How Can Strategic Leadership be Applied to the Development of the Local Church?


Strategic leadership
church strategy
church development
congregational strategy
volunteer organizations
church leadership
church management

How to Cite

Jenssen, J. I. (2019). How Can Strategic Leadership be Applied to the Development of the Local Church? A Discussion of Content and Process. Scandinavian Journal for Leadership and Theology, 6.


Whether you want to or not, strategies are formed. Increased awareness of strategic choices increases the chances that one arrives where one intends to. This is probably an important reason why some local churches work to develop and implement strategies. At the same time, the discussion in this article shows that there is very little research literature that provides a guide to how strategic leadership can be done in a good way in a local church.

In this article, it is argued that the strategic leadership ideas developed in businesses can be used in the local church, taking into account the church’s peculiarities. The church’s theological-spiritual dimension must provide guidelines on how strategy processes should be designed and on the content of strategy. At the same time, strategic leadership can help support and develop the theological dimension of the church; an emphasis on strategy development would probably support the work of choosing a direction for a church, and this effort would probably contribute to creating progress in realizing the content of the strategy. Such an interaction can contribute to church development by making the church more able to be and do to what it is called to be and do.

In the article, I try to apply the current knowledge base to formulate some assumptions about how the strategy process and content can be designed in the local church. Among other things, biblical material, revelation and the testing of its accuracy, time to listen to God, spiritual gifts, theological reflection, and prayer are of importance to strategic leadership in the church. These are very foreign elements in the general strategy literature but are still important for the church.

If one is to be able to give better and more concrete advice on strategic leadership in local churches, it is necessary to examine in more detail how such work takes place today and how it can support the church’s theological-spiritual identity and development. Furthermore, closer theological studies are needed to discuss how the theological-spiritual dimension should influence strategic leadership in the local church.


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