Leading the Minority Church

Author: Nigel Rogers

Rogers, Nigel, 2019 Leading the Minority Church, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Terms of Use: This electronic version is (or will be) made publicly available by Flinders University in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. You may use this material for uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material and/or you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact copyright@flinders.edu.au with the details.


The formation of the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) was a triumph in ecclesial leadership. The Joint Commission on Church Union (JCCU), formed in 1957, was significantly catalytic in providing leadership for the union of the Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist churches. The leadership task was far more than a process of “ecclesiastical carpentry”. Central to the work of the JCCU was the sharp focus on “uniting” around the faith of the Church and the Mission of God as articulated in the Basis of Union.

This paper explores the work of the Commission via a document analysis of its reports concerning church union. The analysis points to a range of missional leadership practices that contribute to the understanding of the identity, purpose and future of the Uniting Church.

The thesis also considers various leadership approaches, principles and practices both in various facets of leadership studies and within missional leadership as a subset of this domain. Particular principles and practices are identified with a view to applying them to the formational needs of the Uniting Church’s future.

A synthesis of the research is attempted in the final section of this paper which aims to give insight into the various missional leadership practices that can conceivably shape the identity, purpose and future of the whole interconciliar life of the Uniting Church within the life of Australian society. These practices are informed by the missional leadership practices crucial in the development of the Basis of Union and the various principles emerging from various scholarly pursuits in this area.

Keywords: Leadership, Missional Leadership

Subject: Theology thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2019
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Rev. Dr. Chris Walker