Relationship between the Emotional Intelligence of the Lead Clergy and Church Growth in North America

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Piedmont International University


Followers expect leaders to provide clarity and assurance in uncertain times. These expectations apply to church leaders as well. American churches are in crisis regarding growth in worship attendance. According to Eymann (2012) and Shattuck (2014), more than 85% of churches in the United States are either stagnant or in decline. In addition, Redfern (2015) posited that about 4,000 churches in America are closed down each year. However, the good news is that a few churches in the United States are experiencing consistent growth in weekly worship attendance. If the pastoral leadership in those growing churches has anything to do with the growth, the researcher wondered what leadership qualities those pastoral leaders possessed that could be lacking in the pastoral leaders of churches that are not growing. Keen interest in whether or not the Emotional Intelligence competencies of the lead clergy of growing churches have any relationship with the growth, served as the impetus for this research study. This quantitative study was intended to investigate what relationship, if any, existed between the Emotional Intelligence competences of the lead clergy and church growth in the selected congregations within the Wesleyan Church North America. The Genos Emotional Intelligence Inventory Concise instrument was utilized to assess and to determine the scoring pattern in the Emotional Intelligence competencies of the selected lead clergy within the Wesleyan Church North America. The conclusion of the study was that, of the seven competencies of Emotional Intelligence, only Emotional Reasoning was significantly higher among the lead clergy of growing Wesleyan churches than those of the lead clergy in the Wesleyan churches that were not growing. Other Emotional Intelligent competencies showed no significant differences.



Emotional intelligence, Church growth, Church clergy, Leadership, Church attendance decline, Clergy leadership, Church worship attendance