A comparative analysis of leadership competencies and characteristics for vocational ministry leaders as identified by ministry professionals
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Leaders in Christian ministry, in many instances, are in a crisis of competence. This research was a comparative analysis of select ministry professionals for the purpose of determining their perceptions as to the necessary leadership competencies needed for leadership in Christian ministry. The research problem that was addressed is not a new problem but one that must continue to be addressed as long as theological institutions of higher learning have the purpose of training and preparing vocational ministry leaders for Christian service. The purpose of the research that was to develop a comparative analysis of ministry professionals perceptions of the necessary character qualities and competencies for vocational ministry leaders in order to enhance ministry training. The literature review section identified the needs for this study. A theological foundation was set by looking at leaders in both Old and New Testaments and identifying the models and skills of a leader. The character and qualifications for leadership according to the Scriptures were also identified. The model of leadership that was developed in the study was a model that sees the ministry leader as a shepherd, which encompasses a variety of leadership skills, attitudes and behaviors. These were analyzed through the literature from a biblical and non-biblical leadership perspective. Other research was also analyzed in order to discover what other researchers had discovered to enhance the process of training as well. The methodology used was for the purpose of discovering the perceptions of the ministry professionals being surveyed. The study used an expert panel to assist in the development of a survey instrument that asked respondents to rank a list of leadership competencies as to their importance for ministry leaders. The respondents were asked to analyze the personal characteristics necessary for effective ministry leadership. The survey used two sample populations, local church leaders and denominational/institutional leaders which included state convention leadership and directors of associational missions. The analysis of data and correlations of the perceptions between the groups in the study was completed. The chapter that deals with data analysis shows how the data was analyzed and the responses within groups according to age, education and other demographic data. Final conclusions and implications from the research were drawn. Chapter 5 draws out conclusions from the findings in the data and it was discovered that a set of character qualities and leadership competencies existed among the ministry professionals surveyed that can be used in a variety of settings for training and preparing those who are in training for vocational Christian ministry.