Global Missiology English, Vol 4, No 13 (2016)

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A literature review of Thai leadership style with application to Christian leadership models and church governance in Thailand

Kelly Hilderbrand


Although some research studies have been conducted on Thai leadership styles, a survey of the literature on the subject reveals that these studies have not been applied to the Christian churches in Thailand. This short review of the literature shows that the preferred leadership style of Thai people is changing from the traditional authoritarian leadership style to a consultative leadership style. However, American and other international church denominations in Thailand continue to favor their own non-Thai governance systems over the more natural Thai church governance structures. I contend that this is detrimental to church growth and, based on the literature, I make several suggestions for mission agencies striving to indigenize Thai church leadership structures.