Hierarchical leaders focus on control, order and nostalgia. Apostolic leadership yearns for the ‘not yet’. Dreaming, faith, imagination, risk taking, pioneering and future goals characterize apostolic leadership. Administration, bureaucracy, reminiscence and impersonal systems and structures characterize hierarchical leadership. Apostolic leaders encourage holy dissatisfaction, risk taking, questioning and experimenting.
Apostolic leaders can also serve as hierarchical leaders, but they do so to their own detriment. They were not made by God to oversee organizational bureaucracy. They were not designed to manage, but to lead change. I have found personally that to the degree I am caught up in maintaining church structures, something in me dies. My creative gifts and energy turn inward and I am less effective in every way. I battle with the balance between initiating new efforts to reach the lost, and maintaining what I initiate. But I know from failure and past experience that I need to be involved in reaching those who don’t know Jesus if I am to keep the balance right.
Paul was an apostle, and as such, functioned as a visionary leader. He held to independent views and refused to conform to the religious structures of his day. He was a maverick. We need to make space for apostolic mavericks like Paul in the church today. It is the visionary mavericks that play a vital role in questioning the status quo. They propose mind-blowing alternatives to how things have always been done. Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch make this profound statement about the role of biblical mavericks: “In a real sense, a true biblical maverick acts in a prophetic manner by exposing the lies that the dominant group tells itself in order to sustain its shared illusions…”*
[*Frost/Hirsch quotation from The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21 Century Church, p. 195]
Quoted from: Floyd McClung’s You See Bones, I See an Army: Changing the Way We Do Church (Eastbourne, England: David C. Cook, 2007)
via [Bill Lollar]