Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy


Alvin Dockett


leadership, followership, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Good News Clubs, organizational change, strategic change


Leadership Studies | Religion


The influence of Child Evangelism Fellowship saw a significant increase across the United States of America after an organizational change following a 2001 Supreme Court case ruling. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the role of followership on the change and followership principles that emerged during the change that was implemented following the ruling Good News Club v. Milford Central School on the Good News Club ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship. Organizational change was defined as intentional actions promoted by leadership and intentional actions taken by followers who took advantage of the rights guaranteed by the ruling. The theories guiding this study were Followership Theory as popularized by Kelley, and Lewin’s Organizational Change Theory. The methodology for this study was open-ended, qualitative interviews of CEF directors to determine what they perceived to be the leadership and followership qualities displayed in this organizational change. The researcher coded the results of these interviews using NVivo software. This coding identified guiding principles for leaders of both Child Evangelism Fellowship and similarly structured ministries and organizations in the case of future strategic changes. These principles were that followership is a role, it can be described in positive teams, and there are many expectations for followers in a workplace or ministry.