When I think of great leaders, I think of the myriad of leaders in the Bible. You can’t get away from the fact that while the people highlighted in the Bible were flawed, many of them were examples of great leadership.
People like Moses, King David, Abraham, Esther, and more… These people had their issues (just like you and me), but they also had the makings of great leaders.
I want to focus on some of the great people in the Bible and what their example can be for us today as leaders.
5 Examples Of Leaders From The Bible
Women were overlooked for far too long in the church and leadership sphere. Yet, the Bible is clear that many of the women in the Bible were leaders.
Take Deborah, for example.
Deborah exemplified the leadership qualities we want to display. In Judges 4:4-5 we see her sharing wisdom, offering counsel, and guidance to her people. She inspired her people when the Israelites faced military threats from the Canaanites, as seen in Judges 4:6-7.
What can you learn from Deborah? You can see the qualities of being a vision caster, being a person who listens, and how to inspire your people.
When I think of great leaders, I think of leaders who are faithful, courageous, and unwavering. Joshua had all of these traits and more.
We see Joshua having unwavering faith in Numbers 27:12-23. He had unwavering faith in what God had told his people about the Promised Land. Not only did he have faith, but he also shared his faith with the people he led.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go… This is something Joshua told his people in Joshua 1:9. He gave this command to his people to encourage them to be strong and to have courage.
Are you encouraging your people? Are you sharing your faith with them? The best leaders encourage and build up their people. They don’t knock them down.
Learn from Joshua how to build your people up.
Joseph and I shared the same name, so I had to include him in this list. But that’s not the only reason. Joseph was a strong leader himself.
His brothers betrayed Joseph. Their original intent was to kill him. Instead, they chose to sell him into slavery. Through all of this, Joseph persevered.
Joseph rose through the ranks in Potiphar’s house. He had integrity and wisdom (Genesis 39). Potiphar’s wife approached him for an illicit affair that he declined. Because of this, he was falsely accused of raping Potiphar’s wife. Still, he stood firm when he was thrown into jail. Another aspect of Joseph’s leadership was his ability to forgive. Joseph had encouraged Potiphar to store up food for an upcoming famine. His brothers arrive for help, and he forgives them (Genesis 41 and 45).
You can become a great leader even if your start is a struggle. Joseph had to overcome slavery and betrayal. You may have to overcome betrayal, poverty, or some other issue that prevents you from having the kind of start you’d like. Don’t fret if you’re not starting from the same place as everyone else. Do what is right and move forward.
When you think of leadership qualities, what do you think of? Do you think of courage, wisdom, and compassion? If you do, you’re thinking of the same leadership traits Esther had.
In Biblical times, you could be put to death for approaching the king without being summoned. Yet, Esther approached the king to plead for the Jewish people (Esther 4:11). She knew the people needed someone to stand up for them. She accepted the responsibility and approached the king.
Esther was also like the original James Bond. She used her wisdom in inviting the king and his vizier, Haman, to banquets where they would reveal their plot against her people (Esther 5:1-8). She was a wise spy!
Leaders are courageous. They know when and how to approach those above and below them. They know how to speak the language of the one they’re petitioning. Be courageous.
And be wise. Use what you know to lead those you’re leading. You are wiser than you think.
Peter made many mistakes, including denying Jesus three times (Matthew 26:69-75). Yet, Jesus also told Peter, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church.” Despite his failure to boldly live out his faith, Jesus still chose him to do something mighty.
Throughout his ministry, Peter gave guidance to other church leaders. He wrote letters and made visits to the different church communities. In the letters Peter wrote, he provided encouragement, advice, and theological discourse.
Leaders will make mistakes. They’ll fail and then have to pick themselves back up. Don’t let your mistakes destroy your leadership. You’re not the only one to fail. You’re also not the only one to get back up.
Lastly, be a leader who encourages and gives advice. Use your words and actions to build up the next generation of leaders. The world needs more leaders. You’ve been blessed with the opportunity to guide them.