Case Studies
by Paul Hazelden

Spurgeon's College

MTh in Applied Theology

Student's name: Paul Hazelden

College Number: 910006

Module Name: Leadership

Staff member to whom submitted: Rev. Dr. Peter K. Stevenson/Dr Viv Thomas

Essay title: Case Studies

I confirm that this work is the result of my own independent work/investigation and that it has not been submitted toward any other academic award at Spurgeon's College or any other institution.


A 3,000 to 4,000 word case study.

Assignment 2: Submit detailed case studies of two significant leaders known to you. Each case study should:

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 5

1.1. The Selection Process 5

1.2. Methodology 5

1.3. The Leaders 5

2. Context 6

2.1. Location 6

2.2. The Congregation 6

2.3. Theology 6

2.4. Local Relationships 7

2.5. Wider Relationships 8

2.6. More Background for Pastor 1 8

2.7. The Two Churches 9

2.8. More Background for Pastor 2 9

3. Summarising the Interviews 10

3.1. Mistakes 10

3.2. Releasing Gifts 10

3.3. Control 11

4. Evaluation 11

4.1. Effectiveness 11

4.2. Absolutes 11

4.3. Career Choice 11

4.4. Ecumenism 12

4.5. Culture 12

4.6. Emotional Self-awareness 12

4.7. Denomination 13

5. Application 13

5.1. Pastor 1 13

5.2. Pastor 2 13

Bibliography 15

Appendix 1: Preparing for the Interviews 16

Appendix 2: The Interviews 18

1. Introduction

1.1. The Selection Process

I have derived great benefit from my contact with three nationally recognised Christian leaders: one from the Baptist tradition, and two from the early days of the House Church movement. They have each published numerous books, but there is comparatively little biographical detail published about them so far. They have each exercised significant ministries that extended far beyond my personal experience of them, and I concluded that in each case I would only be capable of reflecting upon my experience of their leadership styles. Given the limits of my experience, this was potentially significantly misleading.

We are allowed to interpret 'significant leaders' as 'leaders who have been significant to you', so I decided to choose two leaders who served as pastor in the same church. This made the process of comparison more straightforward, and enabled me to gain information about both leaders from the same sources - people who knew them - which also made the process of comparison fairer. Of course, there is always the possibility of individual bias, but this can occur from any source, and by interviewing four other people who were close to both leaders this risk could be reduced.

1.2. Methodology

I interviewed people who had known both leaders well, and who had served in some way under both of them. Several of the interviewees expressed concern about confidentiality, so I promised that I would not use proper names in the assignment.

The interviews had to be arranged all to take place on a single day, which limited the time I could spend with each individual. However, we were careful to structure the time effectively, and each interviewee indicated that they were content they had given a fair summary of each pastor's leadership style.

1.3. The Leaders

In the period covered by this study, both leaders were reasonably mature, the second being older than the first. After leaving the church, the first leader spent a short time with one congregation before serving in his last pastorate elsewhere; the second, with an extension to his term, served his last pastorate at the church before retiring.

2. Context

"Describe and discuss the context within which leadership is exercised."

Both leaders worked as the pastor of a group of nonconformist churches in a Northern suburb of a large town in Surrey. The second pastor ('P2') followed the first ('P1') after a gap (generally referred to as an 'interregnum') of several years during which the church had no paid leadership.

When I talk about 'the church,' or 'the congregation' this is a reference to the largest congregation in the group of churches, and the one in which I and my interviewees were based during these two pastorates. At the time, I had contacts with the other churches in the group. The two pastors spent most of their time working in the largest church, so it is valid to concentrate on the experiences of people based in that church.

The precise membership of the group changed during the (roughly) twenty years covered by this assignment, but during the whole period the most significant of the other churches in the group was located in a village some four miles outside the town. Where I need to distinguish between them, I will generally do so by reference to 'the village church' and 'the larger church'.

2.1. Location

The church building lies on the boundary between a council estate and an area of private housing.

The council estate is one of the most socially and economically deprived areas in Surrey. On the estate, a short distance from the church, is a secondary school that made the national news on several occasions because it was failing so spectacularly.

2.2. The Congregation

Many in the congregation lived within walking distance of the church building, with perhaps a 60-40 split between the the council housing and private housing; other members travelled in from different parts of the town.

