COMMUNICATION AS A TOOL FOR EFFECTIVE CHURCH ADMINISTRATION IN ENUGU METROPOLIS
From the cradle of human history, communication assumed the singular veritable tool for shaping how members of a given society (such as the church) think, feel, act etc. It is observed that communication dysfunction has the power to rock the administration process of a Christian church, create unrest, split groups and drag the system backwards. Unknown to most church administrators, communication was relegated to the background while they strive to avoid the unfortunate situation though some other means. This concept though generalized, is expressed differently from one technological age to another. This dissertation through Technological Determinism and Global village theories examined communication as a tool for effective church administration in Enugu metropolis. This was in an attempt to ascertain the significance of communication to effective church administration. The method of analysis followed the social science standard survey procedure. From the findings, the researcher discovered that communication though not fully utilized by pastors in Enugu metropolis has the power to induce effective church administration. Then recommended among others that leaders of Christian churches should have basic understanding of what communication is, exposure to modern ICT and procurement of adequate and appropriate communication gadgets to enhance interactions and kindred spirit in the church.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of contents vii
1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem 6
1.3 Objectives of the Study 8
1.4 Research Questions 9
1.5 Hypotheses 9
1.6 Significance of the Study 10
1.7 Definition of Terms 11
1.8 Assumptions 12
1.9 Scope and Limitations of the Study 13
Review of related literature 17
2.1 Sources of Literature 17
2.2 An overview of Communication 17
2.3 Institutional Communication 19
2.4 Institutional Communication Channels in the Modern era 22
2.5 A typical Institutional Communication Flow 23
2.6 The Pastor 24
2.7 Views on Pastoral Administration and Church Growth 26
2.8 Administration/Government 26
2.9 Church Administration 27
2.10 The Church as an Organization 30
2.11 Channel of Communication in the Church Organization 33
2.12 Communication and Pastoral Administration of the Church 35
2.13 Influence of Information and Communication
Technology, (ICT) on Pastoral Administration 37
2.14 Dearth of well Researched Related Studies 40
2.15 Related Study on the Effects of Communication in
Organizational Administration Efficiency 44
2.16 Theoretical Framework 47
2.17 Summary of Literature Review 49
Research design and methodology 54
3.1 Research Methodology 54
3.2 Research Design 54
3.3 Population of the Study 55
3.4 Determination of Sample Size 57
3.5 Sampling Techniques 59
3.6 Measuring Instrument 59
3.7 Validity and Reliability of Instrument 60
3.8 Method of Data Collection 60
3.9 Method of Data Analysis 61
3.10 Expected Results 61
Data Presentation and Analysis 63
4.1 Data presentation and analysis 63
4.2 Testing of hypotheses 69
4.3 Discussion of results 75
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations 77
5.1 Summary of findings 77
5.2 Conclusion 78
5.3 Recommendations 79
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Gender Distribution 65
Table II: Age Distribution 65
Table III: Occupational Distribution of Respondents 66
Table IV: Administrators/Pastors In Charge of congregation
Above 1000 Members in Enugu 66
Table V: Churches Within Enugu 67
Table VI: Pastors/Administrator’s Years of Experience 67
Table VII: Accredited Members of CAN in Enugu 68
Table VIII: Ministers’ Educational Qualification 68
Table IX: Testing Hypothesis One 70
Table X: Testing Hypothesis Two 72
Table XI: Testing Hypothesis Three 73
Table XI: Testing Hypothesis four 74
LIST OF FIGURES
Fig. 1: A Diagram of Departmental Chart of Medium size
Fig. 2: A Typical Church Communication Chart 34
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Communication is an indispensable part of human existence. It is a dynamic process by which people understand and seek to be understood by others. According to Smith (1980) in Okonkwo (2007, p.255),
“Communication includes nearly every interaction between two or more persons … any transfer of information which has a direct and deliberate impact or influence upon a people’s social, economic or political welfare, has considerable impact on the thoughts and conducts of the people”.
From the cradle of life, communication has been the hub of human dynamism. Udeze (2005, p.37), stresses that “communication is a necessary process to exercise an influence on people and events, to affect people’s behaviour, to persuade, to implement, to change, to motivate and to lead.” It is through communication that members of any human society seek to know and understand issues, proposals, plans and policies being made for their own good and the part they are expected to play. People resolve strong social issues capable of impeding mutual peace, unity and progress of their society through communication. Effective communication can help any organization to develop a team spirit through mutual understanding between its super-ordinates and subordinates.
