Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)
Disciple, Church Leadership, Evangelical, Five-Fold Leadership, Cultural Values
Christianity | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Marshall, James Lawrence, "The Relationship between Contemporary Evangelical Church Leadership and Church Discipleship Formation" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3155.
The purpose of this mixed methods study was to determine if the church leadership paradigm contributes to the problem of a lack of disciple-making in Pennsylvania Evangelical churches. A disciple is defined as an unwavering commitment to the Lordship of Christ that is illustrated by Luke 9:23 in which disciples deny themselves and carry their cross daily. This research sought to identify the causes for the lack of discipleship in Pennsylvania Evangelical churches, and had the following findings from the quantitative survey. First, the vision that leadership provides for disciple-making is much higher than either the member involvement in discipleship or the disciple-making that is actually occurring. The chuch leaders scale and senior pastors scale were the next highest scale after the vision scale indicating that members may think leaders and pastors do the disciple-making. Finally, the team leadership scale had much lower numbers than all the other scales. The qualitative part of the study found that the church needs the priesthood of all believers need to be restored, that culture adversely impacts the church, and that the church has mostly maintained the status quo of not making many disciples instead of making changes to make more disciples. By providing a clearer understanding of the reasons for the problem this study hopes to be of assistance to others who can assist in resolving the issue.