Saturday, February 16, 2013

Five Bible Verses on Qualities of Good Leaders

This is one of my personal favorites from Timothy "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." I've often taken heat about being so young to be teaching and speaking the word. I often get cross looks from people and they attempt to override what I say. I try to be humble and polite when this happens. Timothy is a major hero of mine, as he was a great spiritual leader of the early church and was also quite young for such a position. Never the less he was a great leader.

What qualities do we look for in leadership? Generally we tend to look for honesty, confidence, ability to lead, experience, and other factors. The Bible tells us how to properly lead men and women. Let's take a look at five good verses on leadership.

1. 1 Timothy 3:1-4 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive

The first thing in Timothy here is indicating that a leader should regard their position as noble. The leader must be married to only one. The leader must have qualities like sobriety, self control, respectability, curtesy, gentleness, and they should be a good teacher. Timothy tells us that a leader must not care for money, which unfortunately shows that we have very few quality political leaders today. The last sentence tells us that a good way to judge a leader is to look at how they run their personal affairs. Is their house in order?

2. Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

This passage from Proverbs suggests that leaders should keep plenty of advisors to offer various alternatives. Proverbs is telling us that information being available to a leader is very important.

3. Isaiah 30:21And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

This passage in Isaiah doesn't necessarily only refer to leaders, it can apply to any of us. It's an excellent reminder that once we have the holy spirit working in our lives, our conscience will tell us before we are going to stray off the correct path. It also indicates that the correct path will call us back, indeed God will call us back. It's incredibly important for a leader, who is responsible for many to walk a path in line with God's will.

4. Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Especially in the United States our leaders have always been trusted servants, not lord and kings. That has definitely changed in the last century. It doesn't change in the church however. Jesus tells us in Matthew that leaders are servants, just as he was a servant! Leadership is often a thankless task. Proper leaders do much, and receive little praise. As a leader you may want to check how you are doing things if you are constantly being praised for your role. This passage tells us that the leaders in the church will not exercise authority over the people. Bear that in mind!

5. Proverbs 20:28 Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.

For a leader it is important to have the love and trust of the people. It's important that people believe in their leaders, and that leaders show appreciation for that trust by leading wisely. That love and faithfulness from the people preserves the leader. It makes them strong. Steadfast love is a phrase that means loyal love, or strong love. That's what a leader needs. And the leader needs to return that love with love and care for his people.