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About us Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society Organization Staff PhD Research Comparative Study of Religion

John O. Ojo

Charismatic leadership, organizational dynamics and the growth of independent Pentecostal churches in Lagos metropolis

This study explores the manner in which and the extent to which charismatic leadership and organizational dynamics impact on the growth of independent Pentecostal churches in Lagos metropolis. Specifically, the objectives of the study are to:

a.   investigate the extent of the influence of the charisma of the leaders, who are also the founders, on the growth of the independent Pentecostal churches in Lagos metropolis.

b.   examine the leadership styles and organizational structures that emerge in the process of the routinisation of the charisma of the leaders of the selected churches.

c.   explore the differences between the male and female leadership styles and how these impact on the organizational structures in the selected Pentecostal Churches.

d.   discuss the connections of the material world and the public image of the charismatic leaders to the power these leaders exercise within and outside their religious communities.

e.     discuss the exercise of administrative control and the succession plans in place in these churches.

Pentecostal churches constitute a significant strand of contemporary Nigerian Christianity (Ojo, 1988; 2006), (Marshall, 1992), (Burgess, 2008), (Kalu, 2008) and (Ukah, 2008). Since their emergence in the early 1970s, they have grown rapidly and have proliferated to over five thousand groups, and have occupied media attention as they tried to enlist mostly the educated elite and also promote a redemptive theology and spirituality to cope with the social and economic dislocations in the society.

Charismatic leadership is very important because these leaders emerged outside formalized structures, yet they are socially important in contemporary Nigeria. Besides, they seem to have some unique ability and charisma that helps them to put up a dynamic organizational structure, which in turn helps grow their churches and sets them apart from other existing churches. In the early years, these churches had no fixed administrative routines, but over the course of time, the churches have grown to become big organizations with complex bureaucratic structures with specialized and professionals leaders.

The study focuses on five purposively selected independent Pentecostal churches established in the 1990s within Lagos metropolis and whose leaders are considered by their members as vibrant and with exceptional charisma. These churches are The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, Power Pentecostal Church, Daystar Christian Centre, Fountain of Life Church, and Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries. Lagos, Nigeria’s former capital is the commercial and economic nerve center of the country with over 1000 churches, perhaps with the highest number of churches in Nigeria, mostly of independent Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. Some are big while many are small still struggling to survive – but they all compete for visibility and social relevance. The concentration of newspapers and magazines with national coverage in this megacity has further given social visibility to the independent Pentecostal and Charismatic churches as they increasingly utilize the media for enlistment of members.

Last modified:12 June 2023 8.32 p.m.