Dave Black has a great essay on Companionate Leadership on his site. This information would have been very helpful two years ago when our group of believers were studying Scripture to determine how God desired for us to set up our leadership. There was very little written about shared leadership. Even those who prefer “multiple elders” usually set one of them as “senior pastor” or “first among equals.”
Shared leadership is certainly interesting and dynamic. Our main concern with shared leadership was the lack of real examples. We’ve learned to wait on God and to trust Him to bring the body to unity in a decision. Also, as Dr. Black pointed out in his essay, we’ve learned to rely on God to work through the gifts and talents of others. Of course, that means that we must allow others to fail or make mistakes, and we must not try to do everything on our own. We’ve learned patience, acceptance, and forgiveness. Perhaps there is a reason that shared leadership is not found in any human institutions.