Ever since its completion, the Bible has served as a way for believers to live a life filled with wisdom and grace. Written centuries ago, this holy book is filled with timeless lessons that can still be applied to today’s modern living.
Within the Bible, anyone that truly looks can find valuable knowledge. Aside from its main purpose, which is to spread the word of God and showcase His gracious, loving character, the Bible also offers ordinary, day-to-day guidance.
From family life and work, to learning to treat others and yourself right, the Bible can offer true enlightenment.
In this article, we’d like to review bible verses about leadership and the lessons they carry. In a time as tumultuous as the one we’re living in today, these teachings are worth more than gold. Let’s take a closer look.
- Leadership Lessons from Old Testament Figures
- Leadership Lessons from New Testament Figures
- Leadership Lessons from Parables
Leadership Lessons from Old Testament Figures
We’re starting our exploration of bible verses about work and leadership within the Old Testament. Here are some of the most important leadership lessons you can take from them.
Moses: Deuteronomy 31:6
In Deuteronomy 31:6, we see Moses’s final words of encouragement to the people and, more specifically, to Joshua, his successor.
Even though Joshua is prepared, he is still undoubtedly concerned about this almost impossible task that now lies before him. Moses takes the time to encourage him to be strong and courageous and press forward with belief in himself and God.
In this verse, we see a truly valuable lesson about the importance of encouragement from our leaders. By taking the time to advise Joshua, Moses sets him up for success and gives him the invaluable knowledge he needs to do the work he is meant to do.
This verse is all about the importance of passing our skills and knowledge down to those who come after us.
Joshua: Joshua 1:9
In Joshua 1:9, we learn a lesson about perseverance in the face of uncertainty. We can also see the fruits of Moses’ leadership and advice to Joshua.
The essence of this verse is that even though life can be filled with sorrows, hardships, and difficult decisions, moving forward with faith and confidence is the only way.
Someone has to make those decisions and take on those battles. And even though it may seem impossible at times, it’s important to remember the lessons we’ve learned from our mentors.
David: Psalm 78:72
This verse focuses on the importance of staying true to yourself and following your heart when things seem unclear.
In it, we see David shepherding according to what is in his heart and guiding through the skills and knowledge he possesses. We also see an emphasis on fairness and wisdom when dealing with others.
Nehemiah: Nehemiah 2:18
Nehemiah 2:18 is a bible verse about leadership that explaining why you’re doing the things you’re doing is important.
In it, we see the importance of letting others know why you believe the steps you’re taking are the right ones and how you’ve decided to go that route. Through this, you’ll not only ease the minds of those you lead, but you’ll also open their horizons to new knowledge that will help them in the long run.
Leadership Lessons from New Testament Figures
In this chapter, we’ll be looking at three bible verses about leadership from the New Testament.
Jesus: Matthew 20:28
In this verse, we can learn a lot about a leader’s nature and purpose. In it, we see Matthew talking about Jesus and that, even though he is the Son of God, he came on this Earth to serve, not to be served, and to give his life for the benefit of his people.
Looking at this verse, we can see that although we may be in a position of power, that doesn’t mean we are above everybody else. On the contrary, the leader’s role is to speak for those below him and do everything within his power to ensure their well-being.
Paul: 1 Corinthians 11:1
1 Corinthians 11:1 deals with the importance of following the advice and examples our predecessors have given us.
In fast-moving times, it can be easy to lose ourselves in the novelty of everything and forget about our roots. This verse reminds us that even though new things may seem like the right choice, looking back and remembering how they used to be done can be just as effective, if not more.
Furthermore, the verse highlights the importance of setting a good example that will be worth following in the future after we’re gone.
Peter: 1 Peter 5:2-3
Once again, we see an emphasis on the humble nature of leadership and how important understanding this is. The verses teach us that we should protect and lead others because we want to, not because we have to, fulfilling the true purpose of leadership.
Furthermore, these verses stress the importance of not using your role for dishonest gain but for setting a good example and leading through it.
Leadership Lessons from Parables
The Parables are short, allegorical stories that deal with a lot of moral lessons crucial for any leader out there. Although these lessons may not be obvious, given that many of the Parables are scarce in detail, they hold some of the most clues on what does the bible says about leadership.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan: Luke 10:30-37
In this Parable, we learn the story of a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was attacked, robbed, beaten, and left on the side of the road.
A priest came down the road but crossed to the other side. Then, a Levite. He, too, crossed the road and left the man for dead. However, a Samaritan came next and stopped to help the man. He dressed his wounds, put the man on his donkey, and took him to an inn. There, he paid the innkeeper to nurse the man to health, taking on all expenses.
Although short, this story teaches us the importance of helping people when they are down, especially when you have the means to do so.
Even though it may be easier to walk away, the right thing to do is stop and help. Yes, this act may cost us in more than one way, but offering a helping hand when needed is worth both the time and the money.
The Parable of the Talents: Matthew 25:14-30
In this Parable, we learn a lesson about doing the most with what we have.
In it, a master gives his servants money for safekeeping. One man gets five coins, one gets two, and one gets only one. The first two servants invest their master’s money and double it. The third, however, buried his coin.
Once the master returned, he was pleased that the first two servants had double the treasure to give back, and he rewarded them accordingly. However, once he learned that the third servant had only the coin that was given to him to give back, the master was enraged. He did not award the servant. On the contrary, he punished him.
Although it may seem harsh, this story teaches us that what we have been given, we should use to gain more. Whether it’s knowledge, a helping hand, or something else, anything given to us has more value than it seems, and we should use its full potential.
The third servant, due to cowardice, didn’t even attempt to make more of what he was given, leaving him with even less in the end.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son: Luke 15:11-32
This Parable tells a story of a man and his two sons.
The younger son asked his father for his inheritance, took it, and squandered it. He spent it all on food, drink, and other pleasures. Once he had nothing, he began to work as a servant for a different man. This man treated him badly and wouldn’t even give him food to eat.
The son remembered his father and how he treated his servants, so he set out to come back home and beg his father for a servant’s job just so he could have a roof over his head and food to eat. He wanted to apologize and would accept anything.
Once his father saw him, however, he clothed him and threw a celebration in his name.
The older son, meanwhile, stayed by his father’s side. He worked, listened, and never complained. Once he learned that his brother had gotten a celebration even though he had squandered his inheritance and acted disrespectfully, he got enraged. He confronted his father.
However, the father explained that even though the son made mistakes, he learned from them and came out a better man, which is something to be celebrated.
Through this Parable, we learn the importance of forgiving the mistakes of others and not holding grudges, especially when those mistakes teach the person something. At the same time, it highlights the importance of appreciating those who stood beside us all along and letting them know that their loyalty is not taken for granted.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep: Luke 15:1-7
This Parable is another one that deals with forgiveness and offering help to those in need, even if they’ve made mistakes, and celebrating their return to the right side.
The story is told by Jesus when he is confronted about welcoming sinners into his circle.
He explains that if someone has 100 sheep and only one of them goes missing, that person would go out of their way to find that one sheep, leaving the 99 behind. Once he finds it, he’ll rejoice and celebrate the found sheep. However, all the sheep that have not gotten lost will not be celebrated.
It may seem unfair at first, but when you look at it a bit deeper, the meaning of this bible verse about leadership is clear. Those who’ve swerved from the right path but have found their way back should be forgiven and should be celebrated. Getting lost is easy, but finding your way back is not simple.
A good leader never judges a person by their worst mistake and is always ready to extend them forgiveness, helping them not make the same mistakes again along the way.