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Bible Verses About Leadership

What does the Bible say about leadership?

“Where there is no guidance the people fall,

but in an abundance of counselors there is victory.”

(Proverbs 11:14)

In every aspect of life – whether family, church, organizations, business, or government – wise and capable leadership is key. God has a lot to say about leadership – particularly leadership in the church – but also leadership in the family and in government. Let’s see at what the Bible says.

Christian quotes about leadership

“How could I get up there and say, ‘People, we’ve got to do better,’ when I was the poster child for everything that was wrong? I’ve always believed leaders don’t ask others to do what they’re unwilling to do.” Mike Huckabee

“Leadership is made for service.” Jack Hyles

“No one can be a good bishop if he loves his title and not his task.”  – St. Augustine

“A true shepherd leads the way. He does not merely point the way.” Leonard Ravenhill

“The true mark of a Christian leader is trying to build up other people. Raise up other leaders!” Charles Colson

“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” John Stott

“The Christian leader will respect the role of power in leadership but will never glory in it…The Christian leader will serve by leading and lead by serving, knowing that the power of office and leadership is there to be used, but be used toward the right ends and in the right manner. Power can never be seen as an end in itself.” Albert Mohler

“A true and safe leader is likely to be one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of the external situation.” A.W. Tozer

Leading others to God

Leading others to God is our prime directive as Christians – our constant focus in our relationships with family, neighbors, colleagues, as well as people around the globe. These were Jesus’ final words just before He ascended to heaven:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

We may feel shy or incapable of leading others to God, but that’s why God gives the Holy Spirit to all believers – to give us power to be witnesses! (Acts 1:8)

We can lead others to God through what we say: “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Your speech must always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:5-6)

The way we live can speak volumes to those who don’t know Jesus: “prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)

In addition to leading others to God through what we say and do, we can enable other people to lead others to God in places we can’t go – by supporting those on the mission field.

1. Mark 16:15-16 “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned.”

2. 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

3. Proverbs 11:14 “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”

4. Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

5. Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

6. Colossians 4:5-6 “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

7. Philippians 2:15 “so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”

8. Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Scriptures on leadership in the church

Ephesians 4:11-16 provides valuable information on the kinds of leadership God has given to the church, what church leaders are supposed to do, and what the results will be. This passage lists apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers as the leaders of the church.

An apostle is God’s messenger – commissioned by God as His ambassador to preach the Gospel. Jesus’ twelve disciples were named as apostles (Matthew 10:2), and Matthias was chosen to replace Judas (Acts 1:23). The Bible also labels Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:14), and Andronicus and Junius (Romans 16:7) as apostles. Many theologians believe this leadership position ended after the first generation of Christians died.

A prophet is a man or woman who speaks by God’s divine inspiration – sometimes predicting the future, but more often speaking forth God’s message for a particular situation. Some of the prophets and prophetesses of the early church included Barnabas, Simeon (Niger), Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen (Acts 13:1), Judas and Silas (Acts 15:32), Philip’s four daughters and Agabus (Acts 21:8-1). The Bible also warns against false prophets (Matthew 7:15, 24:11, 24, 2 Peter1 2:1, 15-17, 1 John 4:1).

An evangelist is a missionary – a bringer of good news. Philip the Evangelist was one of the seven deacons of the early church in Jerusalem  (Acts 6:5, 21:8) and also a missionary to Samaria, to the Ethiopian eunuch, and the cities between Azotus and Caesarea (Acts 8).

A pastor is a shepherd – the one who feeds God’s word, protects, and guides the people in a church. A teacher is someone who knows the Bible well and can explain it well. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in every church (Acts 4:23) – these leaders probably served as pastors and teachers.

Deacons are also church leaders. In Acts 6:1-7, we read that the twelve apostles were so busy preaching and praying that they were overlooking the ministry of feeding the widows. So, they appointed seven men to take care of this. Caring for the needy and other practical ministries are probably the work of the deacons mentioned in 1 Timothy and Titus.

