Scripture contains countless leadership lessons. God the Father is the ultimate demonstration of leadership. As God empowers the Son to will and to act according to the Father and deploys the Holy Spirit to comfort and lead us as the church, we find remarkable insight into God’s character as a leader and what should be expected of us as church leaders, pastors, and followers. Narrowing it down to a short list is challenging; however, below you will find 7 leadership tips from scripture to consider.
7 Leadership Tips from Scripture
1. Share the burden, call capable leaders, and have a trusted mentor.
Exodus 18:21 – But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
Chapter 18 of Exodus contains much wisdom for leadership. At just the right time, Moses’ father-in-law Jethro came to see Moses. Moses was about to sit as judge over the Israelites to settle their disputes, but it was consuming all of Moses’ time. Jethro in his wisdom counseled Moses to appoint capable men to help with these duties. The tendency of many leaders is try to do it all on their own, but that is not leadership at all. That’s just getting things done. An effective leader gets things done, but does it efficiently and with great results and a growing team. How are you doing at growing your leadership pipeline? Growing your church leadership pipeline has challenges but will unleash your people’s gifts and yours as well as you work towards becoming a more transformational church.
2. Have a trusted advisor.
2 Samuel 12:1 – The Lord sent Nathan to David…
As leaders, we all need a Nathan in our lives. If you’ve been entrusted with a leadership role in your church, I believe God will raise up a Nathan for you. Now I’m not saying God will send you a prophet in the same way He did for King David. But every leader needs someone who will keep him in check and have a tough conversation with him when he’s off track.
If you are a church leader, accountability by a Godly person is essential. Remember, just because God has placed you in a position of power and authority does not mean you are immune from sin. Yes, your sins are forgiven, but your sinful nature remains with you every day. God is still God and you are not. We keep this in mind as well at our church consulting firm as share our experiences, knowledge, and tools but never without relying on the work of the Holy Spirit in and through those we serve and lead.
3. Leaders need followers.
Mark 1:17 – “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
If you think you’re leading, but turn around to find you’re alone…then you’re just out for a walk. Not everyone is called to be a leader and that’s okay. Following is a calling too. And it’s an important one. Leaders need to remember that.
Leaders need to find the right followers. Jesus knew exactly who He needed to recruit in order to accomplish His purpose. You may not know exactly who you need on your team, but recruitment is essential in order to serve effectively.
4. Ensure good reporting.
Mark 6:30 – The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.
Good leadership does not set the course, then never check the compass. Progress reports make sure the team stays on course and they hold everyone accountable. It also provides a foundation of information to look back on to review growth, progress, and areas of improvement.
5. Get away for rest.
Mark 6:31 – Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
I have to be honest here. I used to mock corporate and church retreats. I thought it was a waste of time and money. If not done properly, retreats can be a waste of time and money. However, a time to actually rest and step away from the daily grind is necessary to keep your edge. The knife has to return to the stone for sharpening after cutting, and you need refreshment as a leader.
6. Be bold and decisive.
Mark 6:37 – But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.”
I love this as one of the leadership tips from scripture. In this particular situation, the apostles were freaking out a bit with the crowd of 5,000 without food. But Jesus had it all under control and he empowered His team with a decisive statement. Who knew “just do it” was biblical?
Today, many churches lack action. They’re drowning in committees and handcuffing pastors from leading with authority and humility. Sometimes we need to decrease the discussion and talk and just get things done.
7. Teach and empower.
1 Timothy 2:2 – And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
This, for me, is the champion verse of leadership development. Paul poured into Timothy, and then charged him to move forward and lead. As leaders, we need to remember that the key to success is passing the torch of information and leadership skills to developing leaders.
Remember that leadership, like many things, comes down to relationships. That should drive all you do as you consider these leadership tips from Scripture. Christ calls us into relationship with Himself — in a desire to lead our lives in love for His mission. Likewise, our relationships with those we lead should be centered around seeking their success and growth. Our social structures naturally place people under the management or leadership of one another. But the leader should lead in a manner such that those people willingly desire to follow him. How can you implement these leadership tips from scripture today?