This post continues observations by my friend Stephen Currie on Christian movements.
Leaders do play a vital role in catalyzing movements, but movements cannot be dependent on key personalities. A movement is not about attracting people into crowds, but inviting people to participate in the redemptive work of Jesus. So God raises up many leaders within a movement and established leaders are intentional about mentoring emerging leaders. Movements are not dependent on the energies of one person or an inner circle of people. Naturally, some movement leaders will develop a greater sphere of influence than others.
But leaders cannot control or direct the growth of the movement. This was true of the Apostle Paul. He had a long list of individuals he was developing to be next-generation leaders--Titus, Timothy, Epaphras, Onesimus, Priscilla, Erastus, Trophimus, Lydia, Luke, and even John Mark.
Movements are dynamic enough to permit multiple leaders to have a place of influence without the credibility of the leader being challenged or threatened by other leaders. So there was room for Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Apollos, Aquilla and Priscilla, Peter, James, and many others.