Recently a friend of mine has been posting about how the Alcoholics Anonymous traditions could be a model for the church. Although there are some things that will readily cross over, I find that we are not comparing apples with apples.
In the first place, the church is where God dwells by His Spirit. It is more than a volunteer organization that helps one another. Because of this, there is authority in the church placed there by the Lord as gifted people to serve and to guide the church into obedience to and worship of the Lord. Additionally they guide and are examples of how to love one another.
In AA no one rules. In the church the elders do rule. Yet their rule is not like the world. Their authority is not for their own use - so they can have a group of people in their image, but only to build up the church in the image of Jesus.
This requires authority. True, respect and trust are earned. It is not like a job where you can hire someone to fill a vacancy. It is only by God that a person should have this authority. Yet it is fashionable in our culture to disdain authority. This has come from the pendulum swinging away from those who abused authority. But authority is still there.
When I was first a christian I belonged to a church that taught that their are o positions of authority in the church. It got so that if a person called themselves a pastor then they couldn't be one because pastoring was a verb and not a noun. So if they didn't know this they were not qualified to actually pastor. We were taught of the equality of the saints, about the priesthood of believers, and of body ministry. All good stuff. But it was applied in such a way as to stop anyone from leading with any authority, or so we thought.
In actual practice, the dominating personality was in charge. No one could stand up to their "wisdom" and "insight". Because of their experience and verbal abilities we wound up doing things their way. Additionally, some people would hold the group almost hostage because of their powerful responses to things they didn't like. So in my experience a true egalitarianism was never reached.
Later I found that God put leaders by gifting in His church to lead the church with love and godliness. This stopped the mob rule and the dominating personality rule. When done by the Holy Spirit, it produced good fruit. But I have never seen anything like a perfect leader. I have never seen leadership done perfectly - including my own.
I do not want to go back to the "good old days". I believe God has set people in His church to lead who have been given authority to do so in the name of Jesus. In this way the church is not like AA. We are not a volunteer organization. There is authority in the church. Just because the authority has been misused is not justification to ban it. It is motivation to discover how Christ wants it used and to use it for His purposes and not our own.