Adaptive Identity Leadership: Examining the Role of African American Pastoral Leadership in Social Transformation

by James Porter Broughton III
June 1st, 2024
This research examined how African American pastoral leaders can effectively adapt their roles and socioreligious
identities to maintain and enhance their social relevance in a period characterized by changing norms and expectations. Social transformation is seen as a call to adapt, innovate, and lead in complex social contexts. The 5R social identity of leadership laid the framework for an integrated adaptive identity leadership strategy needed by African American pastoral leaders that is flexible, inclusive, empowering, and relevant. This ethnographic research gleaned insights from pastoral one-on-one interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, and personal observations of participants who shared their adaptive strategies, challenges, and opportunities. The focus group discussion yielded considerable fruit through the responses of the participants in sharing how rapidly changing social contexts affects them personally, and their perspective of the roles of their pastoral leaders and churches. This study explored the role of socioreligious identity in leadership and congregational social transformation.