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Publication Date

Fall 2018


The goal of this project is to establish a new leadership structure for Cornerstone Evangelical Baptist Church in Vancouver, Canada. Currently, Cornerstone is led by the founding pastor, and as he approaches retirement, a new structure needs to be put in place. The thesis argues that a plurality of leaders, versus a single patriarchal leader, is a healthier form of governance. This process needs to be carefully studied and implemented with special consideration of Confucius ideology, which influences many Chinese churches. A plurality of leaders serving alongside a pastor will help discern and articulate a clear purpose and vision for the church.

Through an examination of Scripture, church leadership has always been done in a group or a team. There are clear distinctions between elders, deacons, and full-time staff. The goal for Cornerstone is to create a structure that utilizes and empowers each group for effective service. This is a five-year process of training and reorganizing. Most of the training occurs at the annual leaders’ retreat. Specific workshops have been developed for discovering Cornerstone’s purpose, addressing conflict resolution, building the leadership team, setting goals, and creating a vision statement and strategy plan. This process concludes with a congregational vote to amend the bylaws to reflect the changes to the leadership structure of the church. The board of directors and the senior pastor will lead this new structure and serve as the spiritual leaders of the church.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Ken Fong

Document Type





patriarch elders plurality vision governance leadership confucian chinese canada


Biblical Studies | Christian Denominations and Sects | Practical Theology

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