Pastoral Leadership in Stewardship, article by Bishop William Willimon
Bishop Al Gwinn, who is doing some great things in the North Carolina Conference, shared with me a study that was done in the West Ohio Conference related to the impact of pastoral leadership on the fair-share giving (apportionments) of a congregation. I found it interesting: In the late 90’s Dr. Don House of the University of Texas...
had his graduate students run correlations on all the statistics of all the churches in the denominations to determine what were the critical factors in the payment of apportionments. The single biggest predictor of a church’s level of payment was its previous performance. This related directly to the pastor, i.e., the strongest correlation was to the pastor of the church. As the pastor moved, so did the apportionment payments. The second strongest correlation was with the district superintendent; the third was with the bishop. In West Ohio, I’ve run studies of pastors and churches to see if patterns existed. This was done by looking at the payment history three years prior to a pastoral change, all during the pastor’s tenure at a church, and then three years following the pastor’s leaving for every appointment in the pastor’s career. Different conditions gave different results.
A. If a pastor with a history of paying apportionments in full was appointed to a church that had a history of paying in full the church always continued to pay 100%.
B. If a pastor with a history of paying less than 100% was appointed to a church that had a history of paying in full, the church stopped paying at the 100% level within the first year of appointment. If the pastor was appointed somewhere else within three years, the church returned to 100% payments within a year following the pastor’s departure. If the pastor stayed more than five years with the church paying less than 100%, it seldom returned to 100%.
C. If a pastor with a history of paying 100% was appointed to a church that had a history of paying less than 100%, the church usually moved to payment in full within two years and sometimes within the first year of the appointment.
D. The combination of a church and pastor with both having a history of less than 100% usually decreased payment from the highest point that either had ever attained. It often went to zero.”
Pastor Church Result
Pays 100% Pays 100% Pays 100%
Pays <100% Pays 100% Pays <100%
Pays 100% Pays <100% Pays 100%
Pays <100% Pays <100% Pays <100%
Stan’s conclusions were that if appointments were based solely on placement in order to gain payout percentages, you would put: