Leadership behaviors and practices among leaders of the churches of Christ
Knowing God's purpose for our lives provides meaning and direction. Christianity can help one identify their life's purpose and meaning. Dwindling church attendance may reflect that church leaders are not connecting with their congregations in a way that inspires, encourages, or empowers. Improved organizational performance has been demonstrated to be more evident when transformational leadership is present. Studies have shown that people perform beyond expectation when leaders exhibit specific transformational leadership behaviors. The literature indicated that much of Jesus' ministry could be described as practicing transformational leadership. More recent literature suggested that today's church leader needs to practice behaviors that are more consistent with modern transformational leadership theory.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of leader demographics and leadership behaviors on the congregational performance measures of Sunday morning worship attendance and contribution. The demographic characteristics described in the study included age, ethnicity, level of education, occupation, and location of residence. The demographic characteristics were identified using a researcher prepared survey instrument. The study identified leadership behaviors and practices of church of Christ elders using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire developed by Bernard Bass and Bruce Avolio. The population for this study was elders of the church of Christ. The sample was collected from those elders of the church of Christ who attended the Bible Lectures held on the Pepperdine University Malibu Campus, May 3-6, 2005. A total of 168 survey instruments were distributed during the Lectureship event with 66 being returned for a response rate of 39.29%. The results of the study indicated that the transformational leadership behavior of inspirational motivation was significantly correlated with congregational giving. Additionally, the transactional behavior of management by exception---active and laissez-faire behavior was significantly correlated with lower Sunday morning worship attendance and contribution. Inspirational motivation seemed to be correlated to increased Sunday morning worship attendance, but not significantly.