As anyone who is a manager or leader of people knows, leadership is HARD. It can be incredibly rewarding, heartbreaking, frustrating, or tedious depending on the day. It often has more in common with parenting than people would realize.
And there are a lot of bad bosses in the world…though no one ever wants to believe that they’re one of them.
For God’s people who are also leaders within their work environment, we have a significant responsibility to not only care for and grow our employees, but also be a reflection of God’s way while we do so. The old adage comes to mind that “with great power comes great responsibility”.
The bible is packed with passages to help guide God’s people through the joys and trials of people leadership. For instance, there’s so much in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes alone that we can learn from, not to mention all of the “red text” instructions from Jesus’s own mouth.
But as the wisest people know, studying the examples and actions of others can sometimes be just as instructive, or even more so—whether good or bad examples, they provide context and specific tangible details that can help a leader with practical application.
For as long as I can remember, if you’d asked me what biblical figure I really looked up to or who was my “hero”, I would have answered Daniel. He stayed faithful while navigating the politics of Babylonian and Persian governments, and managed to be consistently promoted while acting as an example of God’s way to even the rulers of the realm.
So this study looks at specific examples of leaders in the bible, and specifically leadership qualities that they modeled. My goal here isn’t to go really in-depth on each (because they could honestly each be their own study), but rather provide illustrations and inspiration for biblical examples of leadership—and then each of you can take it from here. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Abraham: Stepping out in faith, navigating uncertainty
- Daniel: Refusal to compromise regardless of consequences
- Esther: Risking herself to “go to bat” for her people
- Joseph: Perseverance, trust in God’s timing, and planning through adversity
- Job: Perspective through loss
- Moses: Motivation, intercession, and delegation to avoid burnout
- David: Passion, patience, and penitence
- Abigail: Showing tact and discretion to de-escalate a situation
- Nehemiah: Pursuing a vision and inspiring others to follow