5 Bible Verses That Should Scare Leaders

The Bible is a wealth of leadership wisdom. There are scripture verses that encourage leaders.

There are also Bible verses that should scare leaders.

These scary Bible verses are rarely talked about. They’re kept under wraps and ignored by most.

I’ve even swept the troublesome Bible verses under the run and shared encouraging Bible verses for leaders with you, my readers.

This is a mistake. The Bible has clear warnings for leaders. If we ignore these challenging Bible verses, we are in deep trouble.

Today, I want to pull back the veil and share the Bible verses that should make leaders nervous. Are you ready for this?

1. Acts 20:28

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Our flock may not be a church congregation but it may be a team of hard workers on the shop floor or a group of volunteers working within the church.

These people are our responsibility. God has tasked us with being overseers of those we lead.

Even more so, God has paid a price for these people. He paid with the blood of His son.

We’re leading some pretty valuable people. Don’t neglect this post you’ve been given.

2. John 3:30

He must increase, but I must decrease.

Why is John 3:30 a scary Bible verse for leaders? Because it’s telling us that leadership and our lives aren’t all about ourselves. There’s a higher purpose to life and that’s to the ONE we should be modeling our lives after.

3. Proverbs 16:12

It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a throne is established on righteousness.

This verse is telling us that, as leaders, we especially need to be aware of our actions. If we’re leading with wickedness, we’re committing an abomination.

Lead with righteousness and our position is established.

How are you leading?

4. Proverbs 4:23

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it springs all life.

At first glance, this Bible verse is benign. There’s nothing scary about it.

That is until you begin to study the bible verse.

We discover our heart is the wellspring of life. Now, whether that life is good or bad, that depends on what you put into your heart.

Are you putting good things into your heart or are you filling it with bad things? The choice is yours.

5. Matthew 18:6

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

I think Matthew 18:6 may be the scariest Bible verse of all for leaders. While this is describing what happens to those who lead children astray, this easily applies to leadership as well.

As leaders, you are responsible for those you lead. These people are looking to you for guidance, like little children.

We have a responsibility to lead and to lead well. We can’t take our leadership lightly.

Realize your position as a leader isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ve got a great responsibility to lead rightly.

There you have it. This is my list of the 5 scariest Bible verses for leaders.

The Bible lays down the law when it comes to leading. We have a responsibility and we’ve got to be aware of that responsibility.

Are you?

Question: Do you have any other scary Bible verses for leaders to add to the list? If so, I want to hear about them in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Laura

    James 3:1. Thanks for the reminder.

    • How could i have forgotten that one? It’s definitely a clear reminder that leadership requires more of us.

      • Vicki

        As a mother, I realize our flock could only consist of our own children. My son is now in college and a small group leader in his school church group. What I notice is that we do our best work of training up a child (future leader of, at least himself, if not his kids, if not a church group) not just by deuteronomy 6:7 & 11:19 talk as you walk, but by how we act. We play a game as children of follow the leader. The leader acts first then the others do the same. Ephesians 4:11to the end of ephesians 4, 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1. Are also good places to further the study on leaders. Sometimes we don’t really get a real understanding of how we act, good or bad until we see it in our children. And by then it may be too late to correct ourselves in a way that affects our children.

  • Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. James 3:1

    • Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Hebrews 13:17

    • That’s a great one Jon. Definitely reminds us to be leery of being a leader and what we do.

    • Excellent verse Jon! It applies not just to teaching.

    • Shawn Welch

      I agree Jon. That’s the verse that haunts me the most. I want to make sure that I’m being a good steward of the words I say and the people He has entrusted me to lead.

      • AllieK

        After reading this, I am going to quit teaching Sunday School, as I don’t want to expose myself to punishment! ( all along I thought I was doing something right! )

        • Hi Allie, I’m sorry that this has made you reconsider leading because of a fear of punishment. Yet being in a position of leadership is a serious matter. We have to be sure of what we’re teaching and not lead people astray. Hopefully, you’ll reconsider.

  • But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    James 1:22

    • Love it Bernard. This shows we have to put action to what we say otherwise we’re lacking.

  • “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does NOT blow the trumpet to warn the people…I will hold the watchman accountable…” Ezekiel 33:1-6

    The charge here is when we as leaders “see” something that should be warned about our job is to do the warning regardless of how popular or unpopular it may be. IF we don’t the results are our fault. IF we issue a warning (“blow the trumpet”) the results are not our fault, whether the people listen or not is not our responsibility.

    I hate this because I want to be popular; I want to be the leader that everyone likes and looks up to…but I feel like Jeremiah more often and see the harm and destructive actions of “the people” and am tried of issuing warnings because so few listen.

    • That is a scary one Dan. Leaders do need to be the ones watching for coming trouble and warn people, even if the warning is unpopular. Thanks for sharing!

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  • If you look at the book of 2 Kings you will see that after each King is named a statement is proclaimed whether they did good or bad in the sight of God. – The kings actions often dictated the actions of the people – good or bad. There were so many bad kings God had proclaimed that Judah would be taken into exile. Yet along came King Josiah (who was just a child when he became king) who found the word of God and called his people to repentance. Because of his decision God delayed the overthrow of Judah. As the leader goes so goes the people.

    • Very true Jon. A leader steers where the people will go. Scary, huh?

  • Great passages and post idea! James 3:1 has always stood out for me when I’m leading. Great addition @jonstolpe:disqus

  • Thanks for this post, Joe. Christian poets, writers, and other communicators for Christ have the opportunity – and awesome responsibility – to be true to God’s word, love our readers, lead others to the Lord, and administer healing to the churches. Since your article applies to us too, I’ll highlight your post on the Christian Poets & Writers blog – http://www.christianpoetsandwriters.com. God bless.

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  • Mirriam

    Thank you. I will share with other pastors and leaders, God Bless

    • You’re welcome Mirriam! And thanks for sharing with others you know.

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  • mike

    lk 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
    heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

  • mike

    1 Timothy 1:3-7

    3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

    4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

    5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

    6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

    7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

    • mike

      mt. 12:36-37
      36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

      37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

  • mike

    heb. 5:12

    12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

  • mike

    whats the answer? be apt to teach
    2 Timothy 2:15
    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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