Principles of Leadership


All Christians have a ministry. “Each one” is given at least one spiritual gift and will be held responsible for their faithful use of it for the benefit of others. No one in the church is excluded from having to use their spiritual gifts to serve others. The church is a “body” where everyone contributes (see 1 Cor.12:1-26. Rom.12:3-8. 1 Pet.4:7-11).


God gives some believers to be leaders in every church. Church leadership is “servant leadership” and leaders are required to be of godly character (Acts 6:1-7. 1 Tim.3:1-13. Titus 1:5-9). Leaders are given to serve the church by encouraging its health and growth. They also are to equip or empower the other believers and release them to do the work of the ministry (Eph.4:11-13).


Church leadership is always plural. Nowhere do we have a single, dictatorial leadership style within the church community. Paul ordained “elders” in every city, never one “elder” (Acts 14:23). Just as God is a Trinity in community, so leadership in the church is to be done in a team environment, where diversity and the wisdom of a multitude of counsel is the norm.


Although leadership is always in the plural, there seems to be an indication of one of the leadership team being the primary leader, a “first among equals”. We see Peter and the other eleven apostles (Acts 2:14), then James and the elders (Acts 21:18).


Leadership and ministry are to be “gift based”. In other words, leaders should be appointed because of their evident gifting and ability to perform a particular ministry or task, remembering that the one sure sign that this giftedness is of God is the character of their lives (see what Jesus said about true and false prophets in Matt.7:15-23).