Pastoral leadership among African-led pentecostal churches in the context of British society
The Pentecostal movement is experiencing phenomenal growth within global Christendom. Notwithstanding the exponential growth of Pentecostalism, there are contextual pastoral leadership challenges within the African-led Pentecostal tradition in British society. The first challenge observed is that the pastoral leadership practices of the African-led Pentecostal churches in British society are situated in their socio-cultural and theological orientations; this situation poses contextual challenges for pastors in carrying out their ecclesiastical duties. The second problem concerns leadership. There are often, for example, allegations about some pastors within this tradition mismanaging church finances, practising sexual immorality, taking money for prophetic utterances and abusing their power. These very troubling allegations have led to some Christians leaving this church tradition to join other churches, especially white-led British Pentecostal/charismatic churches, and some have stopped going to church altogether. Moreover, a review of literature suggests there has not been an attempt to undertake an in-depth study of the pastoral leadership praxis of the African-led Pentecostal church community in British society. Thus, there is a gap to be filled in Pentecostal pastoral leadership scholarship. The present research investigates these contextual challenges and formulates markers for exemplary pastoral leadership among African-led Pentecostal churches in British society. To address these problems, the four tasks of Richard Osmer’s practical theological interpretation were used. Pastors from the African-led church community were interviewed. The study investigated the impact of North American Pentecostal pastoral leadership on their African counterparts, recent scholarship on pastoral leadership, the five practices of exemplary leadership by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, the socio-cultural and theological distinctives of African-led neo-Pentecostal churches in the context of British society, and New Testament perspectives on pastoral leadership. The findings of this study affirmed that there are challenges facing African-led Pentecostal pastoral leaders in the context of British society and that these can be addressed from a practical theological perspective by formulating markers for a model of exemplary pastoral leadership. The study contributes to original research in the burgeoning field of practical theology in the area of Pentecostal pastoral leadership.
- Theology