A sizeable portion of the congregation had grown up and spent their entire lives in the area, while a similar number were graduates of the local university. The church was also popular with students of the university, some of whom became closely integrated into the life of the church and took on various responsibilities during their time there.

2.3. Theology

Both pastors clearly identified themselves as evangelicals and charismatics, in a denomination that is dominated by people who are non-charismatic and liberal.

In the last fifteen years of the period being considered, both pastors were practising believers' baptism, in a denomination in which infant baptism was the standard. This was theologically complicated, as the denomination accepted in principle the validity of both infant and believers' baptism, but this was interpreted by most people in the denominational hierarchy to mean that believers' baptism was acceptable in the case of people who had not previously been baptised as infants.

A number of other churches in the denomination were also practising believers' baptism, but they all adopted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy of not asking baptismal candidates whether they had been baptised as infants, so they never knowingly baptised anyone who had undergone infant baptism.

P1, once he had become convinced by believers' baptism, openly baptised people who had already been baptised as infants. This caused a long lasting conflict with the denomination, and sparked a major consultation within the denomination.

This conflict with and within the denomination dominated not only the relationship with the denomination but also a significant part of church life for some ten years.

Within the church, the transition from infant to believers' baptism was remarkably smooth. It also provided a focus of church unity: the church had a common 'enemy', and this always encourages and promotes internal unity. It is not clear to what extent the lack of unity under P2 was the result of the removal of conflict with the denomination.

When P2 arrived, he was confident that he would be able to continue practising believers' baptism, and that the conflict with the denomination would soon end. This claim and this confidence probably played a significant part in the decision to call him as the pastor.

He was as good as his word: very soon after arriving, he told us that a solution had been found. When we baptised people, he would not say "I baptise you", instead he would say "I immerse you in these baptismal waters." This, it seems, satisfied the denomination that the church was no longer re-baptising. Very few people in the church believed that this trivial change of phraseology could stop a conflict that had been going on for so long, but the conflict with the denomination did cease.

With hindsight, it seems possible that the denomination finally recognised that they were not going to change the belief and practice of the church, either through threats or through theological persuasion, and hence settled on a compromise that allowed them to save face. The common opinion was that if P1 had suggested this form of words, the denomination would never have accepted it.

2.4. Local Relationships

Both pastors were part of a local grouping of some twenty evangelical churches. Neither took any significant part in the local council of churches. Neither built any kind of relationship with the local parish church, which was not particularly evangelical but was healthy and very active in the local community.

2.5. Wider Relationships

P1 had very little significant connection with other churches or Christian groups. Most of his energy and activity was directed at the congregations and people under his care, although P1 and his wife were gifted singers, and continue to have an involvement in creating, producing and performing in a range of musical activities.

P2 had connections with a wide range of other churches and Christian groups: he was planting a church for the ex-pat community in the Spanish resort of Benidorm; he maintained communication with previous pastorates; he received invitations to preach at various churches in Britain and the USA. At one point, he went to receive an honorary doctorate from an academic institution in the USA.

2.6. More Background for Pastor 1

P1 had a traditional liberal background, and functioned within that paradigm for many years. He was asked to perform an exorcism in a house, which he did out of politeness, and was astonished by the difference his prayers made to the people involved. This led him to believe in spiritual realities that were not a functional part of his churchmanship, which in turn led him to consider parts of the Bible he had previously dismissed.

For a number of years, he went through a process of discovering the relevance and importance of Biblical truth, and of the present day work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers. He eventually came to be publicly identified as an evangelical and a charismatic. I played some part in this process, and also in his journey from belief in and practice of infant baptism through to a wholehearted commitment to believers' baptism.

P1's gradual move from liberal to evangelical charismatic caused remarkably few problems for the congregation. A few members were already evangelical and charismatic, and the majority of the rest accompanied P1 in his journey, which he openly talked about in his sermons and elsewhere.

The move from infant to believers' baptism took place with similar lack of conflict. In this case, some members of the congregation remained true to their infant baptismal roots, but they did not want to interfere with the rest of the congregation responding to what they saw as God's leading. Consequently, when the denomination tried to stop what was happening, the whole congregation was united in opposition to the heavy-handed tactics they applied.

