Building on the experiences of 15 successful congregational leaders in the United Methodist Church, John Bennett, Ph.D., and Julie Gawle along with five graduate students (Emily Carpenter, Brendan Coffey, Danielle Frottier, Laurie Meek, and Tori Scarborough) from the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte, identify and explore leadership behaviors that support congregational vitality.
In this study, 15 pastors and 51 church staff and lay leaders were interviewed and success stories constructed. Leadership behaviors were identified and compared to a widely accepted congregational leadership framework developed by Towers Watson. Analysis and findings related to traits found most frequently within pastor interviews and interviews with staff and church members are presented along with a comparison of the pastor-only and member-only themes.
A review of the characteristics common across all interviews is also summarized and presented. Recommendations for pastors and the United Methodist Church are shared along with insights related to the leadership framework for congregational leaders developed in 2011 by Towers Watson. In addition, recommendations for further study are offered.
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