• Every church or organization lives within a certain
community therefore the church and the community is
interdependent. Whatever happened to the church
affect the community and vice versa? Therefore there
is the need for peaceful co-existence of the two
institutions. In community development, both the
church and its leaders and also the community and its
leaders are considered as stakeholder in the
development process therefore for this to happen,
there must be a cordial relationship between them. In
every organization be it social, religious, corporate etc,
there are people in those organizations who drives it in
order to achieve the objective of such organization.
• Therefore there is the need for such people to
build a relationship with one another for the
growth of the institution. The Pastor and the
church are seen as both the employer on one
part and employee on the other hand. The
community and its leaders are also seen in the
same context as the church. Therefore there is
the need to build good and sustainable
relationship among these stakeholders of the
companies called the church and the community.
• Human Relations refers to the study of
interactions amongst people who have to live
and or work together in order to achieve a set
goal (Lamptey, 2012).
• According to Armstrong (2010) it deals with
the procedural and relational elements of
behavior in church organizations.
• Mathias and Jackson (2012) noted that it is
concerned with understanding of the forces that
help shape human interactions at both
interpersonal and group levels. Therefore in my
opinion, human relations in community
development refers to the interaction that exist
between one or more stakeholders who come
together to work in order to achieve a well
defined objective in the development process of
their community.
Why the church should build good
relationship in the community
• Security & Existence: The community
(members) is the employer without the
existence of the community, there will not be
a church therefore there is the need for good
and sustainable relationship to exist for the
existence of the community so that the church
will remain in existence.
• Strategy Execution: every church in one way
or the other has a strategy or goal to achieve
in any community that it find itself. The only
way to achieve those strategy and objective is
to build a good and healthy relationship with
the membership and the leaders of the
community for you to get 100% support from
• Members Commitment and Motivation:
Good relationship promotes commitment
from the community towards the church and
motivates them to do more for the growth of
the church which goes a long way to
contribute to the success of the pastor.
Therefore community needs to be motivated
by the church at times send congratulatory
message to the opinion leaders for any
achievement in the community.
• Place of fellowship and spiritual renewal:
Members of the community believe and see
the church as the only place that their spirit
can be renewed when they are down in spirit
and also having fellowship with one another
lift stress and burden on them therefore it is
imperative on the side of the church to create
a healthy relationship within itself and the
Forms of Relationship at Church
The church (Pastor) to the community
Community to the Church (Pastor)
Levels of Relationships
• Hierarchical Relationships: This defines status
of a relationship that the individual will
exhibit. The status of the person on the
organizational chart will determine how the
person relates with others. E.g. Some Pastors
or Opinion leaders might find it difficult to
relate with ordinary members of the church
and the community. It is a plus to our bishop.
• Members (Peer) Relationships: members with
the same skill, professions, inter-dependence
and mutual respect might build a relationship
for themselves. E.g. someone in the church
choir in one local assembly will have a strong
relationship with another member of choir in
another than women ministry.
• Church/Community Relationships: this is where
we build a relationship with through the standard
doctrine of the church and norms of the
community. Using book of discipline to buttress
your point for instance the powers of the pastorin-charge concept. Again ban on drumming in the
community. Though the standard procedures are
there as a voluntary institution, we must not lose
the sight of the fact that there are times those
standards might not be applicable. Therefore we
need to look at the situation and use the best
method in build that relationship.
• Representation Relationships: This is where
relationships are built simply because the
individuals are representing various groups at
a particular point in time. For example leaders
of the church attending meetings with other
stakeholders in the community.
Types of Relationships
• Intra-Personal Relationship: This is where the
individual relate to oneself. The both the
church and the community must relate to
itself. This is done through thinking,
meditation etc. Both the pastor and the
members must have this type of relationship
to the growth of the church. Likewise the
community. This is the time new ideas and
thought will emerge when it is properly
• Inter-Personal Relationship: This is the
relationship between members of a church
and the community members. Leaders must
create a conducive environment for this to
take off. There are times members will report
issues to their leaders about certain
happenings among members. The leaders
should be circumspect not to take side and
mud the relationship between the members.
• Inter-group Relationship: This is a
relationship that exists between various
groups in the community. Individuals and
their leaders in different groups must interact
with each other. For instance, members of the
AME church must relate well with people from
the Muslim community.
• Social Relationship: This is a relationship which is
build due to social bond between individuals in
the church and the community. Members build
relationship because they are from the same
ethnic background, from the same family or
lineage. This is good but should not be
encouraged so much so that it will not lead to
setting of classism and ethnocentrism in the
community which might affect the unity of the
church and the community.
• Exploitative Relationship: This is a relationship
that exists where one person that is the stronger
person build a relationship with another person
who is “weak” and take advantage of the
situation due to the benefit that the person will
enjoy. It is always in the form of harassment and
it is not a healthy relationship. Pastor and church
leaders and also community leaders must not be
found in building such a relationship in the
community because it destroys the growth of the
community when it is exposed. .
What ‘Human Relations’ is not
• The study of Human Relation in Church
Administration is expected to facilitate better
or improved relations in the church. HR in the
church however is not aiming at creating a
perfect a homogeneous environment,
eliminating disagreement of divergent views,
making everyone ‘nice-all-the –time’
• Aim is to ensure that church relations and interactions
are based on sound principles, philosophies and
• People must have rewarding interactions
• The strategic and task imperatives are not
compromised by poor behaviours and relations
• It is evident that the relationship between the Pastor
and the church members is to be a mutual and
• Both the pastor and the members must appreciate the
impacts of their: behaviours, Emotional responses,
interactional dispositions
There are certain variables which influence of
affect HRC (Use these variables to build a good
relationship in the church)
• Individual Variables: these include personality of
the individual, perception attitude, value etc.
• Contextual Variables: these include the culture of
the church, the climate and the philosophy of the
church and the leader of the church.
• Communication Variables: these include mode of
communication, channel of communication and
the level of the persons understanding.
• Social Exchange Theory: This theory believes
that it is the idea that people evaluate their
relationships in terms of cost and rewards. This
refers to a situation where the two parties
involved in the relationship benefit from each
other. If the cost of a relationship outweighs the
rewards the relationship will be terminated. The
cost is the elements in the relationship that have
negative value to a person. The reward on the
other hand is those elements that have positive
value to a person.
• Economic Theory: This is a situation where in
the relationship whatever one does should
pay off. There should be a minimum positive
level at the point the relationship can be