2.7. The Two Churches

On the majority of Sundays, P1 would lead the service at the village church, then leave at the end of his sermon and drive to the larger church, where someone else would have been leading the service and drawing the worship to a close in readiness for the sermon. Nobody, other than P1, liked this arrangement. The people in the village church never had the chance to talk with P1 at the end of the service, and the worship leader in the larger church would always be anxious about exactly when P1 would arrive - would he arrive in time?

It was also clear to many people in the larger church that the sermon was being delivered in the context of the worship and sermon from the village church, and this often seemed out of context for the worship and other activities that had taken place in the service at the larger church before P1 arrived.

When P1 left, the village church changed the time of its service so that one minister could not attend both services.

When preparing a job description to be used in advertising the vacancy, both churches made it clear that they did not want a new pastor to attend both services on the same morning. This was also made very clear in discussions with all the candidates who were interviewed.

Despite this, P2 managed to change the time of the village church service back to its original time, and to preach in both churches most weeks. This was initially justified as a temporary but necessary part of 'getting to know the congregations', and then as an essential part of his pastoral responsibility. God had called P2 to preach, and by sitting under his ministry we would be protected from error and sin.

2.8. More Background for Pastor 2

P1, when he left, had been in the church some 20 years. The church had grown significantly under his leadership, both numerically and spiritually. He was respected for his achievements and loved both despite and, in some ways, because of his faults and failings.

As far as we could tell, P2 came to the church after a series of pastorates in which he was loved and obeyed. But, despite his wide-ranging experience, he came proclaiming his own achievements and criticising P1 and his legacy. This divided the church: some were deeply impressed; others deeply offended. He was certainly not given the unconditional love and obedience from the whole congregation that he expected.

A few months after P2 arrived, the church went away and was joined by some members of his previous congregation. They were clearly in awe of him, and were constantly saying things like, "Don't you feel so blessed to have P2 as your leader?" to members of our congregation. We were never sure if they noticed the non committal responses they received.

I had been preaching at the church, and others, for some years when P2 arrived. After several months, P2 asked me to preach in the evening service, which had a significantly smaller congregation than the morning service, and had declined since P2 arrived. This was the first time a local person had been allowed to preach since he arrived. Unfortunately, the congregation was almost double the size that he usually attracted, and I was never asked to preach in the church again during his time with us.

P1 would occasionally take the Elders away for the day, to consider business that needed more time than was available in the normal evening meetings, and to socialise and get to know each other better. P2 took the Elders away for the day, but could only spend part of it with us. Most of this time was taken by him delivering a sermon that could easily have been preached on a Sunday. When this was mentioned as part of the feedback at the next Elders' meeting, P2 threatened to resign unless we were prepared to cease the 'constant criticism' of him. Looking back at this time, several of the people present have told me that they regarded this moment as a missed opportunity.

3. Summarising the Interviews

The complete text of the interviews can be found in Appendix 2. Some of the points identified in the interviews are briefly summarised in this section.

3.1. Mistakes

Fletcher Byron makes the point that leaders need to "generate a reasonable number of mistakes... if you can come to the end of a year and see that you have not made any mistakes, then... you just haven't tried everything you should have tried" - quoted in (Adair, 1985, 156).

P1 was flawed but human. While he would not totally bare his soul in the pulpit, he would admit to faults, failings, sins and struggles. He shared his joys, and sometimes admitted to doubts. While he was not entirely honest, there was a level of honesty in public that people could both respect and respond to. In private, he made friendships with a number of people.

P2 admitted to no weaknesses. He was our Leader, and he delivered God's Word to us. Our job was to hear God speak to us through him, and to obey. Anything that could be interpreted as a criticism of, or even a lack of total agreement with, him was taken as an attack on his entire ministry.

3.2. Releasing Gifts

P1 was constantly seeking to help people discover their gifts and release them into ministry. He frequently got it wrong, his judgement was flawed, and sometimes he seemed far more concerned to find someone to do a particular job than to find something that was appropriate for the individual. If people did not volunteer to do what was needed, they would sometimes feel a degree of emotional manipulation to persuade them to agree to do it.

