The New Testament calls for a unique leadership model. Each church should be led by the Holy Spirit working through a team of elders who are equal in status, but bring different gifts to the leadership process. The coordinating and directing role belongs to the Holy Spirit. He should be the leader of every church.

Each church should be led by several elders working together in unity. They will submit to each other by giving the others permission to speak into their lives. Important decisions for the church will require consensus among the elders. No elder will stand above the others. Each elder will submit to the rest of the team.

Submission to others elders is the key to spiritual protection. If one elder makes a mistake, the others will bring correction. If an elder is under spiritual attack, they others will stand against the attack in spiritual warfare. Submission is the key to protection.

Diversity of Gifts

Each elder will bring one of the ascension ministries and all of these ministries will be represented in the eldership of the church. One of the elders will be a prophet. One will be an evangelist. Several will be pastor-teachers. All these ministries must function together in unity for a church to grow to maturity.

Every church must have one elder who is willing to ask the tough questions and ensure that there is an emphasis on holiness. Every church needs an elder who has a passion for the lost and a gifting for sharing the gospel. A church also needs elders who can help new Christians grow to maturity and ensure that all members remain united.

This diversity creates a problem, because people with different giftings and different personalities often do not naturally get on well together. The power of balanced leadership emerges through elders with diverse gifting submitting to each other in love. When love and submission are absent, one person tends to take control and dominates the others, or the leadership is paralysed by mistrust, division and bickering.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 outlines a set of attitudes enables people with different personalities and giftings to work together. These attitudes are not easy, but if elders cannot love one another, they cannot expect church members to do so. Commitment to love at the top will spread love throughout the body.

Elders who love each other will be willing to submit to each other. This is the key to their unity. Submission is hard for people who are seeking power and control. Submission is easy for people who love each other.

The Trinity

The best example of this unity is the Trinity. The Father said about the Son, "Listen to him". However, Jesus said he could only do what he saw the Father doing. He also said it was better for him to go away, so that the Spirit could come, but when the Spirit came, he gave glory to Jesus. Each member of the Trinity has absolute freedom and authority to exercise their perfect ministry. Yet each one honours and submits to the others. No one is in control. The Trinity demonstrates how three persons bound together by love can work together in shared leadership.

To manifest the full glory of the Trinity, the church must have shared and balanced leadership. A church will be strong when it is lead by a team of pastors, prophets and evangelist who are one, just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one. They will be united by submitting to each other. Their submission will be powered by love.