Title

Relational Capacity and Ministry Effectiveness: Evaluating Dunbar’s Number in the Context of Youth Ministries

Publication Date

6-2014

Abstract

Previous research by Robin Dunbar establishes 147 (commonly rounded to 150) people as the typical limit on the number of active, personal relationships one can maintain cognitively and emotionally. Considering that relational ministers work with the purpose of building close, personal relationships to carry out ministry goals, it was expected that their network sizes would be related to ministry effectiveness. Participants were 154 actively serving youth pastors. Dunbar’s methodology was used to determine social network structure. Objective measures (growth and salvations) and a subjective measure (youth pastor evaluation of the church and ministry) were used to index ministry effectiveness. Youth group budget was used as a covariate in the analyses. The Professional Quality of Life scale (ProQOL) was also analyzed as an outcome variable to determine burnout and stress. Multiple regressions were used to determine the nature of each relationship. It was found that youth pastors have unusually structured social network circles and that exceeding the upper limits of relational capacity did seem to negatively impact ministry effectiveness in some areas. Youth group growth and the number of salvations were negatively impacted by network size and larger numbers of ministry and organizationally related relationships. Budget was the primary predictor for perceived effectiveness. Secondary Traumatic Stress was also predicted by network size and relationship demands.

First Advisor

Barrett, Justin L.

Date Uploaded

10-17-2018

Collection Number

Psych0371E

Document Type

Dissertation

File Name

Kabiri_fuller.psych_0371E_10078

Language

English

Keywords

Church work with youth, Protestant churches, Social interaction, Social networks

Disciplines

Psychology

Rights

Material hosted by ProQuest subject to copyright

Comments

This was uploaded by the David Allan Hubbard Library from the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (ProQuest). If there are any mistakes in this record, please contact archives@fuller.edu.

ProQuest URL

https://search.proquest.com/docview/1625701886/86A7F0C5F8E64AEDPQ/1?accountid=11008

Upload File

wf_no

Embargo Period

10-17-2018

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