Date of Award

10-2008

Embargo Period

1-1-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education (Research) MEd (Research)

Faculty

Education & Science

School

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Lyall Heise

Second Advisor

Dr. Peter Morey

Abstract

As church programs have become more complex and varied, the variety of roles and number of people involved in church management and leadership has also increased. The worship team leader is one of these emerging roles. As a result of these changes it has become essential that more attention be given to the design and implementation of educational programs aimed at raising the incumbent’s understanding of, and personal competence for, conducting these roles in an effective and co-ordinated fashion. As a first step in designing educational programs for worship team leaders it is expedient to develop a holistic view of the present situation.

This research project, then, is firstly aimed at generating a profile of the perspectives held by various stakeholders (Local Church and System Administration Pastors, Worship Team Members, Local Church Leaders and Congregational Members) within the North New South Wales (NNSW) Conference of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Churches, relating to the practice of and education programs for worship team leaders. Along with this the research explored the stakeholders’ understandings of the characteristics of an effective worship team leader. Finally, the respective stakeholders’ perspectives of effective worship team leadership were compared with that presented in the literature.

The results of this research investigation indicated that (i) across the various stakeholder groups there is an inconsistent and quite limited understanding of the theological foundations for such a function as a worship team leader; (ii) there are very few commonly held beliefs by the various stakeholder groups regarding what qualities and characteristics are considered to be important to the effective 4 functioning of a worship team leader; and, (iii) significant differences exist between ‘highly valued characteristics’ espoused by prominent and reputable authors and those advocated by the respective stakeholders. Indeed, what emerged from the literature was that an effective worship team leader is, firstly, a person that grows, both spiritually and professionally, and encourages others to grow. In contrast, the stakeholder groups highlighted the need for containing and managing problematic aspects of worship ministry.

Finally, it is recommended that education programs that facilitate a process where stakeholders become reflective and self-directed life-long learners in both spiritual and practical matters pertaining to the worship life of the local church. This program of education should be designed and implemented in response to the varying needs of the different stakeholder groups.

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