their Churches as Reported by Church Members
RESEARCHER: Richard A. DeVost
School of Education
Andrews University
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: July 2010

The purpose of this study is to discover how workplace spirituality in North American churches is related to the leadership practices of their lead ministers.

The subjects used in the study were lead ministers and members of Christian churches of all denominations of all sizes in North America. Responses from 266 ministers and 847 members were used. Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory as well as a workplace spirituality questionnaire (Ashmos & Duchon, 2000). Typical minister respondents were male (87%), had ministered in their congregation for >3 years (69%), and had been in the ministry for over 10 years (82%). Typical member respondents were female (59%), between the ages of 46-65 (51%), were members of the congregation for >3 years (86%), voluntarily worked at the church (75%), and indicated that practice of their faith was consistent (94%) and interpretation of the Bible was mostly conservative (70%).

Internal reliability coefficients in this study for the LPI were above .81 for Inspire, Challenge, and Encourage, and above .61 for Enable and Model. Because the latter two scales were below .70, the author performed his own factor analysis of the 30 items and eventually formed a leadership survey with three factors, which he named Vision, Encourage, and Challenge. The first factor contained five of the six original LPI statements for that scale; the second factor contained exactly the same six questions in the original LPI scale, and the third factor contained five of the six original LPI questions plus two questions originally from the Enable scale and one from the Model scale. Internal reliability for these three scales were .836 and above. To avoid any confusion between the author’s scales and those of Kouzes and Posner, the former are referred to as AInspire, AChallenge, and AEncourage.

The leadership practices of AEncourage and AInspire had positive correlations with workplace spirituality; while AChallenge had a negative one. Average weekly attendance had a positive relationship with AVision and AChallenge but not AEncourage. Pastoring a Catholic church or a theologically conservative church had a negative relationship with the leadership practices of AChallenge and AVision; also, being in a church for 3 or more years had a negative relationship with these same two leadership practices. There was a positive correlation between pastoring multiple congregations and the practice of AChallenge. Female pastors were more likely to use the leadership practice of AEncourage, but no gender differences were found for the other two leadership practices.

All three leadership practices had a significant correlation with at least one workplace spirituality dimension. The AEncourage leadership practice had a positive relationship with the workplace spirituality dimensions of alignment and community, AChallenge had a negative relationship with finding meaning in work, and AInspire had a positive relationship with the meaning in work dimension. There were a number of statistically significant cross-level relationships between the leadership practices and the relationships between the other member variables and workplace spirituality. In general, these cross-level relationships were always positive for AEncourage, always negative for AChallenge, and mixed for AInspire.



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