Scriptures to get you going:
1) Anointed: Exodus 29:29, 2 Samuel 2:4.
2) Key Leaders: Luke 6:13. 1 Timothy 5:17.
3) Equal Elders: Acts 15:2, 1 Timothy 4:14, 1 Peter 5:1.
4) Bishops: Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5.
5) Congregational: Acts 15:22, 1 Peter 2:5,9.
Unfortunately for all the “black and white” believers out there… you will not like this answer.
There seems to be multiple models of Biblical leadership, especially throughout the ages, without any one mandated nor prohibited.
In the complete Revelation considering time, and Jesus’ arrival, some will claim there is a final appropriate New Testament Model. Ok. Enjoy that then.
However, different churches still set the Leadership up or have it play out in real life… in a multitude of models.
1) Moses, Abraham, David, Paul, “anointed” model. All different Church Governments utilize Paul as an example… however… was he in charge or not? Did he send other “apostles”? Did he appoint “elders”? Did he “yield” to anyone?
We can all cherry pick NT Texts when the community appointed… or Paul appointed… or Paul’s sent leaders appointed. So who really was in charge?
2) Key Staff lead the church. Call them elders, call them pastors, call them leaders. The 12 Disciples. Peter, James, and John. Find your texts for proof… they are there.
3) Equal Elders, or Pastor Lead Elders. This seems to make good sense, and melds the above and below in a way, however, throughout the birth of the Church and the early years… where did this exist? Hmmmm….
4) Bishops, Overseers, the institution, denomination lead. Consider the NT and the expansion of the church. Before the canonized bible in the 300s. Consider the geography, communications and lack there of, travel, and how to have Orthodoxy and fight heresy. Consider Paul’s strong Leadership, Apostleship, directives, and interactions with the Council of “supposed pillars” in Jerusalem. How ever you answer this, there was and seemed to be a need for strong leadership over regions, geography, and new churches as the kingdom quickly expanded into the Gentile world. With brand new converts in regions with only an OT witness (if that) and no Seminaries and no internet (how could they even function)… how the heck could the local church leadership hold to an orthodoxy? You needed visits from Leaders to teach and guide them.
5) The congregation should not be powerless… (but should it really be an American democracy?) We are all the priesthood of believers… we all have different and varying gifts. Why lift the Pastor up so “high”? The body of believers should decide who is the Lead Pastor, and/or Elders, or make most major decisions, or live in complete equality of authority.
The Character of the Leadership seems to be the consistent concern. Not the model. Yet even then, with the high character standards of 1 Timothy, 1 Peter 5 etc., we recall even the Biblical Leaders’ Character was sometimes far from ideal.
Ex. Moses’ anger (murder, drink the idol, break His tablets, kick the rock), Uriah’s death, Solomon’s wives, Jonah’s concern, John the Baptist’s prison doubts of Jesus, Thomas’ doubt, Peter’s denial, Peter’s vacillation on Kosher, Paul’s doing and not doing what he wants and doesn’t want, Paul and Barnabas arguing over missions, early church excommunicating one another.