5 Types of Leaders

When all five … functions (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) are present, the church operates at peak performance. To use Paul’s terms (in Ephesians 4:11), it “grows,” “matures,” “builds itself up,” and “reaches unity in the faith.”

Sometimes it is easier for people to see the wisdom of this fivefold structure when it isn’t presented in biblical language. If we apply a sociological approach to the differing ministry styles, we discover that Paul’s missional ecclesiology is confirmed by the best current thinking in leadership theory and practice.

In most organizational systems, there is acknowledgement of the importance of these leadership functions:

The entrepreneur: Innovator and cultural architect who initiates a new product, or service, and develops the organization.

The questioner: Provocateur who probes awareness and fosters questioning of current programming leading to organizational learning. 

The communicator: Recruiter to the organization who markets the idea or product and gains loyalty to a brand or cause.

The humanizer: People-oriented motivator who fosters a healthy relational environment through the management of meaning.

The philosopher: Systems-thinker who is able to clearly articulate the organizational ideology in a way as to advance corporate learning.


Various leadership experts use different terms for these categories, but they would all recognize the vital contributions these different types of leaders bring to an organization. Leadership theory says that the conflicting agendas and motivations of these five kinds of leaders will tend to pull them in different directions. But if these five could be properly developed, focused, and coordinated, together they would create a very potent leadership team.

What function(s) do you play on your team? Are you missing any of these five leadership types?

Today’s post is taken from an Fuller Youth Institute article written by Alan Hirsch and featured on our premium Orange Leaders content. Read more.