The church we read about in the New Testament was not an “authoritarian” institution: characterized by demanding unquestioning obedience from her members, like a dictatorship.
The apostles were men, as in members of the human race, but in other ways they were different from other disciples of Jesus Christ. Luke recorded that Jesus “called His disciples to Him; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles” (Luke 6:12-16). About three years later He commissioned them to preach the saving news of Christ in all the earth (Matt 28:18-20). Sometime later, the Lord chose Saul or Paul to be an apostle as well, like “one born out of due time” he would write (1 Cor 15:8). Well, Jesus empowered these apostles with “the Promise of the Father…the Holy Spirit,” to fulfill that commission (Acts 1:4-8). Did the apostles speak, face to face, to every person on earth? No, but they brought the gospel to strategic locations throughout the world and taught others to carry it to the far reaches of the globe.