The challenges and opportunities of indigenous church leadership in Uganda
Zinomuhangi, Medad Birungi
MetadataShow full item record
The study set out to determine the challenges and opportunities of indigenous church leadership in Uganda via-avis the current leadership integrity-crisis. The specific objectives were to analyse how leadership and integrity have evolved during the pre-colonial, colonial and the period after independence in Uganda, determine the challenges and the opportunities of indigenous church leadership in Uganda, identify the objective indicators of the prevalence of integrity crisis among indigenous church leaders in contemporary Uganda and establish the root causes and the impact of integrity-crisis among the indigenous church leaders on the church and society in Uganda. This study used both qualitative and qualitative methods in both data collection and data analysis. A historical-critical research design was employed. The research was historical in nature trying to analyse the opportunities and challenges of indigenous church leadership in Uganda which has led to integrity crisis. Evolutionalistic approach was also employed in this research trying to analyse how leadership has evolved. A narrative approach was employed in some cases to collect the data. SWORT analysis was employed to analyse the data. The findings indicated that there is an integrity crisis among church leaders in Uganda in the financial, sexual, political, verbal, administrative, spiritual, ecclesiastical and academic areas. It was found out that integrity crisis among church leaders is cause by social-economic, moral, political, ecclesiastical and spiritual causes. Findings also indicate that there is a leadership crisis in the church and this leadership is because of lack of a leadership model that is suitable for the 21st century indigenous church leader. Findings also indicate that Science and technology is vital in church growth and development and can help indigenous church leaders to fulfil their obligations. It is unfortunate that the indigenous church leaders are not using science and technology opportunity to build the kingdom of God. Science and technology can be vital in education, evangelism and discipleship, poverty alleviation, health and sanitation, leadership development and in social concerns. The church has suffered greatly from the integrity crisis of the church leaders. It has lost credibility because of the scandals of its leaders. The church has lost its prophetic role in the community. It has lost its leaders through suicide, murder, had had financial losses and has been involved in unnecessary conflicts. The country has also been affected by the integrity crisis among church leaders such as the spread of HIV/AIDS, conflicts in the church and defilement in which the church leaders have been involved From the findings it has been concluded that leadership integrity crisis is most profound in the area of both financial and sexual integrity. This is because of prevailing poverty among church leaders, poor remuneration and materialism. This crisis is followed by sexual integrity which is caused by the law of celibacy among the Catholic Church leaders and by labour mobility among church leaders. The top church leadership is a big problem especially bishops who are autocratic, dictatorial and who live luxurious life styles at the expense of the lower church leaders who are languishing in poverty. These top leaders are not accountable and protect offenders and have compromises that encourage church leaders to get involved in acts that have led them to lose integrity and credibility. To use bishop Kivengere’s words; “when the head is rotten you cannot ask the body where it is going”. The leadership structures are faulty and are influenced by colonial legacy, denominational imperialism and unfair church laws. Church centralisation is a very huge problem especially among the Catholics and Anglicans but also in Pentecostal churches power is centred in one man. The top-down approach affects the indigenous lower church leaders as they do not own programs or participates in decision making. The thesis proposes recommendations that would redeem the credibility of the church which includes enforcement of accountability and transparency, supervision, enforcement of church laws and regulations, good remuneration of church workers and reduction of church labour mobility and introduction of church decentralisation. Thesis proposes a Rights Based and Conflict Sensitive Church Leadership Model (RBCSLM) as a strategy that will reduce leadership integrity crisis and conflicts among church leaders and promote leadership ethics and integrity thus enabling indigenous church leaders to exploit the opportunities available for the Church in Uganda. . This Rights-Based and conflict sensitive model of leadership will enable the church to remain faithful to the mission of Christ and strengthen it by being democratic, decentralised, accountable, transparent and empowering Christians.