The Most Powerful Motivator for Leaders

A few words from the prophet Azariah motivated King Asa of Judah to up his leadership performance. The same exhortation can motivate anyone in leadership today too.

The prophet simply told the king to look beyond the vision he had for his kingdom. Beyond the history of accomplishments, current circumstances, and the daily grind.

Book cover for Servant Leader Strong by Tom Harper

He said, “Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded” (2 Chron. 15:7).

In so many words, Azariah told the king to look forward to the divine reward that would follow a life of perseverance.

The promise of future rewards motivates many leaders. It does me. When we pour into people’s lives, drip our sweat and blood into a business, sacrifice financially to start a church, or give time and treasure to causes that matter to us, it’s incredibly encouraging to know God’s watching and will reward us.

Is that self-centered? No, it’s biblical. I’ll illustrate with two verses:

[Moses] regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (Heb. 11:26)

Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. (Rev. 22:12)

Are you looking beyond your leadership vision to the day when Christ will smile as he bestows your reward?

Vision statements are good motivators, but God’s promised rewards truly inspire.

Excerpted from Servant Leader Strong: Uniting Biblical Wisdom and High-Performance Leadership, by Tom Harper (DeepWater Books, Dec. 2019). Foreword by Richard Blackaby. View the book trailer.

For leaders in the church or marketplace—or anywhere leadership principles can be applied—this book is a useful tool, filled with bite-sized practical tips and encouragement. Topics include how to motivate people, dealing with worry and fear, criticism, developing healthy authority, mission and vision, staffing issues, and leaving a legacy.

Servant Leader Strong is the result of Harper’s three-year search through the Bible for wisdom on how to achieve results through servant leadership. It is a how-to manual for any Christian leader in need of bold, biblical encouragement.

Tom Harper is CEO of Networld Media Group and publisher of, a free online source of encouragement, tips and how-to for leaders seeking to apply biblical principles in their daily lives. Tom lives in Louisville, Ky. with his wife and three children. He is the author of the business fable Through Colored Glasses: How Great Leaders Reveal Reality (DeepWater, 2018) and Leading from the Lions’ Den: Leadership Principles from Every Book of the Bible (B&H, 2010).

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