Ephesians 4:12 says that the church leaders are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (meaning we all minister in some way), and for building up the body of Christ; this means growing spiritually, but also in numbers as we reach new people for God.

The results of church leadership (Ephesians 4:13-15) are unity of the faith, knowledge of Jesus, and maturity. We are no longer like children, easily swayed by false teaching, but we speak the truth in love, and the body of Christ grows as each person does their part.

9. Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them—for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account—so that they may do this with joy, not groaning; for this would be unhelpful for you.”

10. Acts 20:28 “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”

11. Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

12. Proverbs 16:18-19 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.”

13. 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

14. Hebrews 10:24-25 “and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, 25 not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

15. Hebrews 13:7 “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”

Responsibility of church leaders

Some of the responsibilities of church leaders are mentioned above. A primary responsibility is to watch over God’s flock as good shepherds. Ephesians 6:18 reminds us to pray in the Spirit on all occasions – to be alert and keep on praying for the saints. This is something we should all do, but especially leaders. We need to be on guard and know who our true enemy is – Satan – and know how to defeat him. Church leaders are to be God’s watchmen, guarding the church – alert to the enemy’s strategies and defeating them with prayer.

Whether in the church or in the world, leaders’ responsibilities include providing vision, establishing structure and organization, giving direction, guiding, counseling, serving as role models, inspiring, motivating, delegating, empowering, identifying goals and coaching team members in the steps to achieve them, building skills in the team, addressing weaknesses, encouraging success, resolving conflict, and providing accountability.

16. Titus 1:7 “For the overseer must be beyond reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not overindulging in wine, not a bully, not greedy for money.”

17. John 3:30 (KJV) “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

18. Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

19. 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

20. 1 Timothy 3:1-2 “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.”

21. Acts 20:28 (ESV) “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”

22. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

23. 1 Peter 5:2-3 “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.”

24. Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”

25. Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

26. Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

Bible verses about leading by example

People are more likely to follow what they see a leader doing than what he or she says. That’s why the Bible says to lead by setting a good example in what you say and how you say it, and by living a pure life that displays love and faith in action. A leader who is dominating and overbearing is unlikely to be followed.

27. James 3:1 (NIV) “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

28. “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” (I Timothy 4:12)

29. “Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not with greed but with eagerness; nor yet as domineering over those assigned to your care, but by proving to be examples to the flock.” (I Peter 5:2-3)

30. 1 Peter 5:3 “nor yet as domineering over those assigned to your care, but by proving to be examples to the flock.”

31. Philippians 3:17 “Brothers and sisters, imitate me, and pay attention to those who live by the example we have given you.”

32. Titus 2:7 “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.”

33. 1 Peter 3:15 (NASB) “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect.”

34. John 13:15-16 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

35. 1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

36. John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

Biblical leadership qualities

In the Old Testament, guidelines for leaders of the people included: strength, ability, efficiency, honesty, trustworthiness, haters of bribes, knowledgeable, wise, discerning, and understanding. (Exodus 18:21, Deuteronomy 1:13)

The Bible lists qualities for elders (overseers, including pastors):

  1. Personality and lifestyle: above reproach, temperate (not getting drunk or addicted to wine, being clear-minded), self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, not a bully, not violent, not quarrelsome, gentle, reasonable, peaceful, not greedy or loving money, having a good reputation with non-Christians, not selfish or self-absorbed, not hot-tempered.
  2. Family life: the husband of one wife and faithful to her, managing own family well, having obedient children that aren’t wild or rebellious.
  3. Spiritual Qualities: not a new convert, righteous, holy, and disciplined, skillful in teaching, having sound doctrine with the ability to teach it and rebuke false teaching. (1 Timothy 3:2-7, Titus 1:6-9)

The Bible lists similar qualities for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6:3: dignified, sincere, don’t drink much wine, not greedy for money, holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience, tested, above reproach, of good reputation, husband of one wife, manages children and household well, and full of the Spirit and wisdom.

