The Effects of Preacher’s Family Lifestyle on the Spiritual and Numerical Church Growth

THE EFFECTS OF PREACHER’S FAMILY LIFESTYLE ON THE SPIRITUAL AND NUMERICAL CHURCH GROWTH

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The Bible in general and the book of Acts in particular records and affirms the expected and desired dynamic of statistical growth in and through Gospel healthy churches… and so do we. But whenever statistical growth becomes the focused objective of a church’s ministry (instead of a valued consequence of its ministry), it is simply a matter of time until church leaders exchange Biblically defined principled faithfulness for worldly defined pragmatic success. The former brings the applause of heaven. The latter is always numerically measured and prized thinking it will bring the applause and approval of the culture.

Lifestyle is not just something we put into our lives, but it is what comes out of our lives in those hurried times. It is beyond a system of values or virtue we learn from our parents, or even at church. Lifestyle is who you are to God Himself and those around you. It is the real you! The church and parents must teach it, but they cannot insure its function. That is the responsibility of our choice, a determination we make ourselves, a stand in stress that we continue to uphold.

Some pastors and churches within the Vineyard that change their plans and redefine themselves with every trend or movement that comes along. They don’t stick with what God called them to do. They are always changing. A common problem with younger pastors is that when a new person or family comes into the church they are desperate to keep them in the church, so they change the direction of the church to keep people. We fail so often because we don’t have confidence in what God has called us to do, and therefore, we are caught up by every shifting trend that comes along.

Definitely, every pastor has a family, sometimes the congregation forgets, sometimes even the pastor seems to forget. If the pastor is single, relatives and close friends are the family. Each member of that family, as each member of your family–has needs to be met and potentials to be developed.

Peter preached, recalling Genesis and God’s promise to Abraham, “In your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Acts 3:25). So we become one family in Christ, caring for every member of the body. Sometimes a pastor’s family may feel that the church members are the pastor’s family, because they seem to have more impact on the pastor.

Whenever they call, whatever they want, the pastor seems to be ready to counsel, teach, preach and visit. Because pastors care about what they do, it often is difficult for them to turn people away who crowd into family time. More and more pastors, however, are scheduling regular time away from their pastoral duties for their families in addition to time for themselves. There are great rewards in the pastor’s home. Children have access to a parent at times other children can’t reach theirs. They understand what their parent, who is a pastor, does more clearly than children whose parents “go to the office.” But there may be a sense of intrusion, especially when the pastor’s family lives in a parsonage.

The Effects of Preacher’s Family Lifestyle on the Spiritual and Numerical Church Growth

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Pastoral family lifestyle is one of the keys to success in the ministry of the church. Capable and skillful leaders will create an atmosphere of excitement, give directions to move forward, and develop people to grow into maturity. Only when pastors understand leadership in the light of God’s calling on their lives will they be equipped to lead effectively. As the Barrs state, “Leadership is the process of influencing people to give their energies, use their potential, release their determination, and go beyond their comfort zone to accomplish goals.

Leadership is a dynamic process. It affects, risks, drives, inspires, threatens, supports, and leads.” Local churches are looking for someone to lead them into God’s purposes God’s way. Local churches need leaders who truly believe God will do what he says. People will follow spiritual leaders who understand God’s agenda and who know how to move them toward it. Effective leaders recognize the three elements of a triangle: (1) their own preferred and comfortable leader style, (2) the comfortable relational styles of their followers, and (3) the most productively structured ministry situations for them.

The Effects of Preacher’s Family Lifestyle on the Spiritual and Numerical Church Growth

Pastoral leaders should be alert to the most comfortable and productive combination of these three elements leader follower-situation. Is this leadership triangle too complex to analyze? No, leaders can select their own leader style and can help structure the ministry situations they work in. In other words, leaders can influence two of the three points of the leadership triangle. That creates favorable, reciprocal, and complementary possibilities for effective leadership. Leaders determine their followers’ style reactions, however, unless they choose to manipulate.

The lack of leadership in today’s churches, especially the smaller churches, has caused all kinds of problems which have stagnated the healthy growth of the church. In this time of unprecedented opportunity and plentiful resources, the church is actually losing influence. Therefore, the study is design to investigate the effects of preacher’s family lifestyle on the spiritual/numerical church growth in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lagos Province 28.

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