About the project
How do pastors lead their congregations during Sunday service, and what factors shape the way they do it? This is the research question forming this PhD- thesis. Through document analysis, participatory observation and qualitative research interviews, I study the leadership practice of seven pastors in the Church of Norway in their context. I have utilized Stephen Kemmis' practice theory to structure the thesis in the main analytical categories setups (context), doings, sayings and relatings. How do pastors lead in their doings - the performance and the use of voice and body? How do they lead in what they say and how they say it, and how do they reflect upon their own leadership practice? Moreover, how are the pastors leading in the way they relate to congregation and co-workers both before, during and after the service? Besides, how are the pastors shaped by the context in which the leadership practice takes place? Be it for example the order of worship, the local culture, the architecture of and artefacts in the given room.
I utilize an abductive approach that implies a moving back and forth between different theoretical perspectives and the empirical material. The theoretical perspectives are Anthony Giddens' theory of structuration, institutional leadership theory and pastoral theology.
I hope this project will lead to a better understanding of how pastors lead their congregations during Sunday service, and be able to suggest some factors that shape the way they do so. Moreover, my aim is to contribute to a more reflexive leadership practice among pastors.
Cand.theol from Misjonshøgskolen (School of Mission and Theology), Stavanger, 1999.