P2 was the person with the Gifts and the Ministry: the role of the congregation under him was to watch, to listen, to support, to applaud, to turn up, to give, and to do what we were told. We also had to pray, to read our Bibles, and to learn what he taught us: this is how we were equipped to play our role.

3.3. Control

Following on from the previous point, P2 was only happy when everything was directly under his control. P1 on the other hand would readily delegate, but found it hard to let go in the areas in which he was strong. In some areas of church life, people could exercise almost total autonomy, while in other areas, people were frequently frustrated by what they saw as interference and, possibly, a lack of trust.

4. Evaluation

"Critically evaluate their leadership styles."

4.1. Effectiveness

I am concerned that this case study reads like a contrast between a good pastor and a bad one. Certainly, P1 was far more effective than P2 in his ministry in the church by almost every measure: numbers increased, giving increased, people regularly were saved, many discovered and learned to exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit in ways that built up the church, missionaries were raised up, sent out and supported, and ordinary members were encouraged to exercise a wide range of different ministries. All of this contrasts with the time when P2 was the pastor: most areas of church life stagnated, conversions were rare, no missionaries were sent out, and so on.

The one area where P2 clearly had the advantage was in the relationship with the denomination. However, it is only fair to note that numerous other congregations clearly thought the world of P2.

4.2. Absolutes

As far as his ministry within the congregation went, it seems that P2 saw the world in black and white. P1 taught about absolute right and wrong, but recognised that people and actions are rarely one or the other: this built a reflective congregation that was, in general, more willing than most to listen to people who differed from and disagreed with their own beliefs. This, in turn, help the church relate to and reach out to people outside the church.

4.3. Career Choice

Any evaluation of the leadership styles must be undertaken in the context of their chosen career, and how they understood it. They both chose the career of a Pastor within an established denomination.

They each chose to be a 'professional' Christian: paid to be a Christian, and denied the normal means of interaction with the world enjoyed by most church members.

They each derived a significant degree of authority through their position within a church hierarchy.

They each professed allegiance to an institution which sometimes conflicted with their personal beliefs.

They were each employed by an organisation which not only determined their working life, but also shaped major aspects of their spiritual life, affecting both their belief and practice.

They each experienced a significant degree of isolation from the rest of the church who, for the most part, put each of them on the 'pedestal' whether they wanted it or not.

My point is not that they were wrong in choosing such a career, but that the choice of career brings with it certain tensions, conflicts and challenges. I have deliberately chosen to avoid these battles in order to be better placed to fight other ones.

4.4. Ecumenism

Neither pastor gave any priority to ecumenical activity, although I suspect that both had engaged in it to some extent in the earlier part of their careers, and had decided it was not a worthwhile investment of their time and energy.

For me, Jesus' prayer "that they be one" has always seemed significant, and this causes me to build relationships with people whom I disagree with theologically.

4.5. Culture

It sometimes felt that P1 was dragging the church behind him. But, as Schwarz observes, it makes a big difference "whether leaders push and shove a congregation in their own strength, or whether they concentrate on letting God's growth mechanisms take hold" (1996, 82), and while he clearly felt a high degree of responsibility, the growth in the church cannot be explained as the result of one man's efforts.

P1 created a culture in which gifts and talents flowered, and in which authority was respected but also expected to explain and justify itself.

P2 did not respect the culture which he found, and chose to criticise it along with P1. He failed to contextualise his message - "to render [it] culturally relevant, meaningful and acceptable," (Krallman, 1992, 166) and so he failed to achieve any of the goals he was evidently aiming for.

4.6. Emotional Self-awareness

"Leaders high in emotional self-awareness are attuned to their inner signals... Emotionally self-aware leaders can be candid and authentic, able to speak openly about their emotions or with conviction about their guiding vision." (Goleman, Boyatiz and McKee, 2002, 327) P1 demonstrated a good level of emotional self-awareness, higher than any other pastor I have known, and this probably made the lack of it from P2 feel more distancing by comparison.

4.7. Denomination

P2 was effective at denominational politics, while P1 ignored the denomination as far as possible for as long as possible. This proved to be an unwise choice.

5. Application

"Consider the practical relevance of these leadership styles for your own leadership practice."

5.1. Pastor 1

I think it is reasonable to describe P1 as flawed but effective. I have a clear perfectionist tendency, and it is helpful to be constantly reminded that God blesses and uses us not because we are wonderful people but because He is loving and gracious. God does not need a high level of performance from me; He simply asks for my availability and willingness to be used.

