The Church's Influence: A Qualitative Study of Church Leadership in Southern Arizona

The Church's Influence: A Qualitative Study of Church Leadership in Southern Arizona

Author: 
Tandala R. Kidd
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
Unethical behavior has become commonplace in today’s society. It is prevalent across all venues, including government, businesses, sports and churches. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the reactions and leadership qualities of church leaders through the eyes and hearts of church members, church volunteers, and ministry leaders. The study involved one-on-one interviews with 17 church members discussing how they relate to church leadership, and how what they hear and learn in Sunday sermons or through ministry work affect how they react in the community at large and in their professional lives. Data analysis performed on recorded interviews showed that study participants felt that leaders are expected to be good communicators, be credible, reliable, and respectful. They also felt that they should respect their leaders but that leaders within the church need to do more to help followers become more effective outside the church. The study findings of trust in leadership along with ethical leadership and followership will help facilitate new leadership training for church leaders as well as community and business leaders to help people take what is learned in church into their daily lives and make a difference in society. However, further research is necessary over a broader spectrum of denominations and include business leaders and workers.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my children, Michael and Michelle, and my grandchildren, Jeremiah and Nya, whom I pray are inspired by my efforts and accomplishments. My children and grandchildren are my reason for living and everything that I do. I love you all so dearly.
Acknowledgements: 
I first thank God, who through His Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is ever constant and never changing in my life. Without Jesus, I could not have completed this project. I want to express my sincere gratitude to my family, my extended family, special close friends and colleagues, who reviewed papers, inquired about my progress, listened to me vent and inspired, supported and cheered me on throughout the journey. Thank you for your love and support. Also, thanks to all the leaders and ministry workers who participated in this study, without you this study could not have been completed. Thank you to my mentor, Dr. Karyn Scott, and committee members Dr. John Rothfork, Dr. Julio Carvalho, and former committee member, Dr. Joseph Sexton, for their guidance and dedication to excellence, sticking with me to the bitter end, and always helping me work a little bit harder to make the result better. A very special thank you to Pastor Amos L. Lewis, my spiritual leader, who truly is a mentor, friend and awesome man of God.