True spiritual leadership is not one of authoritarianism and authority, but rather of example and servitude. The only true authority in the church is the authority of Jesus Christ operated through His Word and Spirit.

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

The purpose of the fivefold ministry given to the Church was basically threefold.

  • Perfecting and equipping of the saints.

  • Work of the ministry.

  • To edify the body of Christ.

There is no mention of authority or rulership in relation to these ministries. This does not mean that God leaves the Church without leadership.  True leadership is not authority, but example. The most effective way to lead is by example. This is how Jesus Himself led His disciples.

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them
— John 13:15-17
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps
— I Peter 2:21
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity
— I Timothy 4:12

True Godly Leadership does not tell others what to do, but shows others how to do by being a living example.

And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth
— Luke 22:25-27

True Leadership is about servitude.

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many
— Matthew 20:27-28

The word “minister” literally means to serve, to wait upon, a servant, to wait on tables to offer food and drink, to provide, to take care of. This is what it means to “have a ministry,” to serve!

A true spiritual leader recognizes the authority of God in his or her own life first and foremost, and second in the life of the church. A leader cannot lead by example without following an example.  A leader cannot be an effective head without being a tail.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ
— I Corinthians 11:1
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample
— Philippians 3:17
Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am
— Galatians 4:12

The only authority a leader has is the authority of the example they follow. When the example is Christ, so is the authority in and through the leader’s life also Christ.

The Roman centurion had a revelation concerning Christ and His authority. He believed in the power and authority Jesus had because of the power and authority he was under. Jesus’ example, His Head, His Authority, was His Father. He only did what He saw His Father do, and only said what He heard His Father say. True leaders lead by example by following an example!

For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel
— Matthew 8:9-10

Christ is the Head of His Church. All is His. The Word is His, The Spirit is His, The sheep are His. The Authority is His. The Church, His Body, is His.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence
— Colossians 1:18

God has placed various gifts of ministry and callings within His Body, The Church. But not one of these ministries, including the fivefold ministries of the Word of God, function independently from the Head, which is Christ. All ministries, gifts, and callings are governed from the Head from which each gift receives the power to operate. Once a ministry cuts itself off from the head (Christ), it is void of life, power, and authority.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;— To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;— To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ
— I Corinthians 12:4-12