At a personal level, P1 served with his whole heart: he loved Jesus and he loved the members of his congregations, and the people in the congregations knew they were loved. The feedback I receive from the people I lead is that they know I love Jesus, but are less certain of my love for them. This is a serious weakness, and I need to find ways to communicate more effectively my love and appreciation for my staff and volunteers.

5.2. Pastor 2

The lessons from P2 are less straightforward. He alienated many people in our church, but elsewhere he had several long and effective periods of ministry. On a personal note, I consider it a tragedy that his long history of faithful service should end in a church where he was not as appreciated as before, and where his approach to leadership did not work.

He was confident in talking about himself, his achievements, qualifications and divine appointment. He made people feel privileged to have him around. As noted in the Personal Development Plan assignment, I find this a difficult area: I do not respond well to other people proclaiming their achievements, and am not comfortable doing it myself.

The downside of my approach is that people will often not know of my achievements and abilities unless I give them the relevant information. Both my staff and trustees need to have an accurate assessment of what I am capable of, in order to respond appropriately to my initiatives and strategies. In consultation with my mentors, I will seek to find ways to present my abilities and past achievements, when appropriate, to those who need to know about them.

His preaching left me cold, but other people responded very warmly to it. He repeatedly told stories that tugged at the heart strings, and used them as emotional blackmail: if this poor little child could stand up for her faith in such difficult circumstances, can't you pay a much smaller price and witness to your friends? While I dislike this technique, the reality is that many people respond to it very well. I should seek to find ways to put more of an emotional kick into my sermons - without the emotional blackmail, of course.

P2 was effective at denominational politics, which resulted in him getting away with activities that were impossible for P1. This is an area where I believe I have learned from him. He made time to attend meetings and get to know people, even when the meetings and the people could not immediately further the work he was doing. Consequently, he was accepted and listened to within the denomination even though his culture and theology were not welcome. Following his example, I make a point of attending and being helpful in meetings organised by the council and the voluntary sector in Bristol.


Adair, John, Effective Decision Making (Pan: London, 1985)

Goleman, Daniel, Boyatiz Richard and McKee, Annie, The New Leaders (Time Warner Books: London, 2002)

Krallmann, Günter, Mentoring for Mission: A Handbook on Leadership Principles Exemplified by Jesus Christ (Globe Europe e.V.: Wesel, Germany, 1992)

Schwarz, Christian A, Natural Church Development (British Church Growth Association: Moggerhanger, Beds, 1996)

Appendix 1: Preparing for the Interviews

It seemed clear that totally unstructured interviews could easily result in a set of notes that was difficult to compare. On the other hand, I did not want to present the interviewees with a closed set of questions, as they may well have relevant information that did not fit within my pre-determined questions.

I therefore decided to outline the context of the interviews, and then give the interviewees a copy of the outline of Christian leadership, as I developed it for the first assignment in this module. Given the time constraint we had, I did not attempt to insist that each of the topics was commented upon: the interviewee was free to determine most relevant and important areas, as they saw fit. Their selection process is also significant, I believe, but I do not have space here to follow up this line of thought.

Some of the interviewees attempted to work through the areas more systematically than others. Sometimes they did a 'compare and contrast' of the two leaders as they worked through each area in turn, sometimes they concentrated on a leader and worked through the areas, and sometimes they moved between the two approaches. I have re-ordered some of the resulting material, and sometimes added a few words to make the context explicit, but otherwise the interviews are as complete and unmodified as I could manage without shorthand.

This is the outline that I gave the interviewees:

1. Introduction

1.1. Why consider the theology of leadership?

1.2. Who can be a leader?

1.1. Varieties of leadership

1.2. Related concepts

1.3. Leadership or leadership-support

1.4. Lay leadership

2. Leadership

2.1. Leadership is about management

2.2. Leadership is about vision

2.3. Leadership is about people

2.4. Leadership is about commitment

3. Good leadership

3.1. Leadership qualities

3.2. Leadership activities

Inspiration and vision

Appropriate activities

3.3. Leadership principles

Speak from experience

Empower your followers

Act with integrity

Demonstrate what it means to follow

4. Christian leadership

4.1. Jesus

4.2. Ethics

4.3. Spirituality

4.4. The Cross

4.5. Dependence

4.6. Priorities

5. Managing Leadership

5.1. Anointed or appointed?

5.2. Identification

5.3. Training

5.4. Accountability

Appendix 2: The Interviews

The text has been anonymised and partly resequenced to bring related topics together within each interview. I have added occasional personal comments in brackets (like this).

