One of the pastors in the Czech Republic asked me why the Missouri Synod called its bishop "president." The assumption was that a conservative church body would use traditional language. I explained some of the history of the Missouri Synod and Bishop Stephen, etc. And that seem to help in the understanding.
However, I was recently struck by a Herman Sasse quote -- where he says in Europe, church government is modeled after the State. In America, church government is modeled after the corporation or business. This is an interesting observation. The church is always at tension in this world and will pick up characteristics from one thing or another. Historically in Europe it was from the government while in America it was business.
Here is the Sasse Quote:
"The church administration in Europe follows the patterns of the administration of the state, while in American the great business organizations seem to be unknowingly imitated by the churches. The consequence is that also the parish minister becomes more and more of an administrator and organizer who rushes from meeting to meeting and has not enough time for his proper calling as a shepherd."
-- Hermann Sasse