Bill Mixon on Christian Insurance Guy was studying the different leadership styles of the early church and below are his notes. Have you ever considered your leadership style as it aligns with one of these early church leaders as you lead your family, your business or ministry, your driving, and teaching your children how to take care of their vehicles.


We know Paul thought a lot of Timothy and sent people to train under him. 1Co 4:17

For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

We know Timothy was willing to make a sacrifice he did not have to do for God, it had already been determined you did not have to be circumcised. He did it to be a more effective evangelist. Acts 16:3

Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

We know Paul thought Timothy effective. 1Co 16:10

If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am.

Php 2:22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.

We know Timothy was soft hearted 2 Timothy 1:1-5

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my dear son: 3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

We know Timothy went with Paul in his journey through Phrygia, Galatia, and Mysia; Troas, Philippi and Berea (Acts 17:14). Then he followed Paul to Athens, and was sent by him with Silas on a mission to Thessalonica (17:15; 1 Thess. 3:2). After this he was sent to Corinth (1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1) with Paul.

We know Timothy was entrusted with congregations with men much older than himself, the Ephesus Church.

Paul gave Timothy difficult missions, we can assume he dealt with erll because Paul speaks highly of him and keeps using him.

1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith: 3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work–which is by faith.

Paul felt that Timothy was capable of grand leadership based on love.

1 Timothy 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

He instructed Timothy how to select overseers. If Paul was not sure Timothy could meet these requirements he could not have sent him to do this job:

1 Timothy 1:1 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

8 Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 11 In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 12 A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

We then must assume, based on Paul’s writings, that Timothy was”

Above reproach, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money, also he had a good reputation with outsiders, worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. He must first be tested; have nothing against him, excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Timothy was a bachelor and Paul appointed him the Bishop of Ephesus,. John lived with Timothy until he was exiled to Patmos. He held the office of Bishop until he was beaten to death at age eighty. He had been speaking out about a pagan ritual when he was beaten and stoned. Some say age ninety.

Some believe Timothy was one of the 70 Jesus sent out early in his ministry Luke 10:1-16

Paul praised Timothy’s knowledge of the Scriptures, which is good evidence that he was brought up a Jew

( Proselyte).



James, the brother of Christ as leader of the church

James appears to have distrusted Jesus until after the resurrection.

With most groups this would have meant he would have been considered an outsider for a while.

Can you imagine some of the discussions before the crucifixion between James and his mother, James and the apostles and James and Jesus? It had to take some time to become fully accepted by the apostles.

He then, apparently, did two things. He became the leader of the Apostles and he became a leader in the established Jewish church, within Jerusalem. This seems to have held true until around age 62 when the Jewish establishment revolted and had James stoned to death.

James must have exhibited some powerful leadership characteristics. Between the time Paul accepted Christ and Paul started his Christian ministry, James had risen to a leadership position within the apostles. He did this during a time of persecution, with out alienating himself with the Jewish leaders of the day. He was Jesus’ little brother, so his age did not help his attain these positions of respect. (Acts 12:17).

James seemed to be a moderating force, unifying different factions. His actions at the Council of Jerusalem seems to me to be an example of this. (Acts 15:13)

When they finished, James spoke up: “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 16 “‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’ 18 that have been known for ages. 19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.” 22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch

Another example is that James extended to Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship.

This was a magnanimous thing to do considering Paul and Barnabas came to tell the pillars of the church they were wrong.

Epistle of St. James reveals a meek, calm, Scripture centered, given to prayer, devoted to the poor, resigned in persecution, the type of a just and apostolic man.

The Clement of Alexandria wrote that James was Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem. Hegesippus, a Jewish Christian, who lived about the middle of the second century, wrote that James was called the “Just”, that he drank no wine nor strong drink, nor ate animal food, that no razor touched his head,

His reputation for great fervent prayer was so resound that James was referred to as ‘old camel knees’ by some. Evidently the calcium deposits in his knees were great from praying so much on the hard floors. It is written that James went alone into the temple and prayed in behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camels’ knees.”

It was unlawful for any but the high priest of the temple to enter the Holy of Holies once a year on Yom Kippur. Jerome’s quotation from Hegesippus indicates that James was considered a high priest.

Josephus wrote that ‘James was stoned to death by the leaders of the Jewish synagogue in Jerusalem at age 62’.

James must have been a remarkable personality, a leader who could unite and defuse, a personality that created confidence and adoration in others.



Peter was the leader of the Church after Christ’s ascension
Acts 1:13 Peter named first in lists of apostles Peter, John, James

Acts 1:15
When Peter stood up and addressed groups he often quoted the Old Testament.

Peter was the first to go forth and proclaim the new of Jesus Christ after the ascension.

Acts 2:14
Peter stood up and addressed the crowd and spoke on the resurrection of Christ and a salvation message

Peter boldly went into the Sanhedrin.
Peter was ordered by Sanhedrin not to preach, He set a great example in that he did so anyway.

Peter Put God first. He told the Sanhedrin that he was going to obey God not them, WOW how that had to aggravate them, and Peter would know that it would.

Peter and the other leaders did not hide but did allow the other believers to leave. It would take some leadership skill to keep all the leaders together. It would also take some leadership skills to encourage all or the other followers to disperse.

Peter believed in teamwork.
Acts 3:1
Peter and John worked together as a team
Peter believed in delegation, he established Deacons.

Peter was submissive to his leadership team.
Acts 8:14
It says Peter was sent, he was submissive to the group
Peter evidently allowed James to succeed him
Peter took correction, He took correction from Paul

Peter could be a hard leader and do what had to be done. – Ananaias & Sapphira.

He was a ‘hands on leader’.
Peter went on an extensive missionary tour to Lydda, Joppe, and Caesarea.

In Lydda he cured the palsied Eneas, in Joppe he raised Tabitha from the dead; and at Caesarea, baptized and the first non-Jewish Christians, Cornelius the centurion (Acts 9:31-10:48).

Peter led from the front, he was often the first into difficult situation. He did not shrink away for confrontational situations. He stood on his principle and was a living example. Peter went against age old Jewish tradition by spending time with non Jews.. Peter tells of his vision and defends his action, (Acts 11:1-18).

Peter did not hide. After the execution of James, the son of Zebedee, Peter was put in prison. His faith and the prayers of the others accompanied his miraculous escape. He then went to the home of John Mark. He sent out a message to the other believers and left for a missionary journey. He traveled extensively.

I wonder if this is when the leadership of the Jerusalem church transferred to Jesus’ brother.

Peter ended his days expanding the church in Rome, and there was martyred. He took the bold step of requesting he be nailed to his cross upside down. This is almost like asking to not only be nailed to a cross but set a fire also. His choice may very well have been out of humility, but it also created a tremendous story to be told and re told, effectively dissimulating the Christian faith and bolstering the strength of other Christian leaders.

Peter was married and some believe had children.
Some believe his wife died for her faith in Christ as a martyr.

The Bible says you can tell a lot about a man by his wife and children

Simon Peter and John and James shared responsibilities.