As well as the two pastors, the name of one other person cropped up regularly. I have referred to this person as 'PA' because she served as the church Pastoral Assistant under P1 and functioned as a Personal Assistant for P2.

Interview 1

Pastor 1

Looking at the first aspects of leadership, it is clear that P1 had all four of them: management, vision, people skills and commitment. He had a strong, clear vision, and was a very strong 'people person'.

He was strong on ideas, some of them 'off the wall'. He needed a strong group around him to help filter the ideas.

He listened to the people around him, whether he agreed with them or not. You were allowed to disagree with him. He was prepared to change his mind. He made real friendships with church members.

He produced structures, like Housegroups, to encourage people in discipleship and he produced many courses that we all signed up for.

He was manipulative, getting people involved and doing jobs, whether or not they were suited for the job.

The details of the vision changed over the years, but people were always given the freedom to 'buy in' to the current vision.

Pastor 2

It seemed clear that P2 had a vision, but we don't know what it was. (After prompting:) perhaps his vision was to build a successful old-fashioned church.

P2 decided that PA was an evangelist, no idea why.

He shouted a lot - that was very much part of his style. The church polarised very rapidly into those who liked him and those who did not.

He didn't like P1. There was some history between them, but we never found out what.

P2 had a problem with free speech. You could say anything you liked, as long as you agreed with him.

He directly controlled everything. The church had a small group that established a fund to support a black pastor in Zimbabwe. This had worked well for ten years or so. The pastor took it over, and the people who set it up and kept it going for so long had no further involvement. The church involvement in supporting the pastor in Zimbabwe dwindled to nothing.

P2 established a church plant without any discussion with the church or involvement by the membership. Selected people moved over to the plant. For a long time, the church was told the plant was going well, and not to worry about it. Then, suddenly, it collapsed.

He was the leader: he told the church what to do. He was deeply frustrated that his plans, such as the church plant, did not work out. In practice, most of the church was not involved in his plans, whether they liked him or not.

The Housegroups were not actively supported, and were frequently undermined: every new scheme or event took priority over the Housegroups, which were told not to meet so that the members could take part in the other event. They did not always follow this instruction, and sometimes would meet anyway. The Housegroup leaders were never helped, encouraged or supported, either together or as individuals. (They could, of course, go to him for pastoral help. They could possibly have gone to him for help with their Housegroup, but I am not aware of any Housegroup leader that ever did.)

(I once heard him say that Housegroups were 'a thing of the past' - God had used them at one time, but their day was over. Someone else once observed that Housegroups formed an alternate power-base, a source of instruction and direction for people that did not come directly from the Pastor, so of course he believed it was impossible for God to use them.)

P2 was anti-intellectual, which was a problem in a church where many of the members were graduates and were used to applying their minds to their Christian faith and service.

From early on, the church entered a half-stagnating state, simply waiting for him to move on. The church members were - and were only expected to be - spectators. But they were expected to turn up to events, to support him by their presence.

P2 always acted with integrity, but not openness.

Christians (actually, Christian men) fell into two categories: you were either CALLED or not. He certainly believed in 'the CALL', and while it was never written, it was always said in capital letters. If you are CALLED, then you run your own church; if not, then you submit to the leader. One couple, who became missionaries in France were clearly not CALLED. Actually, it was the husband who was not CALLED: we were told this several times. The question of the wife's status was never touched on, but it was generally assumed that, since she was 'only' the wife, the question did not arise. But he was wrong to try and become a missionary because he was not CALLED. (Despite this, the couple did move to France, without the support of the church, and have successfully worked as missionaries there for over ten years.)

He didn't empower anyone - possibly, other than PA, who seems to have been treated as an honorary male. She became his right-hand worker, always agreed with him and always did what he wanted. It is not clear whether she was empowered, or just used.

