Four Different Types of Pastoral Leadership Style

Successful leaders come in different shapes and sizes.

Every leader comes with its unique gifting and unique personalities. Because of the uniqueness in each personality types and how each is designed, the way in ways leaders communicate and deal with conflict changes.

How each leadership styles work together in the important areas of ministries is vital to the success of the future set goals. The dynamic in the relational connection in each personalities interplays in various different forms.

Here we will unpack the DNA of each pastoral leadership style.

Here are four different styles of leadership we find from Acts 2:42-47.


1. The Theological Pastor

This style of pastor is heavy on orthodoxy (Orthodoxy is correct doctrine/teaching.  The content is right).

This is the type we find in verse 42, “Apostles” who are driven by teaching.

The theological pastor like to take their time of thinking through systems. They are not as tight on time as the motto is, “slow is smooth” as they dialogue on a theological framework. They don’t rush and move fast on moving meetings.

For this style of leadership, rushing is reckless and careful of increased risk of mistakes. Often underneath this leadership style has a lot of committees and many long meetings as the slow-paced deliberation in execution.


Few words that describe this leader;

  • Unite and concede
  • Perseverance (Patient)
  • Steady and stable
  • “Think before you act”


2. The Relational Pastor

This style of the pastor is driven by orthopathy (Orthopathy is right emotional and/or affections).

This is the type we find in verse 42 says, “fellowship” with the flock and cares for them.

The relational pastor values the emotional well-being of others over productivity. They are good with people and are very friendly. They are rarely forceful or domineering in their leadership style. Often they are marked by, “flexibility” or “adaptability” in situations.

The motto is, “Let’s work altogether” with a harmony as a mindset. In short, they are a “people-person” as they are around people often.


Few words that describe this leader;

  • Compassionate
  • Heartfelt connections
  • Welcome interruptions
  • Procrastinate
  • Make others feel comfortable


3. The Missional Pastor

This style of pastor is motivated by orthopraxy (Orthopraxy is correct living.  The lifestyle is right).

The missional pastor is more of a fast-paced style of leadership as they live with a sense of urgency. This style of leadership likes to get things done not today, but yesterday! They don’t want to waste time and are ready to go for it.

They use time wisely and often measure success according to effectiveness and efficiency. Often their calendar is packed with activities and is impatient with others. They typically schedule things back to back and people are often amazed at his much they can accomplish and get done.


Few words that describe this leader;

  • Bold determination
  • Divide and conquer
  • Charismatic and energetic
  • Dynamic speaker
  • “Don’t just sit there, do something!”

4. The Intentional Pastors

This style of pastor is rejuvenated by orthocompetency.

The intentional pastor love assignments. They probably live on a to-do list. They are driven by solving minor problem and task driven; most likely a competitive person.

“Get the job one” whether big or small is their motto. For this reason, they are objective and like measurement in their progress as they are very productive.


Few words that describe this leader;

  • Driven
  • Measure-able goals
  • Work from a to-do list
  • Concentrated and focused
  • Make others feel nervous


Choosing the Right System for Your Church


Now, it is important to recognize and be clear that one is not better than the other leadership style.

In fact, to have a healthy church having all four leadership doesn’t contradict each other, but compliments each other. Throughout Church History, the church leaders have defended through various creeds and church confessions of orthodoxy (right beliefs), orthopraxy (right living) orthopathy (right affections), orthocompotency (right system) which are all necessary for a correct view a holistic Biblical Christianity.

Also, a leader may have both qualities from a different style of leadership. In fact, many leadership will find themselves in the middle of some of the mixed leadership styles. (Example: Myers Briggs on Extrovert & Introvert).

Some at this point may think, “This isn’t true. It’s just profiling people.” Research has revealed that average score of 94% accuracy rate in leadership personality trait users. That is 94% people out of 100 agree that that report correctly identifies with the leadership style.

Why talk about leadership style in a ministry context? The goal is to help leaders to create a working environment that they are able to converse to implement a system that is sustainable to work along side-by-side.

System Definition = “A set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.”

Choosing the right system for the right type of leadership is crucial.










2 thoughts on “Four Different Types of Pastoral Leadership Style”

  1. This is an awwwwesome journal and reading “Thank you for The Research and Explaining!”.”The Different Styles of Pastoral care.


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