Multiplying Leaders in Intercultural Contexts

By: Evelyn & Richard Hibbert
Format: Paperback

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Multiplying Leaders in Intercultural Contexts: Recognizing and Developing Grassroots Potential

Often, church planters, disciplers, and pastors struggle to identify grassroots leaders and develop them in their context. As leaders who want to develop other leaders, our task is to come alongside these leaders and learn and grow together with them.

Multiplying Leaders in Intercultural Contexts focuses on how to develop grassroots Christian leaders across cultures. These often unrecognized leaders mostly lead small groups at the growing edges of the church. They are ordinary people who faithfully share Christ amid the demands of daily life. Another focus of the book is shaping the character of developers as they humbly walk beside leaders in the leaders’ community.

Using the four C’s of Christian leadership – Community, Character, Clarity, and Care – the authors weave together research, experience, and practical application to show how these characteristics are expressed across different cultures. The book then discusses five principles, illustrated in common settings, for an intentional process that develops leaders and their communities collectively. Take the next step now in developing yourself and others in the task of leading Jesus’ church wherever that might be.


Evelyn and Richard Hibbert were pioneer church planters among Turkish speakers in Bulgaria. Richard was the Director of the SMBC Centre for Cross-Cultural Mission. Evelyn is the leader of the Angelina Noble Centre, a research centre for women involved in cross-cultural mission.


“So much experience, thought, and Bible-tempered practical wisdom has been poured into the book to make it a treasure chest of help for rookie and veteran cross-cultural workers. The strength of the book – and its thesis – is that it insists that a leader is every bit a disciple as the disciples he or she is to lead.” – Ross and Lyndal Webb, Bible translators for over 30 years, Wycliffe Australia

“The key to reaching the nations is to see movements of reproducing churches, and the key to healthy church planting movements is the development of adequate numbers of leaders. Evelyn and Richard Hibbert's latest book is packed with academic reflections and practical insights based on their experience of training leaders in the Millet revival in Bulgaria, and years of teaching students in Australia. The book is written for cross-cultural "leadership developers", recognizing that the missionary's primary task is not to be heroic, lone ranger church planter, but to nurture and facilitate the development of national leaders.
Richard Hibbert passed away in November 2020, and this book is part of his legacy, embodying his commitment to mission and to leadership. I warmly recommend this book to anyone who shares his concern to see godly leaders equipped and able to shepherd growing churches among unreached peoples." 
– Julyan Lidstone, Ambassador, Muslim Ministries of OM

“Evelyn and Richard Hibbert have provided practical insights into the journey of leadership development in intercultural situations. This book is a guide to intentional practices that recognise the diversity that is the body of Christ. It calls all those involved in developing leaders to consider context, create space, learn to listen, and continue their own discipleship journey as part of new communities of Jesus followers. I found myself reflecting on many of my own experiences, engaging the practical principles of this book that are set out so clearly. All those engaged in intercultural contexts should add this book to their reading list as it calls us to live the everyday faith journey in discipling, being disciples and growing community." – Cathy Hine, PhD; Co-Founder and Coordinator, When Women Speak Director; Interserve International

"Evelyn and Richard call us to an incarnational style of leadership development that goes beyond simple method. This book challenges cross-cultural workers to understand leadership formation in the host culture and adapt training appropriately. We especially liked the four Cs (Community, Character, Clarity, Care) and the four chapters where they were fleshed out. 'Multiplying Leaders in Intercultural Contexts'  is a must read for any cross-cultural trainer who desires to equip local leadership. Don't formulate your strategic plan until you have read this book!" – Carolyn and Jerry Moyer, (Carolyn) Executive Director, World Team Australia; (Jerry) Director, World Team Europe

"Perhaps the most difficult and important step in cross-cultural church planting is leadership development. I once heard a pastor from the Middle east say to a group of missionaries, "We need missionaries who want to work themselves out of a job ASAP! Let the nationals be the pastors." 'Multiplying Leaders in Intercultural Contexts'  provides church planters with a practical guide for this important aspect of church planting. The emphases on the influence of culture on leadership and developing leaders at all levels of ministry are important contributions of 'Multiplying Leaders in Intercultural Contexts' that are often overlooked in books on leadership development. Evelyn and Richard write from years of experience in cross-cultural ministry and have provided the missionary community a valuable church-planting resource." – Ed Grudier, Director of the SMBC Centre for Cross-Cultural Mission

" There is no shortage of books on leadership these days, but there are not many on the related intercultural issues, and those publications rarely achieve what this book does. Evelyn and Richard start from an acknowledgement that leadership is not something we export or install; leadership is part of human life and every culture has forms and levels of leadership. This practical book explores how to identify and develop leaders within their cultural context. Because we all have our own cultural lenses, it is easy for foreign workers to look for what most aligns with their own expectations when identifying leaders and to facilitate training accordingly. This book is packed with real life examples and helps us to re-examine our expectations and understanding of what leadership is, how we can best nurture it, and, of course, how to best apply biblical principles.
Often when we hear the word 'leadership', our first thought is of senior leaders, heads of substantial bodies and networks, etc., but leadership happens at every level and developing leadership in appropriate ways from thelowest levels up works for greater healthiness overall and this should not be neglected. This book approaches the subject from a radically different angle than many others.
This is a great follow up to their book on intercultural disciple making and integrating as it does awareness of cultural dynamics with the practicalities of leadership development. I would hope that many working around the world will patiently and repeatedly work through this material as they learn to serve fruitfully in various contexts."
– Colin Bearup, Cross-cultural worker and trainer for over 35 years; Visiting Lecturer, SMBC and the Nazare Theological College, UK

Table of Contents:


Chapter 1: Grow the Edge of the Church

Chapter 2: Value Cultural Difference

Chapter 3: Investigate Leadership Dimensions of Culture

Chapter 4: Disciple Leaders Like All Other Disciples

Chapter 5: Identify All the Leaders

Chapter 6: Foster Biblical Leadership

Chapter 7: Guard against Leaders' Vulnerabilities

Chapter 8: Strengthen the Community (C1)

Chapter 9: Build Character (C2)

Chapter 10: Clarify the Community's Purpose (C3)

Chapter 11: Develop Care across the Community (C4)

Chapter 12: What Should We, as Developers, Do?

Chapter 13: Leadership-Development Principles

Chapter 14: Putting Leadership-Development into Practice

Also by Evelyn and Richard Hibbert: Training Missionaries - Principles & Possibilities, Leading Multicultural Teams and Walking the Jesus Road