Biblical Secrets for the Leader

Even a casual perusing of the Bible will reveal a number of lessons for the Christian leader.  In a course that I am currently completing, our focus has been on leadership, specifically leadership in Christian educational institutions.

© 2008 contemplativechristian. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#33).

© 2008 contemplativechristian. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#33).

While a large number of reading selections, both books and journal articles, are available on such a broad topic, I was reminded again that the Bible is packed with appropriate input for any course on biblical leadership.  It only makes sense.  Why?  Because the Bible is the final, right answer to all things necessary for living a life pleasing to Christ.

Part of my study of leadership this spring led me to a book that has been on my shelf for a number of yearsLeadership Secrets from the Bible (Woolfe, 2002) provides some great advice for leaders by using historical and contemporary examples of successful and failed leadership.  In addition, many biblical characters are cited as both positive and negative examples of effective Christian leadership.

Using a variety of topics from honesty (integrity) to courage, and, from humility to compassion, Woolfe (2002) covers quite a gamut of pertinent topics for the Christian leader.  For example, an early chapter concludes with a summary of Biblical Lessons on Humility and Integrity by offering several concluding statements.  Here are a  couple of the conclusions:

  • Integrity is exhibited in actions, not pronouncements of intention.
  • Honesty and integrity payoff long-term, though they may involve losses and sacrifices short-term.
  • An organization with an ethical code and system of safeguards can create more consistently honest leaders.
  • Act as if someone else with more power than you is watching.
  • The higher you go, the more visible your integrity or lack of it becomes.
  • In times of crisis, adversity, and temptation, a leader’s integrity becomes most evident.

Whether a leader looking for a challenge to develop or hone the skills of leadership, or if you desire to teach leadership to a protégé, you might find Woolfe’s (2002) book helpful.  It will certainly cause a reader to dig deeper to find leadership truths in Scripture.

What is a leadership truth from the Bible that you have recently re-discovered?  

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Edward is the founder and managing editor of Focus on Christian Education. He also serves as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools.

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  • Matt Ticzkus

    The first bullet point listed about integrity is just so key. As a leader, I can tell everyone what they ought to do, but if I’m not living it myself, it makes no difference whatsoever!

    • Edward Earwood

      Matt, you are right on target. I was just thinking about this very truth relative to my family responsibilities. As a father, it is easy to make pronouncements without demonstrating twith actions.

  • Martha Earwood Reed

    Integrity is foundational to trust. If others don’t trust you, you will never be an effective servant leader!