Qualities for women in leadership (or wives of leaders) include being dignified, not a malicious gossip or slanderer, not given to intoxication, and faithful in all things. (1 Timothy 3:11)

37. Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

38. John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

39. Psalm 78:72 “He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.”

40. 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.”

41. 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.”

42. Deuteronomy 1:13 (NKJV) “Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.”

43. Titus 1:6-9(NLV) “Their lives must be so that no one can talk against them. They must have only one wife. Their children must be Christians and known to be good. They must obey their parents. They must not be wild. 7 A church leader is God’s servant. His life must be so that no one can say anything against him. He should not try to please himself and not be quick to get angry over little things. He must not get drunk or want to fight. He must not always want more money for himself. 8 He must like to take people into his home. He must love what is good. He must be able to think well and do all things in the right way. He must live a holy life and be the boss over his own desires. 9 He must hold to the words of truth which he was taught. He must be able to teach the truth and show those who are against the truth that they are wrong.”

44. 1 Timothy 3:11 “In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.”

45. Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”

Bible verses about servant leadership

The Bible has a lot to say about servant leadership. Jesus spoke of Gentile leaders as being on a power-trip, lording their authority over people. He told His disciples they should not be this way – that being a leader meant being a servant or a slave. Jesus pointed to Himself as an example of one who came to serve, not be served, and who gave His life as a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25-28)

At the last supper, Jesus removed his outer garments and went around the table, washing the feet of each of His disciples – something a servant would usually do. He told the disciples that He did that as an example to them, that they should follow. (John 13:12-15)

The Bible tells us in Philippians 2:5-8 to have the same mind as Jesus – even though He existed as God and was equal with God, He took on the form of a bondservant and humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)

A servant leader doesn’t grab power or try to manipulate others – a servant leader seeks to serve others. It’s not about becoming well-known or highly respected – it’s about making God well-known, about loving, respecting, and empathizing with the people one leads, and about resisting pride and listening to others.

46. 1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not in vain. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

47. Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.”

48. Matthew 20:26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.”

49. James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

50. Philippians 2:5-8 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”

51. Matthew 20:25-28 “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

52. Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

53. Acts 20:35 (KJV) “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

54. Acts 20:35 King James Version 35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

55. Matthew 20:26(NLT) “But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.”

56. Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

Obeying your leaders in the Bible

The Bible is clear that we are to obey our leaders: children are to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1), workers are to obey and respect those in authority over them – even when they’re unreasonable (1 Peter 2:18), and everyone is to obey their government leaders and church leaders.

57. “Obey your leaders and submit to them—for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account—so that they may do this with joy, not groaning; for this would be unhelpful for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)

58. “In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (1 Peter 5:5)

59. “Every person is to be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” (Romans 13:1-2)

60. “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.” (1 Peter 2:13-14)

61. Titus 3:1 “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed.”

62. 1 Peter 5:5 “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

What the Bible says about supporting our leaders?

Just as we are to obey our leaders, we’re also to support them: wives are to respect and support their husbands as the leader of the home, believers are to honor and support their spiritual leaders, and everyone should pray for and respect their governmental leaders.

63. “ . . . each husband is to love his own wife the same as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)

64. “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their way of life, imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7)

65. “The elders who lead well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.” (1 Timothy 5:17) The context of this verse indicates that honor includes financial renumeration.

66. “But we ask you, brothers and sisters, to recognize those who diligently labor among you and are in leadership over you in the Lord, and give you instruction, and that you regard them very highly in love because of their work.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

67. “First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

68. “Treat everyone with high regard: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)

69. Hebrews 13:24 “Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy send you greetings.”

Wicked leadership

Well, what do we do if a leader is wicked? Let’s first look at the case of political leaders. When Peter and Paul were writing about honoring and obeying the king and those in governing authority – guess who the king was at the time? Nero! The depraved, despotic, cruel Emperor Nero, who was throwing Christians to the lions and burning them as human torches to light his garden.

