The purpose of this mixed method study was threefold: determine the degree to which the level of the pastors' trait hope was correlated with the level of congregational state hope; determine the degree to which the level of congregational state hope was correlated with annual percentage changes in membership as well as world and local giving; and, gain deeper understanding on the congregants' perceptions of what they thought the outcomes were regarding the first two purposes. The population of this study was U.S. Community of Christ congregations. Quantitative data were collected to test four hypotheses established regarding the first two parts of the purpose. A slight positive correlation was found between the level of pastors' trait hope and the level of congregational state hope. No correlation was found between the level of congregational state hope and the annual percentage change in membership and giving. Based on the data collected and the results regarding the four original hypotheses, additional data analysis was performed. Slight positive correlation was found between the spiritual cluster of congregational state hope as well as the total congregational state hope and certain clusters of the pastors' trait hope. This additional quantitative analysis indicated a slight positive correlation between the survival cluster of the pastors' trait hope and the percentage change in membership. This analysis also indicated a slight positive correlation between the percentage change in congregational giving and the spiritual cluster of the pastors' trait hope as well as a slight negative correlation with this cluster and the percentage change in world giving. Qualitative data were used for the third part of the purpose which provided deeper insights regarding the stories of the people that underwrote the numerical results of how the pastors' hopefulness influenced the congregational hopefulness. The qualitative data provided considerable insights regarding how people within a Christian context understand and express their hopefulness.
|Adviser||Gary D. Robinson|
|Subjects||Clergy; Social psychology; Management; Organizational behavior|
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