Biblical Leadership Qualities

It is often said that leadership is not for everyone but for those born with the requisite qualities. The topic is not overly discussed on our pulpits and as a result the subject has been left for circular institutions to tutor on the matter at length. However, when we look at scripture we see an enormous amount of incredible narratives, characters, and crucial qualities of true leadership.



The first time God spoke about the creation of man, it included rulership, thus indicating leadership as a characteristic of human beings, we see this in Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and overall the creatures that move along the ground." The inherent spirit of man is made to be a leader in his environment.


Scholars believe that a person can be taught to be a leader, conversely when we bring this in the context of understanding who we are in Christ - a person’s intrinsic quality of leadership can be stirred up from within and brought to the fore, instead of undergoing an acquired skill set program. In essence, what I am saying is that you have it within you, you may be saying Pastor Kay I am certainly not a leader and I have never led anything…I will then point you to the story of Moses. When we look at scripture, we see many great leaders just like Moses who never believed they could lead. When God spoke to Moses He conversed with him from a point of knowing how He created Him, God understood his full potential and capabilities. This is the way God speaks to us as well, He speaks to the leader in us, He speaks to the Giant in us, He speaks to the infinite possibilities that are in us.


Sadly, the fallen nature of man has so separated us and robbed us of our true identity we have become a substandard version of the image and likeness of Christ and end up struggling to lead our own lives and exercise authority where we have been commanded to dominate.


Let us look in scripture and see narratives that can show us Leadership qualities we should stir up.


1. A man after the heart of God


Acts 13:22, 36. “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' … "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.” When God spoke to Samuel about David, it was after the disobedience of Saul; from then on God sought for Himself a Leader that is in harmony with him, a leader who is spiritually sensitive to the leading of the voice of God, a leader who moves when he is told to move one who stays when he is advised to stay. King David was not perfect and that is not what God is looking for because no one is perfect besides Him, but God wants a man/women who is genuinely humble with a servant heart, a leader who says “Lord in everything that you do, don’t do it without me”


“Lord in everything that you do, don’t do it without me”

2 . Wisdom


1 Kings 3:9 – 13 “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings”


King Solomon knew that sustaining a position of leadership cannot be done outside of wisdom, wisdom is what created the world we live in, scripture further says that "Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her." And Proverbs 4:7 says "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Meaning wisdom is the first and most important thing everything else follows that. God rewarded Solomon for choosing Wisdom because of the importance of this quality. You can have a look at our article on Wisdom to help you grasp the entirety of the relevance of Wisdom.


3. Excellent Spirit


Daniel 1:20 “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.” Daniel had a track record of excellence in everything he did; He lived through the rulership of 3 Kings in Babylon and in all three eras, every King recognized his spirit of excellence. His distinct quality constantly set him above his peers, it caused him to be favored amongst men thus he became a much sought-after advisor to all the Kings in his lifetime.


4. Courage


Judges 5:7 "There were no warriors in Israel until I, Deborah, arose until I arose to be a mother to Israel." A wise man once said “Courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it” Deborah stood up when all those expected to do so didn’t and we see how she cloaked herself with courage and heaven backed her up the moment she decided to do something about the state of the affairs in Israel at the time. She put fear aside and led a triumphant victory over their enemies. We need to be a people that cultivates this attribute if we are to become effective leaders.


5. Character/ Integrity


Jospeh displayed the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles in a situation that could have benefited him when Potiphars wife wanted to sleep with him. He muttered the most profound words found in the bible to date saying, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" It is often said that “Ability can get you to the top but it is a character that will keep you there” Even though Joseph was thrown into the prison I believe that Joseph’s character was like an echo in the recesses of Potiphar’s decision-making and we see in this instance how character also took a man out of prison.


6. Spiritual Authority


A common theme woven over and over throughout the ministry of Jesus is Spiritual Authority – Not Charisma or charm or manipulation. Spiritual authority is the true power base that enables a leader to effectively lead. This is only achieved through oneness with God, Jesus often said I only do as my father does and Oneness with Christ comes through intimacy, spending time in the secret place gleaning into what he has to say. John 5:19 “Jesus gave them this answer: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.


In closing family remember that Christ became our wisdom and we have the fullness of Christ within us who is the only perfect leader, when we tap into who we are in him, we can excel in leadership.


Shalom: Kay King





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