People who seek to be understood by others need to posses and apply the communication knowledge, skills and motivation “that are both appropriate and effective” – (Ike, 2005, p. 41).
Okonkwo (2007 p. 255), observes that “lack of effective communication, which results in distorted understanding or complete misunderstanding amongst members of a society causes apparent societal dysfunction”
Perhaps a historical background from Biblical perspective may serve as a sense of direction. According to the Bible account, communication is older than man. God, before creating man, summoned the Holy Trinity, that is, the three distinct persons in the Godhead and communicated His intention to create man. The Bible records that God said, “Let us create man in our image..., God created man in His own image...” – (Genesis 1: 26 – 27).
God did not only communicate with the Trinity but also communicated with Adam His creature and Adam communicated with his wife, Eve.
As human society increased and multiplied, the need for a human administrator emerged. At the same time the importance of communication became more pronounce since the king would seek to understand and be understood by his subjects and vice versa.
King Nimrod, the earliest ruler of human society did not find it difficult to organize the people because their mode of communication was common, appropriate and effective. According to the Bible, King Nimrod and his men started to build in the land of Shinar an unstoppable tower from earth to heaven. The progress was rapid and God attributed it to the powerful effect of their communication. The Bible says, God “confounded their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech… and they left off to build the city”. – (Genesis 10: 8 – 10 and 11: 1).
The above biblical account portrays vividly how unruly any human society or the church could be without appropriate and effective communication between the administration and the congregation. It reveals what commotion communication dysfunction could cause and predicts how the church where leaders hoard or deny vital information to the members may continue to disintegrate or collapse.
In the middle age, lack of communication created a wide gap in the church. The result was divisions, inquisitions and persecutions instead of a team progress.
According to Foxe (1981, p. 47), the thralldom and persecution was prolonged. The rift according to Campbell (1982, p. 60) lasted till 1958 when according Howard (1969 p. 106), Pope John xxiii opened the window of communication.
“In January, 1959, Pope John xxiii …called an ecumenical council, the first in nearly a century. When he was asked what the purpose of the council would be, the Pope reportedly went to the windows of his office, threw them wide open and said, “To let in a breath of fresh air.” …the air was to come in through dialogue with non-Catholic Christians... Consequently... dialogue began to take place... as never before”. Howard (1969, p. 106).
According to Howard (1969, p. 106)
“A revelation began to take place in Roman Catholic-protestant relationship in Columbia. Catholics began to realize that Protestants did not have horns and that contact with Bible and those who based their faith solely on this Book would not result in punishment. The Protestants began to realise that not all Catholics were “Torquemadas,” that in fact most were quite normal human beings with whom they could converse in an attitude of respect and trust”.
Apart from Pope John xxiii, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi, together with Peter C. Wagner, professor at Fuller Theological Seminary School of World Mission since 1971 and Luis Bush of Argentina, the former president of Christian Nationals Evangelism Commission and the International Director of the AD 2000 and Beyond Movement gathered all pastors, prophets, evangelists of all denominations in Africa at International Bible Training Center, Ayobo, Ipaja Lagos for a Church Growth Conference in 1992 that lasted from August 5 – 12, 1992. The central theme was rebuilding church networking – a communication process that has completely broken down within and among Churches. That plan appears to have failed as it can be seen in church members becoming more unruly and team spirit becomes unattainable due to misunderstanding resulting in rapid disintegration and multiplication of churches.
Okonkwo (2007, p. 255) stated that… “There can be no development at any level without communication”. In agreement, (Ile, 2001. p 281) wrote that “…the formal organization is sustained on the infrastructure of communication”. Communication according to Baran (1999, p. 5) is “a process of creating shared meaning, the receiver getting exactly what is communicated, will give any organization the goals it is pursuing”. In other words, an organization can only claim to be effective if its administrative communication is clear enough to induce its members to work their best to achieve the organization’s goal.
According to Nwuruku (2001, p.1); “no wise man can act without adequate supply of information. From the earliest ages, information and communication put hypothetically, has been the hub of human progress. It therefore follows that one should research into how to use communication to move the church forward. Nowadays, there are Modern Communications Technologies the church can be introduced to.
The excuses of delays, forgetfulness, lack of money or people to send information through or get feed back from, do not seem to apply any longer in this communication and information age. Any organization’s head may use modern Information and Communication Technology gadgets like Global System of Mobile Communication phones (GSM), telex, fax, internet – the information superhighway to move his organization forward. This suggests that the leadership of either secular or church organization using the superhighway can send or receive information across the globe in a matter of seconds.
