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Although pastors may recognize contingency leadership models as a valuable response, to date there has been very little research done on validating the use of these constructs within the pastoral setting. A qualitative research project was conducted to provide reliable guidance for selecting the best fit of leadership styles in pastoral situations using a grounded theory approach on 32 pastor-team sets as a basis for conceptualizing growth stages that serve as a basis for deciding optimal fit of leadership styles. From this research emerged a life cycle model with seven stages of growth with practical implications for pastors as faith-based leaders.