Polycentric Blog

AsianAccess logo 2018tag white shadow

Article Index

Published in Evangelical Missions Quarterly; used by permission from Missio Nexus

by Rev. Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Ph.D.

Figure 2b: A2 core network cloud 2018 detail

Over the past eight years I have been researching various aspects of leadership to gain a deeper understanding of how to lead mission movements within the globalized ecosystem in which we now live. This article presents a new theory on polycentric leadership to help missional leaders effectively traverse this modern landscape. It is based on research meant to review fresh perspectives on mission leadership in a global era. Given that the Lausanne Movement provided a unique ecosystem in which to conduct the experiment, a study of the history of the movement was made, paying keen attention to the last 15 years of dramatic global shifts.

The primary research for this project revolved around four key authors and researchers, augmented by leadership studies from both the mission and business world. The four sections below coincide with each of these key authors and researchers. Finally, after reviewing these ideas, the study concludes with recommendations toward a new model for effective mission leadership in the global era.

Movement theory

The first step in discerning the impact of leadership in missional movements was to gain a greater appreciation for movement theory, with a particular focus on religious (missional) and church movements. The study began with a look at Ted Esler’s research on Movements and Mission Agencies.1 Esler provided an overview of various aspects of movement theory, looking at social, organizational and religious movements.

As Esler looked at the various types of movement theory, he posited a General Integrated Movement Attribute Model which focuses on resource mobilization.2 He states:

Resource mobilization theory suggests that movement organization is a dominant feature of a movement... Understanding the missionary agency as an organization bent on forming religious movements opens up the possibility that organizational theory can be applied to the study of movements.3

In coming to this model of movement theory, Esler looked first at New Social Movements and Social Movement Organizations. He sought wisdom from these models and theories to better understand how church planting teams could be effective. Esler rightly notes that religious movements don’t necessarily form from a position of unrest. He reviewed missiologists like Roland Allen, Donald McGavran and David Garrison. In doing so, he sees an interesting conflict. The observations cited above point to a multiplicity of leaders for a movement, but Paul Pierson suggests that “breakthroughs, expansion, renewal movements and the like are almost always triggered by a key person.”4 Esler suggests that reconciliation may be in the form of the leader purely as a “catalyst or lightning rod” rather than as the sole leader of the movement.5

Another aspect of Esler’s research relates to organizational or movement structures. Esler highlights the work of Campbell in developing a bricolage6 as a fresh way to form these cooperatives. He points to the work of Zed and Asher who say of coalitions, “The coalition pools resources and coordinates plans, while keeping distinct organizational identities.”7

Discussing Polycentric Leadership

Joe Handley

Let's continue the discussion. Feel free to connect with Joe online...

  • blog blog
  • twitter twitter
  • instagram instagram
  • facebook facebook
  • Bio bio page
  • email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


They can buy adipex online and with the help of this medicine it will be possible to achieve their aim.When you feel worse and you can't have a good rest throughout the whole week you need to pay a visit to the doctor in order to get a receipt for ambien onlineWhen you are in seeking such treatment it is worth to highlight ultram onlinepriligy online will provide you with a chance to manage with this problem with minimal losses and will encourage you to return your sex life along with your self-reliance.clomid online will give you an opportunity to pass through this test without any damage and will enable you to recover sexual relationships as well as your self-assurance. The natural supplements are seen as being, on the whole and in many respects, safer than doxycycline online.When your doctor will recommend propecia online don't contemplate and just stick to his / her advice.We are looking at a situation right there on normal synthetic antibiotic works through directly cut down (kill} the harmful as well as, inevitably, some helpful bacteria. This is against a situation where standard natural amoxil online works of not only eliminate the bacteria, but additionally additionally improve the body's natural be able to fight such bacterial infections in the future.viagra online is regarded as a successful pill for the remedy of a premature ejaculation.