The church, as an organization may not achieve its mission if the pastor as its administrator does not use today’s new Information and Communication Technology to network with others. This is because the administration of any church revolves around the pastor who by virtue of his position plans and executes the day-to-day running of the church organization and as such needs to keep his subordinates informed of his plans and programmes. The pastor needs to keep his congregation abreast of their expected responses in order to realize the goals and objectives of the church organization.
The members of such church organization will be pleased to co-operate if they are sufficiently and properly informed of their part in the day-to-day running of the church they belong to.
The pastor also as the church leader may appreciate and embrace the use of modern communication to carry his church members along which, will not only serve as a catalyst for the church’s growth but make impact on the people who in turn will make the work of the pastor less cumbersome. Members will be submissive and obedient to all his directives.
Udeze (2005, P. 37) maintains that “effective (potential) organization is the one that has found an effective leader (administrator) with good communication skill”. This means that when the objectives of an organization are not propelling or influencing the responses of the members to achieve them, the leader’s poor communication ability may be responsible.
Turning to the church, the subject of our research, it could be said that the poor output of the members’ morality and poor responses of members to the goals in the churches may be as a result of poor or ineffective communication from the head.
The pastor-(the administrative head) may have failed to convey exactly what he has in mind. In other words, what he has said is not what members understood, that is, the intended meaning may have been lost in the process to get to his audience.
“Alas… the Indistinct Utterances of many, concerning the dimness of thought in others with regard to Fundamental truth has givens too much Occasion For Criticism (ridicule)” Howard (1969).
In a nutshell, tracing how communication runs together with administration from creation to date suggests that there must be a relationship between communication and administration.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Generally, church administration is expected to be easy, conflict free, effective and efficient. The divisions that permeate every branch of the church, from the different orders of the Roman Catholic Church to the splits and divisions amongst protestant groups are abnormal. This unfortunate ugly unrest that keeps pastor and members as well as the general society uneasy appears a visible index of communication dysfunction and mal-administration. This appears the communication problem behind these uncontrolled proliferations of churches in Enugu metropolis.
One can say confidently that whichever road you take into any city or village in South Eastern zone you will likely meet a church or two at the entrance. Entering Enugu through Awkunanaw from Garriki and moving down to Ogbete along Agbani Road through either coal camp or Ziks Avenue one can count hundreds of different denominations. The same story is applicable to Abakpa Nike, New haven, Emene and Uwani.
We see churches located on hills, in valleys, along major roads, in the streets, in hotels, warehouses, garages, living rooms and even in places that beat our imaginations. Sometimes, we see more than three denominations located in one building or three or four consecutive building occupied by different church denominations. The above scenario strongly suggests that the problem of misunderstanding/conflicts due to serious communication dysfunction in church administration is the cause of these divisions. The rate these churches split and spring does not seem to agree that the pastors at the hem of the church affairs understand that effective communication can enhance the team spirit that will foster spiritual and numerical growth.
The researcher identified four (4) communication problems that could be responsible for effective or ineffective administration of the church in Enugu metropolis. These include:
1) Communication apears relegated to the background. It appears that the pastor’s neglect to communicate his real intention and the members’ ability or inability to grasp pastor’s intended meaning to give him the right feed back may be responsible for pastor’s effective or ineffective administration.
2) Another problem is that, there is a serious dearth of empirical records which, church pastors and leaders, can refer to. This problem probably can influence church administration negatively.
3) Information packaging is yet another issue. This problem encompasses choice of words, organization of words, method of delivery, tone and mood of delivery and channel of delivery. Viewed whichever way, from church or secular field of view, the church has human beings to handle and objectives and goals to achieve. Ikpe (2005: 30), Hersey and Blanchard (1977: 3) identified human resources as “the most important entity in any organization and that the process of accomplishing organizational goal is communication”. It is therefore necessary to see how the pastor may package his information to induce achieving goals. This is because information packaging could prove a major factor that can make or mar effective church administration of ICT.
4) Finally, the extent the use of modern communication technology improves administration of the church appears unknown to pastors yet. This affects their attitude to the use and acquisition of ICT gadgets in this information age. Communicating the church of today with modern communication technology probably can influence church administration positively.
As it stands now, it is not yet clear whether the place of communication in church administration, acute dearth of empirical document that can help pastors to find explanation to administrative problems, information packaging and the extent the use of modern communication can facilitate the effective church administration or not. As a result the researcher is moved to investigate and to ascertain whether they form communication tools for effective church administration.