We must obey and honor our government leaders even when they’re evil – unless they order us to do something against God’s commands. If obeying our governmental leaders means disobeying God – then we must obey God.

In Acts 4, we see an example of this – the rulers and elders told Peter and John they could not teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied that they had to listen to God – who had commanded them to take the good news of Jesus to the end of the earth. In Acts 5, the rulers and elders again told Peter and the apostles they could not teach about Jesus, but they replied, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Well, what about a church leader who is wicked? If a pastor or elder is found in some sort of sin, the Bible gives these instructions:

“Do not accept an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” (1 Timothy 5:19-20)

Another type of wicked church leader is the false teacher or false prophet. Jesus said that in the end times “false christs and false prophets will arise and will provide great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24) Even if so-called prophets can do great miracles – if their teaching in not in line with what the Bible says – they are false prophets. Don’t believe them! Don’t get sucked in!

The entire chapter of 2 Peter 2 warns against false teachers who secretly introduce destructive heresies – opinions that go against Biblical teaching. If you aren’t firmly grounded in God’s word – you might easily be swayed by what they’re saying. This chapter speaks of false teachers as being greedy, exploitive, self-centered, and materialistic. Do not get involved in a church with this sort of leadership or follow a person whose teachings and lifestyle aren’t in sync with the “Godly leadership qualities” listed above.

70. Jeremiah 23:1-4 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. 3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.”

71. Proverbs 29:2 (NASB) “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked person rules, people groan.”

72. Proverbs 16:12 “It is a hated thing for kings to do what is wrong. For a throne is built on what is right.”

73. Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

74. Proverbs 28:15 “Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people.”

Examples of leadership in the Bible

A beautiful example of leadership is Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt. The Bible says, “Moses was a very humble man, more so than any man on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3) Despite the mind-blowing miracles that God did through Moses, and his leadership position over about two million people, he was not defensive when his brother Aaron and sister Miriam criticized his wife. He let God deal with it. And then he begged God for mercy on their behalf. He laid aside his pride to follow God’s direction. Leading in humility allows God to shine through us to others.

Another inspiring leader was Daniel, who God elevated into a place of leadership under the Babylonian and Persian kings. Even when in a foreign, pagan land, Daniel maintained his integrity and pure lifestyle of regular prayer – even when it meant being thrown to the lions. God blessed him with insight into dreams and visions – the king found Daniel’s wisdom and understanding better than all the astrologers and magicians who advised him. (Daniel 1, 6) Through Daniel’s testimony, the pagan rulers gave glory to God.

Paul – who was dramatically converted from the Christian-persecuting Saul – was probably the greatest missionary of all history. He took advantage of every opportunity to follow God’s prime directive. When beaten and thrown into prison, he and Silas praised God and witnessed to their fellow prisoners and to their jailer – the jailer and his family believed in Jesus and were baptized! (Acts 16:22-34) While in chains, Paul witnessed to the Roman governors Felix and Festus, to King Agrippa and Queen Bernice (Acts 24-26), and while in house-arrest in Rome, his witness extended to the prestigious and influential Praetorian Guard (Philippians 1:12-13) and to Caesar’s household – there were believers in Nero’s palace! (Philippians 4:22). God’s word is unbound by circumstances – an important lesson for leaders to learn in today’s chaotic times!

75. Numbers 7:2 “Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of families who were the tribal leaders in charge of those who were counted, made offerings.”


Of course, our most inspiring example of leadership is Jesus Himself! He stripped off His privileges and glory in heaven to be born to a humble family – to model servant-leadership in an unimaginable way:

“He has no stately form or majesty that we would look at Him . . . but He was pierced for our offenses, He was crushed for our wrongdoings; the punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the wrongdoing of us all to fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53)

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