Polycentric Leadership for Kingdom Movements (Part II)


  • Joseph W. Handley, Jr. Asian Access


One of the simplest definitions for a Kingdom Movement is that proposed by David Garrison in looking at Church Planting Movements: “a rapid multiplication of indigenous churches planting churches that sweeps through a people group or population segment” (Garrison 2004, 21). Over the years, the terminology has changed but in essence Garrison’s definition captures the basic construct of these types of movements. The growth of literature about how these movements flourish is remarkable (Cole 2020; Lim 2017). While leadership approaches are reflected in these studies, the focus could be strengthened. In addition, while general missional leadership theories relate, they do not necessarily bring full attention to leading these types of multiplying movements. Perhaps the closest approach would be Mike Breen’s book Leading Kingdom Movements. He posits a biblical framework for disciple making encouraging leaders to invest in others by expanding their scope of influence—but still more can be explored (Breen 2015). / This article draws on recent research on Polycentric Mission Leadership highlighting an approach worth further contemplation and study (Handley 2018; 2020). The research conveyed in the article unfolds with movement theory, a “team of teams” construct, collaboration and partnership, CUBE theory and systems leadership, and targeted interviews. Ultimately, polycentric leadership is offered as a new theoretical model for leadership. Polycentric leadership is a collaborative, communal approach to leadership that empowers multiple centers of influence as well as a diverse array of leaders. The article claims that polycentric leadership is well suited to addressing contemporary issues and to leading Kingdom Movements during this era of a globalization.

Author Biography

Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Asian Access