Main Article Content
Although wavering personal commitment to a local body of believers has been a concern of Christian leaders since New Testament times, increasing individualism and other cultural changes are affecting individual Christians’ commitment to their churches in new ways. This study examines church commitment using the multidimensional construct of organizational commitment to examine characteristics of churches, church leaders, and church members that may influence such commitment. Specifically, church size, perceptions of pastoral humility, church tenure (the time one has attended a church), age, and gender are considered as possible predictors of church commitment. Church commitment is measured as affective commitment (one’s emotional attachment to the church), continuation commitment (the felt-need to stay at the church), and normative commitment (one’s belief that staying at the church is the right thing to do). In a study of evangelical Christians in the U.S. (N = 244), a regression analysis indicates that higher affective commitment is associated with perceptions of greater pastoral humility and member tenure. Continuation commitment decreases as church size goes up. Higher normative commitment is associated with perceptions of greater pastoral humility, smaller churches, and longer member tenure. Overall, higher church commitment is best predicted by perceptions of pastoral humility, then by tenure and church size, with larger churches having less committed attenders. No significant differences in church commitment were associated with age or gender.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Published contributors to the Theology of Leadership Journal (TLJ) retain copyright of their contributed material. However, by submitting an article, book review, or any other creative content for publication the author is granting permission to the TLJ to publish said material in perpetuity without cost, compensation, or royalty; and, distribute the material in compliance with Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivitives 4.0 licensing.