The Hirsch-meister, (who’s blog has to be one of the fugliest on the interwebs), makes a very important statement around the apostolic role in the church:
In our day I believe that the predominant, top-down, CEO concept of leadership has co-opted the apostolic so that many who claim apostolic title actually function like CEO’s. In the Scriptures the Suffering Servant/Jesus image informs and qualifies the apostolic role, not that of the Chief Executive Officer. Apostolic ministry draws its authority and power primarily from the idea of service, calling, and from moral, or spiritual, authority and not from positional authority. Perhaps a useful way of exploring the nature of apostolic authority is identify the distinctive form of leadership involved and see how this creates authority.
In a relationship based on ‘inspirational’ or ‘moral’ leadership both leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality by engaging each other on the basis of shared values, calling, and identity. It involves a relationship between leaders and followers in which each influences the other to pursue common objectives, with the aim of inspiring followers into becoming leaders in the own right. In other words, influence runs both ways. Inspirational leadership ultimately becomes genuinely moral when it raises the level of human conduct and ethical aspiration of both leaders and led, thus having a transformational effect on both. In this view, followers are persuaded to take action without threatening them or offering material incentives but rather by appealing to their values. They use moral persuasion rather than material reward to influence their followers, appealing rather to higher values and calling. This can be clearly seen in the way Jesus develops his disciples as well Paul’s relationship with Timothy, Titus, and the other members of his apostolic team. But it is forms the basis of his letters to the churches. [emphasis added]
Might I not so humbly suggest that you can only read the apostolic role through the lens of Mark 10 or Matthew 20 – the role of servant leadership. Or. More strongly. Through the lens of the cross. (Which I cover in a post here.)