“Sustaining Leadership Practices for Church Growth in Cambodia” / Part 13 /

I.                   IV. A study of effective leadership and management principles for church growth

The principal questions to be answered are: What is effective leadership and how to lead effectively? Somehow, we have learned that leadership and management as a topic has been extensive studies around the world, yet the terms of reference remain unclear. It is easier to define effective since the dictionary definition is clear: producing a strong impression or response.[1] Hence, if we apply this to the church leadership, it means that effective leadership and management are the abilities, and big responsibilities of leaders to lead, manage, and deal with problems that arise in any size of the church. Based on chapter two of the thesis, there are pretty much of discussion about leadership and management skills through the story of Nehemiah and at the same time, we can see how much of his leadership style impacted and succeeded in his works. Therefore, in this chapter, we are going to look at some elements of effective leadership, how leadership influence the others, and the applicability of leadership principles to the actual church situation in Cambodia.

2.                  2. Elements of effective leadership

As mentioned above, people talk about leadership every day and everywhere, namely, leadership is discussed in schools, companies, organizations, communities, and churches. No matter how big or small of those groups are, but leadership are always the crucial topics for their discussion. Schools need leadership. Organizations need leadership, and churches need leadership.  From its beginning indeed that every local church has accepted the need for leadership and management in their denominations. The church father Jerome has emphasized that “Without a leader or term of leadership, there is no church.”[2] As one of the local church leaders, I am totally agreed with this, for it is very true that the church cannot run without leaders. In addition to this, Annie Jaubert, of one the Bible scholar, reviews us that during the time of the earliest Christian history of leadership, the leader must be the one who can take bigger “responsibility of all things and the charge of all some.”[3] The quality, tone, and style of the pastor’s leadership are important; none of these factors, however, takes away from the necessity of the leader functioning as a real leader while holding the position of leadership.[4] Somehow, the writer, Kennon Callahan, of “Effective Church Leadership” outlines in his book in this way, “Leaders do leading in order to sustain their followers to reach the goal and fulfill it. Leaders do not dictate, control, or administrate. They are must be the one who can be operated and compromised in their local churches.”[5]

As the other notice, pastors are not the only preacher in the life of the local church.[6] But, they are the leaders who have the quality of a pastor’s leadership that can make the greatest changeable from one church to another. In another way round, one can say that growing churches need growing leadership. Churches need effective leadership and the initial concern here is on the leadership role of the pastoral leadership. In their research of religion evolution, Woodie W. White and James H. Davis recall that traditionally a congregation cannot lead better than its pastor, for they do not know of a single instance where a church made a successful transition without the leadership of the pastor. A few congregations replaced the pastor and then moved ahead, but “a congregation does not lead its pastor. Of course, the pastor can achieve nothing alone…. But the attitudes and skills of the minister are of crucial importance, particularly at times of greatest change.”[7] In order to make it clear in what follows, I am going to discuss several elements of effective leadership. In order words, what elements can make leadership effective?

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