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|Title:||Leading Renewal in Salvation Army Congregations in Canada|
|Authors:||Bradbury, Clarence E.|
|Abstract:||<p>A denomination is as strong as its congregations. Some of the congregations of The Salvation Army in Canada are showing signs of emergence into a new stage of health and productivity for the kingdom. Case study research leads to a better understanding of the role that leadership plays in congregational emergence. The problem of this research project was to identify and explore the leadership dynamics that are at work in emerging Canadian congregations of The Salvation Army and to consider what the turnaround in these congregations has to say to the governance and structures of the Army.</p> <p>Using a 36-item congregational survey, attitudes of church members in six locations across Canada were measured on a variety of issues normally associated with church leadership. Results were tabulated through the use of the SPSS version 8.0 data management system for examining demographics. This survey was supplemented by a 90-minute focus group discussion with church leaders in each location. Additionally, face-to-face interviews were conducted with the pastors of the six congregations and various found documents were examined. Data from the interviews revealed that most of the leaders sense a need to be better prepared for leadership. Many are working hard to adopt a transformational leadership approach, as opposed to transactional leadership.</p> <p>Several denominational issues arose during the course of the research. A traditional style of hierarchical and autocratic leadership was found to be dysfunctional and unacceptable to most leaders. The case study research affirmed the findings from the scriptures, theology and contemporary leadership theory., that servant leadership is the most desirable approach. Research affirmed that, just as congregations are experiencing renewal by becoming transformational in leadership and structures, so the declining denomination may experience new vitality.</p> <p>Issues covered in the research suggest that three courses of action be taken by The Salvation Army, as a means of concerted action toward revitalization. These are 1) Refocus Leaders, 2) Renew Spiritual Life, and 3) Reform structures. We must address these three big issues if we desire health and growth for the church and the kingdom of God. Adopting these three approaches simultaneously will demonstrate the extent of our commitment to renewal. It will also involve risk and change. It is heartening to see a number of young and middle-aged pastors who are paying the price for progress in their congregations. As our divisional and national offices provide our best with affirmation and resources for effective mission, they will lead the denomination to renewal.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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