Updated: Jul 31
The Bible defines a 5-fold leadership model that has eternal characteristics and given for the governance and guidance of Kingdom work. Such a model also provides guidance for effective leadership of an organisation on earth, as it is designed by God.
Apostolic (and prophetic) leadership structure:
5-fold leadership gifts/talents given by Jesus Christ for leading (Eph. 2:20; 3:5; 4:11; see also Rom. 12: 6-8 and 1 Cor. 12:28)
Fulfilling their gifts and graces when submitted unto Him
The structure helped lead the greatest organisational development in human history
Ancient structure that has stood the test of time (for thousands of years)
In the western world the church seems to have lost their understanding of this key leadership structure, and the knowledge that we are, in Christ, all part of the royal priesthood of believers. Nowadays we see congregations and denominations reverting to Old Testament like priestly roles where each church has a hierarchical model, with one key leader, who seems to be treated as the only one who hears God’s voice, and seems to have all the gifts (or needs to)!
Based on a collegiate leadership model with 5 key roles:
Apostle – The one who is constantly pursuing the given vision – trying to make it real, and driving strategic expectation, often able to somehow leverage the external power and resources necessary to meet this challenge. Given to vision themselves, and strong influence – but not necessarily a people person. In business these people are pioneers, able to marshal resources, always pulling forward toward the visions they have (received), and entrepreneurial. True apostles see signs and wonders, and are passionate about God’s supernatural enabling.
Prophet – The visionary/futurists/strategist who can not only see the vision and explain it but help other to see the (possible) future. Such people, honoured, will enable others to more easily see the future, and capture a sense of hope or vision.
Evangelist/Preacher – The message carrier/marketer who has a real talent for spreading the vision/message, and capturing the hearts of people. Key driver is seeing souls won for the Lord, and in the market place this can also be seen in expert salesman.
Teacher – The one who can see what skills and talents are needed to meet the vision and strategy, and necessarily looking to develop them in the people around them. Typically, a good administrator, and focused often on organisational development, and bringing together the necessary skills to do the work. Best teachers seek to impart wisdom and insight from a heavenly perspective to us here on earth.
Pastor – The carer and administrator. Focused primarily on the needs of the people, and like the teacher able to work and relate well with people, and typically more interested in personal and professional development. Revealing a true nurturing and caring heart, and perhaps revealing the love of God.
In a collegiate leadership structure, the management/executive team should be able to honour and respect each other’s gifts and capabilities and lead to together. The team may decide to rotate the chair of this executive management board.
This is a joint accountability group, and all responsible for their joint decisions.
In matters that relate to the organisations strategic direction and purpose, the leadership team should defer to the direction and final decision of the apostle and prophet. Should these two not able to agree, the in the end the apostle needs to make the final decision – and accept the consequences.
This is not really about their leadership skills, although that helps, it is about shifting the atmosphere of the organisations that enables prophetic, apostolic, pastoral, evangelical, teaching capabilities across the board, and should be underpinned by intercession and prayer. Whatever you carry in God, you will enable in your environment, e.g. seers/prophets help to create an atmosphere of seeing.
Honour and empowering your staff is the essential mandate – inspiring creativity, collaboration, mutual support, and more – by serving the team. The key principles are of a servant leadership model, that coaches, provides vision, necessary leadership, establishes high level goals, and the right administrative and caring needs….and starts first with trust.
This culture you create in your own team, and knowing it is about bring unity in purpose and with the diversity of talents and gifts, and not with conformity but by the Spirit of the Lord.