The Bible School was a success: he brought in outside people who were good speakers. (The Bible School had a healthy number of people attending, but there was serious pressure put on the congregation to sign up for it. But it only consisted of lectures or sermons, and there is no evidence that anyone engaged in any area of Christian service as a result of attending.)

He established a 'Management Team', but this was never allowed to work. When he left, there was a functioning Eldership, but it was secretive.

A few weeks after he left, P2 returned for a visit and told everyone he felt the church had 'deflated'.

The denomination was fighting us during P1's time, and in the inter-regnum. The battle stopped soon after P2 arrived.

Interview 2

P2 was an autocratic ruler: he expected everyone to follow without hesitation, and especially without questions. He disliked questions.

He had clearly defined roles: the leader and the followers. The job of the Elders was to implement his decisions.

He was not good at sharing vision. Not sure if he had one. It was clearly his last job before he retired. P2 was brought in (by the denomination) to repair the damage P1 had done. (I don't think we have any evidence of this, but it was a a common assumption within the congregation.) He was less of a maverick, and in a better state (i.e., had a more positive relationship) with the denomination.

Perhaps his vision was to develop personal spirituality within the members of his congregations?

He was better at denominational politics than P1.

P2's attitude to Housegroups: they were important in the 1960s, but now not relevant. He had issues with the HG leaders, and considered them to be too independent. He allowed them to continue, but did not support them at all.

He was sensitive to criticism. P1 allowed criticism; P2 did not take it well, and was upset if you did not completely agree with him.

P2 was very upset that we wanted to vote on him continuing for another 3 years. He applied a lot of emotional pressure early on in his ministry to extend his appointment. (The denomination required the church to decide whether we wanted him to continue to serve beyond his official retirement date, but P2 assumed that the Elders would report to the church that they recommended that this happen, with the church participation being a nominal: "Everyone agrees, don't they? Good. Next item..." Instead, it turned into a serious debate about both the decision and the timing of it: we did not need to make the decision then, and many people would have preferred to wait until we knew him better before deciding whether to extend the appointment. The vote was fairly close.)

P2 was keen to support PA in various ways: both qualifications, and in ordination by a small group of churches, which were not part of the denomination. (She has subsequently, many years later, become a Baptist minister.) PA supported him, and he involved her, to the extent that she became a part of his family.

Apart from PA, P2 did not bring people on. P1 appointed the interviewee and his wife to be Housegroup leaders for new believers, provided them with both material and support. P1 put on training days, developed courses, brought in courses like 'Teach and Reach' (the UK version of 'Evangelism Explosion') and 'Life in the Spirit'.

P1 was constantly communicating and explaining his vision. P2 did not communicate a vision: he did not believe he needed to, because the congregation had to obey him. He was the leader: that was all the congregation needed to know.

P1 constantly produced new ideas, generated things for people to do, created jobs for everyone.

P2 had his vision, and expected you to support him in it and cheer him on. He was involved in other ministries, especially in Benidorm, Zimbabwe and the USA. You were expected to support him, give money, and sometimes go with him. You could travel with him thousands of miles to hear him preaching in other churches.

P1 was always looking for people to involve. He would train you, build you up, establish you in a role, and then move on and forget about you as he moved on to the next Big Thing.

The interviewee would not fault either in terms of integrity and spirituality.

A local Christian leader, and one of the most popular Bible School speakers, advised P2 to forget about ministry in Benidorm and instead to concentrate on developing the people in his congregation. After that advice, P2 and the church had no more contact with him.

Interview 3

Relationship with the denomination: P1 ignored or was aggressive; P2 talked with the hierarchy and cooperated.

Use of and attitude to Elders: P2 would use them when they agreed; he would ignore, reject and disrespect them if they disagreed with him. Actually, the difference was not whether they agreed with him or not: it was whether he thought you agreed or disagreed. Sometimes, he got this seriously wrong, in both directions.

Use of church members: P1 used a lot of lay people. He recognised where he was weak, and used others to make up for this: the Pastoral Visiting Team was a good example. He would encourage people to do their own thing. This produced a disconnected church at times, with many different people doing many different things. This created a problem for P2.

P2 kept a much tighter control of the church, possibly had a fear of people doing their own thing. He didn't want anyone showing any initiative.

