5 Biblical Leadership Styles


Each of us have unique personalities accompany by different strengths and weaknesses. The same could be said when it comes to approaching leadership. Here are 5 leaders from the Bible and how God used them within their personalities. What are some takeaways from this article?

  • God uses common people to lead
  • Diversity is a strength in God’s purposes
  • God is the source behind effective leadership
  • “Leadership skills” are not prescriptive

1. Paul The Submissive:

  • He believed in something bigger than himself.

“I have appointed you as a light for the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47). Paul thought of himself as nothing in the total scheme of things. Paul was very sensitive to the will of God, and he was committed to a specific, meaningful mission. Paul had courage in the face of opposition, nearly costing him his life at times. He believed in himself, but he believed in something bigger namely, “Jesus Christ and Him crucified,” (1 Cor. 2:2).

2. Nehemiah The Faithful:

  • He built on what God had given him.

His leadership was built not so much on ancestry or experience, instead on faithfulness. He would build the walls of Jerusalem on faith. He was obscure in comparison to other great Old Testament heroes, but faithfulness separated him from mediocrity. God has given each leader specific gifts. Some are not as visible; but all are useful.

3. Joshua The Efficient:

  • He brought the best people to the table.

Joshua had been in the presence of God. A visible, manifestation took place in Joshua 5:15 “The commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.”

Because of his special blessing, he was appointed as one with judicial powers and responsibilities in Joshua 14:6-15. He had a special place. He was courageous as indicated by the spy scenario in Numbers 13:31.

He was most likely the envy of other young leaders. But Moses brought him to the table of leadership because he was the best person for the job. My guess is that Moses had seen skills similar to himself that was admired.

4. Moses The Dedicated:

  • He blinded his eyes to continual criticism.

Moses was seen as the patient leader of a people with little faith (Ex. 16:8, 16-20). His church was a murmuring people. They seemed to complain at every inconvenience (Ex. 15:24; 16: 2-3). He did get disgusted. Remember, he struck the rock and disobeyed God, but his patience had worn thin, he had enough.

Petty criticism wears on the leader. The wise leader will work hard at blinding his or her eyes to the pettiness of church members’ criticism. If that doesn’t work, he outlasts them. Just about every pastor has “struck the rock” at one time or another; but then, like Moses, the same pastor usually has the resilience to see things through. Nobody said it would be easy.

5. Peter The Resilient:

  • He bounced back after he was knocked down.

In Matthew 16, Peter was both a “rock” and a “stumbling block.” He was both blessed and disgraced almost in the same breath. It is enough to discourage any pastor. You are the foundation. You are the devil’s advocate. Discouraged by the disapproval of Jesus, yet blessed by the warmth and affection of Jesus. Resilience may be the cornerstone of effective leadership.

~Grace & Peace

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