Date of Submission
The study is an exploration of pastoral leadership from the perspectives of members of the congregation within an Australian Chinese congregational church. The congregational form of church government is one of the governing structures within the Protestant churches. This kind of church operates under a democratic voting system in which each member of the congregation has an equal voice regarding church administration. Most Australian Chinese congregational churches consist of different generations of Chinese Christians. Research indicates that Chinese Australians' length of residence in Australia is closely linked to their identification with Australian culture. As such, the values, beliefs and attitudes of different generations of Chinese Christians might be different as a result of acculturation. These generational differences will in turn affect the decision making processes of church administration and the approaches to pastoral leadership of the senior pastor. In the past, issues of pastoral leadership have mainly been discussed from theological perspectives. Nowadays, studies of pastoral leadership have been more varied. However, there is still relatively little scholarly empirical research concerning pastoral leadership in a congregational church setting, especially from an intergenerational perspective. In this study, four dimensions of pastoral leadership are identified, namely the personal, organisational, religious and cultural dimensions. The epistemology and theoretical perspective governing the research study is constructionism and interpretivism respectively. Case study has been employed as the methodology. The strategies of data collection include questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, direct observation and document analysis. Rich data is analysed by using the framework of Spencer, Ritchie and O'Connor (2003).;The findings of the research revealed differing perceptions among different generations of Australian-Chinese Christians about the pastoral leadership of the senior pastor within an Australian Chinese congregational church. Differences in the perceptions about the pastoral leadership of the senior pastor were also found between groups of lay leaders and church members. Results indicated that a variety of leadership approaches were used by church pastors when they were dealing with different generations of Australian-Chinese Christians in the church. The findings identified the personal characteristics of the senior pastor as the most influential factor in the pastor's leadership effectiveness, with the organisational, religious and cultural factors also perceived to influence the leadership effectiveness of the senior pastor within the research context. The research presents a conceptual framework for the exploration of pastoral leadership which may be useful for further research. This framework draws attention to the four dimensions of pastoral leadership, namely the personal, organisational, religious and cultural dimensions. The research findings suggest that attention given to these dimensions may enhance both the leadership of church pastors and the growth and development of churches in similar contexts.
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Faculty of Education
Ng, K. H. (2006). Exploring pastoral leadership in the context of an Australian Chinese congregational church (Doctoral thesis, Australian Catholic University). Retrieved from http://researchbank.acu.edu.au/theses/166