Many today want to restore a biblical model of church leadership. I believe we need to consider how God has revealed Himself as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and how His triune nature instructs our expression as His people.
Today we often think of the Trinity in almost a hierarchical way: the Father as being the first, the Son as second, and the Spirit at the third person of the Godhead. This tendency seems to present to our thinking the Father, Son, Spirit as not really being equal in power and glory. This view is very unhelpful in our understanding of the church community and its leadership.
God is a Community
We must see God as Trinity in relational community. God is a social trinity. Father, Son,and Spirit are one in perfect harmony, community, mission and are co-equal. The Triune God is a relational God living in community both within and without. This community is a model for the church and a model for leadership.
God is a Missional Trinity
Mission is understood and derived from the very nature of God and is found in the context of the doctrine of the Trinity. Mission or “Sending” is the character of that divine communion. Allow just a few examples here.
Jesus said that the Spirit rested on him and anointed him to preach good news (Luke 4:17-21). Jesus told his disciples, "As the Father has sent me, so I send you" (John 20:21). Luke relates how Jesus told his followers that he was sending “the promise of my Father” upon them (Luke 24:49) and that once the Holy Spirit came upon them with power, they would be his witnesses in the world (Acts 1:8).
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do indeed send the church into the world. "God's character and purpose as a sending or missionary God redefines our understanding of Trinity” states George Hunsberger in Missional Church. The Trinity is divine communion and is a communion of mission that leadership and the church is to have as its distinguishing mark. David Bosch adds, "Mission is understood as being derived from the very nature of God. It is put in the context of the doctrine of the Trinity. God the Father sending the Son, and God the Father and the Son sending the Spirit is expanded to include yet another movement" (Transforming Mission Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission). The church and its leadership is called to be "a finite echo or bodying forth of the divine personal dynamics," a temporal echo of the eternal community that is God writes Colin Gunton (Promise of Trinitarian Theology).
If the church is to recapture it's original DNA as a missional community, it must have a biblical, missional leadership; an apostolic leadership. Jurgen Moltmann notes, “‘apostolic’ asserts the church's missional vocation. The expression 'apostolic' therefore denotes both the church's foundation and its commission." (The Church in the Power of the Spirit: A Contribution to Messianic Ecclesiology. p.358)
The church is essential as God's chosen people "who are blessed to be a blessing to the nations" (Gen.12). This Trinitarian model of community is the model that leadership is to express in leading. It is a team model of church leadership as demonstrated by Jesus while preparing a leadership to carry on the mission we are called into as His people.