The Culturally Intelligent Leader: Developing Multi-ethnic Communities in a Multicultural Age
By Hirpo Kumbi

Book, £8.99

What kind of leader is needed in a multicultural, multiethnic age?

What is cultural intelligence and why is it essential to the future growth of the church?

Why may third-culture children be the ablest leaders of tomorrow?

In The Culturally Intelligent Leader, Hirpo Kumbi offers thought-provoking, practical answers to all these questions and more.

Skillfully highlighting the challenges and opportunities that an increasingly multicultural Western society presents, he shows why leaders from all backgrounds need to learn to work together across cultural divides. Whether rooted in the host culture or working amongst new immigrant communities, indigenous leaders and reverse missionaries alike will need to adapt to reach the next generation and fully engage with the New Testament’s model of intercultural mission.

With many years’ mission experience working amongst multiethnic communities in multicultural settings, Hirpo Kumbi is a vital voice to the leaders of today planting churches for tomorrow.


‘It is paramount for all forms of Christian leadership to be aware of the new paradigms of mission and ministry that continue to shape the 21st century.  The old Christendom mission narratives of the West to the rest continue to crumble, thus providing opportunities for us to appropriate new, fresh expressions of missional partnerships.  This book seeks to foster a way of enabling, challenging, provoking, and retooling this new generation of leadership who continue to arrive and work in our Western post-Christian context. It is therefore a pleasure and delight to recommend this vitally important text for your consideration and action.’
Rev Dan Yarnell, National Co-ordinator, the Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Great Britain and Ireland; Senior lecturer at ForMission College.

‘This is a book that every leader in a multicultural church, or one located in a changing neighbourhood, has to read.  Hirpo Kumbi has drawn our attention to an issue that needs our urgent action: how do we as followers of Christ respond to the cultural diversity that shapes our congregations, our communities and the wider world around us? He is eloquent in his speech and yet very gentle in his rebuke. Christ broke the walls of separation; why is it normal for His body to be segregated in worship? Hirpo rightly argues that critical to our response will be the issue of leadership. For many of us, leading in truly multicultural settings is uncharted territory. Hirpo provides us with the tools to navigate this new reality effectively.
Dr Harvey C Kwiyani, Executive Director, Missio Africanus; Lecturer, Liverpool Hope University; author.

‘The book pulls no punches in identifying key issues, such as the default tendency towards mono-culturalism in migrant and white churches, often making them irrelevant to their local communities.  It particularly challenges leaders to discover a new vision of what a multicultural church community could look like. Hirpo Kumbi writes with passion and great insight, reflecting his experience and thorough research. This book is very timely in the current social and political climate; it offers hope and clear direction for the future.
Paul Lancaster, Founder of Hope for the Nations (Leeds) and Interact (Institute of Intercultural Learning and Action).

‘This book makes a vital contribution to the missional conversation. There is a prophetic edge to its visionary call for new kinds of leadership teams and leaders to be mentored and developed. These leaders need to come from partnerships forged across cultures from different ethnic churches. The multicultural tapestry of the West means the world is on our doorsteps. In order to represent the power of the Spirit of Christ to unite peoples in their diversity, we need to equip, train and mentor leaders who can work together in culturally intelligent ways to help establish these fresh expressions of church.
Rev Dr Andy Hardy, Undergraduate Programme Director, ForMission College.

‘Here we find a realistic and comprehensive analysis of the special issues faced by multiethnic leadership teams and practical strategies for working through those issues.’
Rick Lewis, Anamcara Consulting, Sydney, Australia.

This book is a long-awaited contribution to the ongoing dialogue on so-called “reverse mission” and the impact of this new brand of church leaders. It offers a recipe for rendering this new mission force even more effective, and it is welcome not least because its author is himself a practitioner from Africa who has become a British citizen as part of his commitment to being a culturally intelligent leader.’
Dr Richard Whitehouse, Church Planter and author.

About the Author

Hirpo Kumbi is originally from Ethiopia, formerly a business entrepreneur and now a missional church planter in the United Kingdom. He services as a member of the national leadership team of the Fellowship of Churches of Christ and is currently a Regional Director of ForMission College where he teaches the Leadership modules and Reverse Mission modules.