29 Top Bible Verses About Leadership and their Qualities

We can learn so much from Bible verses about leadership. Leadership can be very challenging, but it can be a lot easier with the guidance of the word of God.

We all have what it takes to be a leader, the potential. But we are uncut gems. We need to be polished. Some things should be removed from us, and some things should be added. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us. When our goal is to follow Jesus, we must turn to His words to succeed.

What is the Significance of Bible Verses About Leadership?

Leadership, especially in a church setting, can be daunting. It can be demanding, exhausting, and frustrating. Leading God’s people is not easy. Just ask Moses, the judges, and the prophets. If God is calling you to lead, you may have reservations and hesitations. That is perfectly understandable.

You might also be having doubts. Or maybe, you have this grandest plan that you want to turn into reality. These Bible verses about leadership will be very helpful. It will guide us in the way God wants us to go. If you are someone who is not yet called to lead, these Bible verses about leadership can also help you get a good grasp of what a leader should and should not be. God’s word is always helpful, it gives comfort and guidance to anyone who needs them.

Bible Verses About Leadership Qualities

Bible Verses About Leadership


1 Peter 5:6

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”

A leader is trusted by God, but they should trust God in return. Trust is crucial to submission. To be able to submit to God, we should be able to trust Him. We should trust that His plan is the best, and we are but the instruments to its completion. We may never understand what God is doing but we are not alone in this.

Moses did not always understand what God is doing. So did some of the judges and the prophets. Despite this though, they followed what God is telling them to do. We do not need to understand to submit and obey. We only need to trust His heart.


Mark 10:42-43

“And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.”

A leader must serve, and a leader serves despite. A leader cannot be held back by circumstances, opposition, and even their age. God has called people despite their youth. God looks at the heart and the potential. When God calls a leader, we can be sure that that leader is capable.

So if you are being called, and you are having reservations because of the things that you think make you unsuited for service, trust that God knows you and He believes in you. Hold on to Bible verses about leadership. Let God’s word, God’s voice, guide you.

Safe keeps

Colossians 3:12-13

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

Leaders make taking care of others a way of life. They are helpful, compassionate, and not quick-tempered. Also, they consider the outcome of every action because they care about the people they lead. They must get along with those that they lead, but not should also know when and how to rebuke those that need rebuking.

To do this, they must be self-controlled, respectable, and hospitable. They need to always have their temper in check because anger does not help in most situations. Leaders should be respected so people would listen to them. They should be humble, meek, patient, and forgiving. Also, they must be upright, holy, and disciplined. They must be like Jesus.

It sounds hard to do, but God will be with us every step of the way. He will mold us and teach us according to His will. He will speak to us and through us. The God who guided Moses and the other leaders to deliver the Israelites and lead them to the Promised Land is still the same God who will help us lead.


Hebrews 11:6

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Leaders must have faith. Leaders must believe, and they should always strive to be near to God. By doing this, they will be able to become self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. Bible verses about leadership are helpful. We can avoid being consumed by selfish ambition. We can be humble. And all these things will help us become the greatest leader we can be.


Matthew 5:16

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

A whole lot of darkness cannot defeat even a little speck of light. It will always shine. Jesus called us the light of the world and commanded us to let our light shine. Light does not just make things brighter, it also guides. A lighthouse can help bring a ship in troubled seas safely home.

Light can conquer fear. At times, we have to defeat the things that people fear for them to be able to follow. Letting our light shine is also helpful in leading people to Christ. But let us not let our light consume us. We will never be greater than the one who sent us. Remember your leaders and their sound doctrine. Always meditate on Bible verses.

Best Bible Verses for Leaders

Bible Verses About Leadership

Church leadership

Matthew 15:14

“Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

Leaders are blessed with a broader vision. We should always be connected to the Word of truth so we are not blinded by the enemy. This way, we can lead others to the right and safest way.

1 Peter 5:2

“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly.”

Leaders are called to lead, and we should do it as honestly and as enthusiastically as we can because we are doing it for God and for the good of everyone we are leading.

2 Timothy 2:15

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

We will face God one day and account for the things that we did on earth. Let us live in such a way that when we face God, we will not have anything to be ashamed of.

James 3:1

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

Leaders have more responsibility compared to those that they lead. Because of this, they are judged more strictly. They have more to account for. A leader should be someone who can handle this, and preferably someone who lives as blameless as possible in the first place.

Matthew 20:27

“And whoever would be first among you must be your slave.”

People who have been close to Jesus know how powerful He is. The Israelites were under the Roman empire in those days. They had no power. That is why we can understand the request of the mother of the sons of Zebedee (Matthew 20:21). A powerless mother asking for power for her children. That is understandable.

But, it does not change the fact that they have misunderstood the purpose of Jesus’ coming and the purpose of leadership. To lead is to serve, in our book. Through serving others, we get the power and the strength that comes from God. Just like Jesus, if we learn to be humble and to submit and obey, we can overcome great challenges. Remember, Jesus overcame sin and death.

