The research investigates the role of leadership in the transformation of denominational
structures towards a missional ecclesiology, and focusses on the Highveld Synod of the Dutch
Reformed Church. It describes the missional journey of the denomination, and interprets
the transformation. The theory of ‘complex leadership’ in complex systems is applied to the
investigation of the impact of leadership on a denominational structure. The theory identifies
three mechanisms used by leaders as enablers in emergent, self-organisation systems: (1)
Leaders disrupt existing patterns, (2) they encourage novelty, and (3) they act as sensemakers.
These insights are applied as a tool to interpret the missional transformation of a denomination.