P1 saw himself as a servant. On one occasion, he said something (that was obviously incorrect to my interviewee) in a service, my interviewee quoted a relevant Biblical passage to him after the service, and P1 corrected himself in the service the following week. He demonstrated a consistent humility. He would listen to you, even if he was not convinced by your theology. He took a bottom-up approach, Congregational and democratic. This produced a church that was hard to control and direct.

P2 told the Elders that they had to understand they were the Elders and he was the Minister - not just one leader amongst equals. He had a top-down approach to leadership. He expected the congregation to see the Elders as leaders (even though he did not allow them to act as leaders). He expected, demanded and required obedience.

Did either of them think about their leadership style, or did they just go with their personalities? It is not clear. It is hard to separate the leadership style from their personalities, in either case.

Both attracted people who liked their leadership style, and both lost people who remained for a while but decided they didn't like or couldn't cope with the leadership style. P2 had strong support initially from some individuals who then turned against him.

P1 did very little about establishing leaders in the village church until close to the end, when possibly the wrong people were put in place. P2 tried to develop better lay leadership there. (On the other hand, P1 took the village church from being a very few people in a minuscule dilapidated chapel to being a large church in a larger building, while the church did not grow under P2.)

Interview 4

Both were very driven people - intensely so.

They both had difficulty in delegating. P1 would regularly ask someone to do a task, and then go ahead and do it himself anyway; P2 would ask you to do something, give you no guidance, assure you that he trusted your judgement, and then come down on you like a ton of bricks when you didn't do it exactly the way he wanted.

(P1 understood people had different skills and did things differently; P2 'knew' that the way he did things was right, so if you did it differently, you were wrong.)

P1 was dragging the church behind him, making all the effort to move the congregation. P2 moved people with a metaphorical whip: the congregation were seen as the slaves with the oars on a Roman Galley, or perhaps as a army he was standing behind, prodding with a stick and shouting. He did a lot of shouting.

P2 had a strict moral code; P1 did whatever it took to achieve what needed doing.

P2 was the more frustrating minister to serve under. The interviewee would regularly find himself walking in the fields, crying and shouting (he described this as a 'cathartic' experience, but I suspect that was not the right word). He never reached the same point with P1.

On the surface, P1 was more laid back. Under the surface? Not sure.

P2 was spiritually abusive in a number of relationships, expecting (more than expecting: requiring or demanding) things of people because of their Christian commitment. "I think you should do this" was the same as "God says you must do this."

P2 was an intensely proud man: proud of his ministry, constantly talking about his achievements in ministry - always with a disclaimer, always saying it was what the Lord had achieved, but you were always very clear that the Lord had achieved it though him.

Management styles: P2 drove, P1 dragged people with him, always feeling responsible, couldn't let go of responsibility.

Vision: P2 had led a successful, evangelising church some 30 or 40 years earlier. He was always seeking to re-create this, which is why he tried getting the church - and other churches in the town - to organise tent missions. This vision never changed (and could never be questioned).

P1 had lots of visions that lasted for 6 months or so. For each of them, this was the thing that would bring in the Kingdom. 'Signs and Wonders'; 'A New Way of Living'; Roy Pointer's 'Church Growth'; 'Teach and Reach'; 'Life in the Spirit Seminars' (not to mention many internally created programmes to promote discipleship and mission). They were two extremes! (To be fair to P1, many of these 'visions' lasted much longer than 6 months: several of them were an important part of church life for over five years.)

P1 was a people person; P2 wanted numbers to show that he was successful.

In his early days, P2 met the interviewee and another worship leader regularly each week to plan the worship: this is the sermon, this is what I want to do with the service. Then he ditched them overnight. His attitude was that you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, but he would never see it that way. If you complained or expressed hurt from such treatment, you were accused of being childish.

P2 was very cult-like in his requirement for commitment. People were sucked into what he wanted, and went along with it in a way that, with hindsight, was very surprising. But both pastors manipulated.

P2 had a huge amount of integrity: he believed what he believed, and he stayed with it. In contrast, the interviewee would only give P1 an integrity rating of 5%.

Both had areas where they could be compared with Jesus, and areas where they were very different.

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Copyright © 2007 Paul Hazelden was last updated 16 December 2007
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