Romans 12:21

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

The enemy knows how vital the role of leaders is. He would send temptations after temptations just to ruin us. But Paul is reminding us to overcome evil with good.

Titus 1:7

“For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain.”

Whether we like it or not, people look closely at leaders. They do not necessarily do it because they are waiting for us to make mistakes but because they are always looking at us for the next step or next plan. This is why they immediately see it once we make a mistake. We must not make deliberate mistakes. Regular prayer, on the other hand, will be helpful to avoid making honest mistakes.

Matthew 20:26

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”

Jesus is wise, and He has left us with wise teachings on what we should do as leaders. Leaders who follow Jesus should not aim to be great or famous or hold much power. Our aim as leaders is to serve.

1 Timothy 3:2-3

“Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”

As I have mentioned, as leaders, people will always be looking closely at us. We are their light and our light comes from God. If they see anything that is ungodly, it might taint their view of who God is. This is why, leaders, above all else, should strive to be like Christ.

Youth leadership

Acts 20:28

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”

Think of it this way. Leaders are like the eldest children tasked with looking after our younger siblings while the parents are away. We are tasked with the responsibility of looking after our needs and the needs of others.

Philippians 2:4

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”

Let us take note that this Bible verse tells us to look out for our interests, but we should not stop there. We should go against the teachings of this world and do as God commands. As leaders, we should be focused on other people’s needs as well.

1 Timothy 3:8

“Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.”

Leaders are chosen by God. We should help glorify His name. To do this, we must do what is expected of us and what God commands. We should live not according to the rules of the world but according to the rules of God.

Exodus 18:21

“Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.”

A good leader brings out the best in others. They see other people’s potential just as God saw their potential. Good leaders know who will be helpful to each task. They also learn to trust these people just as God trusts them to accomplish the tasks needed.

John 13:16

“Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

Indeed, being a leader does not equal power and fame. At least, not by the same standards of the world. That being said, leaders are given authority by God. We are the voice of God. Although, this does not mean that we are greater than God or even a substitute for Him. We are servants, messengers. A servant is not greater than his master. Let us be humble.

Ephesians 4:11-13

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

To learn, we must grow. Various things can be helpful in this. One thing we can do is to study the lives of effective leaders that God has chosen in the past. We can learn from them and make them our examples in the path that we will take.

Hebrews 13:7

“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”

God has called innumerable leaders throughout history. Some of them have been military heroes. Some have led people to God, some have been a rich source of wisdom for others, and others have probably led simple lives and have been such great inspiration to those that follow them. We have been given so many examples of what we should do as leaders.

Matthew 20:28

“Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus taught, healed the sick, fought with bad spirits, rebuked hypocrites, and dined with people almost full time. He did not demand service from people. In Matthew 26:6-13, we will see that Simon did not give Jesus the proper treatment and respect, but Jesus did not barge in there demanding to be served.

Only when they were ridiculing the woman who poured perfume at Jesus’ feet did Jesus rebuke them. He did it, not because He was feeling petulant for not getting His due, but to appreciate those that deserve it and rebuke those that need it.

Wise leadership

Galatians 6:9

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Leading can be exhausting, but we should not give up. God is generous, and His rewards to those who are faithful and obedient will be generous as well.

Romans 12:8 

“The one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

Romans 12:3-8 talks about us being the body of Christ, and like the different parts of the body, we have different purposes and gifts. Some are called to teach, some to do acts of mercy, some to prophesy, to lead, and many more. Paul is telling us to do our best in whatever we are called to do. If we are called to lead, let us lead with the utmost enthusiasm.

Titus 1:9

“He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”

Leaders are tasked with a lot of things. They are ought to be listened to. This is why leaders should always be close to the trustworthy Word of God.

James 4:10

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

It is possible for leaders to always be in the spotlight, and at times, it can get to some people. We must not let ourselves be consumed by this, and instead, always be humble.

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

A lot of things about leadership can be scary, but God provides us with everything we need including the courage and strength we need.

Romans 12:18

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

A leader cannot lead when there are divisions. We should not let this happen. Peace must come from us before we can expect it from others.

John 13:14-15

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”

Jesus has been the ultimate Teacher and Lord. He did not just preach the Word of God, He lived it as an example for us. If Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, a task that is reserved for slaves, then we, as leaders, must also be willing to humble ourselves and serve.

Proverbs 15:22

“Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.”

As leaders, we might have the best and grandest plan according to God’s will, but we cannot do it alone. We must get the help of God and others.

Mark 10:45

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus taught us that a leader’s life is a life of sacrifice. It is not glamorous by the standards of the world. Being a Christian leader is a lifestyle. It might seem like God is asking for too much, but we must keep in mind that the rewards are also beyond this world.

Bible Verses About Leadership

In Summary

Leadership is crucial for any group of people to grow and progress. The role leaders fulfill is a great one. The responsibility that comes with it is also great. To be able to fill the shoes that leadership comes with, we need the help of God and other people in the past as well as the present.

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Alex Shute
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.

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