I don’t believe that there is a scriptural foundation for the concept of a one-man leadership role in the Church.
I believe that there needs to be a new reformation where more of a working together takes place rather than that of one man, (Zechariah 4:6).
The one-man leadership role is shown below as Diotrephes set forth himself under the spirit of his own making rather than that of God’s wisdom.
“9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true,” 3 John 1:9-12.
If one were to look at scripture, they would soon find out that the idea of a senior pastor is not the will of Christ for the church or the congregation in it.
Rather, one who would operate in this capacity would be a home church leader as a person who shepherds those in the fellowship of a home setting, (Romans 16:5).
The same is also not true of apostles, for they are not to function as a one-man leadership and being solely in charge. Rather those involved as apostles or prophets are instead to be involved in foundational ministry, instead of being “lords” in the Church, (1 Corinthians 12:28).
As apostles are called as first, they are to lead the way, but not as a one-man leadership, but rather as part of a team.
These are called then as a visionary and one who coordinates, as the senior elder and leader, but again one who works in cooperation with a group of elders, (1 Corinthians 12:28, Acts 13:1-3).
We see the work of an apostle as a forerunner or pioneer, who goes ahead forging the way. This person would work together with apostolic and prophetic teams in foundational principles and revelation.
“Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people,” Isaiah 62:10.
There should be a working together of the five-fold ministry of an apostle, prophet, and teacher team.
These then should cooperate together with the lead apostle who then coordinates through the avenue of cooperation with the other elders, (1 Corinthians 12:28).
One can even see examples in scripture which show forth the Trinity of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thus, the threefold team of apostle, prophet, and teacher would work together even as is seen in the divine.
Here also is seen the analogy of King, Priest, and Prophet, as well as faith, hope, and love, (1 Corinthians 12:28, Acts 13:1-3, Matthew 23:34).
Even when one looks at the foundation of the Church, there is no idea of a one-man ministry. Instead we see, “built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets,“ Ephesians 2:20.
Here we see the team of apostle and prophet working together through cooperation, as the apostle coordinates with the foundation work through a team effort work, (Ephesians 2:20, 3:5, Revelation 18:20, Luke 1:29, Isaiah 1:26).
Those who are not called into five-fold ministry are to do the work of ministry.
Thus we see the equipping done through them for the saints as they are to work together in unity and cooperation.
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” Ephesians 4:11-12.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?