Leadership structures and dynamics in multisite churches: a quantitative study
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In spite of the multisite phenomenon’s apparent “success” and effectiveness in fulfilling the Great Commission, there are looming variables related to leadership structures and organizational complexities that have not been adequately addressed. Perhaps the most significant question in need of further research in the multisite field is simply determining where final decision-making authority is found. Does such authority lie at the campus level, or at the larger church level? For example, what decisions can and cannot a campus pastor make apart from the approval of the senior leadership team? The longevity of the multisite movement will ultimately be determined by the presence of healthy leadership structures that learn the tedious balance between control and freedom. The senior leadership team has the arduous task of being closely enough involved in the operations of each campus to ensure that campuses rightly embody the DNA of the overall church. Yet at the same time, this senior leadership team must empower and legitimize campus leadership in such a way that they do not feel unnecessarily restricted and compromised of their unique calling and giftedness. Such perceptions on behalf of campus leadership can lead to mistrust, conflict, and the ultimate deterrence of the mission of the church. This quantitative study addresses the leadership dynamics and organizational complexities in multisite churches, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between campus pastors and the church’s senior leadership team. Chapter 1 introduces the research problem and its practical significance. It also defines the research questions while indicating the study’s limitations. The examination of the precedent literature in chapter 2 underscores the biblical and theological foundations of this topic, such as the clear examples of shared leadership structures seen in the New Testament. Additionally, this chapter details the contemporary research regarding multisite structures in general, and leadership structures in particular. Chapter 3 presents the research design, defines the population, establishes the selection criteria, and outlines the instrumentation. Chapter 4 analyzes the findings, while chapter 5 presents the researcher’s conclusions. The study’s ultimate aim is to stimulate meaningful dialogue among multisite churches, and to strengthen multisite churches’ leadership structures so as to better ensure biblical fidelity, health, unity, and longevity.