The purpose of this study was to research and develop a model of spiritual leadership formation that is transformational in assisting dying, plateaued and maintenance model churches into becoming healthy and missional in nature. Literature surveyed included spiritual leadership, the nature, and purpose of the church, and the current North American Christian and cultural context.
Ten church board members and ministry leaders who attend the Church of the Nazarene in Federal Way, Washington (a suburb of Seattle) were interviewed for this ministry project. Each of these individuals participated in several carefully planned book and curriculum studies. These studies included reading assignments, questions and discussions from the Holy Bible, Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders, Lost in
America by Tom Clegg and Warren Bird, and Sharing your Faith with Family and Friends by Michael Smith. They also listened to two different, but thematically related sermon series addressing the purpose of this study entitled: Hope for the Future and The Missional Church.
An additional component of the curriculum was a Spiritual Retreat, and a teaching module addressing the dynamics of spiritual leadership, and healthy missional churches. Each person involved filled out a research questionnaire and participated in a thirty-minute interview conducted by the researcher. In looking at the pretest data and the concluding interviews, there was a significant change in the heightened awareness of the participants concerning the current crisis, challenges and the mission of the church in North America. There was also an increased sense of responsibility expressed by the participants in addressing this problem, as spiritual ministry leaders in the local church.
The study also concluded that missional spiritual leadership is:
1) Biblically-based, Christ-like and Spirit-filled
2) Culturally relevant and outreach focused
3) Courageous and compassionate
4) Obedient and faithful to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission
5) Discipleship oriented and teaches local and global missions as an integral part of a disciples’ life purpose and goal.