This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full affiliate disclosure here.
Are you a church leader looking for inspiration? These Encouraging Bible Verses for Leaders will help you face the responsibilities and obstacles of ministry with grace.
What does the Bible say about leadership?
Church leaders face great responsibility.
We come up against obstacles in our ministry and face the scrutiny of both the church and the outside world every day.
But true leaders face the work of ministry with grace and dignity.
There’s a quote about leadership that always puts me in the right frame of mind…
Ministry is persecution.
I don’t remember where I first heard this quote. But it has stuck with me over the years. It speaks to the leadership qualities we must possess as Christian leaders. The ability to pursue the ministry God has given us, even under pressure.
Because the truth is, if we’re living our lives for Jesus, we will face persecution.
So, how do we do it?
With the truth of God’s Word on our side!
Whatever church leadership position you hold, you’ll find encouragement in these scriptures for strong leaders.
Bible Verses on Service and Leadership
Serving in God’s Kingdom is a privilege. And good leadership means learning to be a servant.
Jesus had a servant’s heart. He came to serve those who needed Him and give His life for ours.
With practice, we can learn to have a servant’s heart like Jesus and be of service to those God puts in our path each day.
Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.
“It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:26-28 ESV
With upright heart he shepherded them
and guided them with his skillful hand.
The Holy Bible is clear… spiritual leaders must have certain qualities in order to lead God’s people.
That doesn’t mean that they are without sin but instead chose to live for Jesus and follow His teachings with integrity of heart. Leaders uphold what is holy and reject what isn’t.
The Bible verses below layout the requirements of Biblical leadership and help us become a better leader.
Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
1 Timothy 3:2-3 NIV
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8 NIV
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Philippians 2:3 NKJV
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
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, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 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.
Titus 1:7-9 ESV
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 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.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:14-15 ESV
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Our biggest job is to set a good example of how to live for Jesus.
And the greatest example of leadership we will ever find is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! He is not only our Savior but also our Teacher.
In scripture, Jesus is called, the Good Shepherd. And this description of Him as a shepherd gently guiding the flock is the perfect example to us as Christian leaders.
We look to Jesus, our Good Shepherd, in all circumstances. And these Bible verses about leadership will teach us a new way of guiding His church and make us strong leaders within it.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
John 10:11-13 NIV
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV
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; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
1 Peter 5:2-3 ESV
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
Being a church leader holds a great deal of responsibility.
When we think of this responsibility, naturally the people we shepherd come to mind. They have life and death decisions weighing on them. We hold their problems close as they lean on us. And we do our absolute best to guide them through it with God’s help.
But these scriptures are a warning to us. The influence we have as leaders means we are held to a higher standard. When we stand at the judgment seat of Christ, we’ll not only answer for the way we conduct ourselves, but also for what we teach other believers.
God has called us to this position in the church. And it’s a wonderful place to be! So, these Bible verses about the responsibility of leaders are not meant to turn us away from serving, but instead to offer us an understanding of what God expects from us.
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Being an effective leader is easy when you put God’s Word into practice. And no matter where you serve in the church, I pray these Encouraging Bible Verses for Leaders have given you a new perspective on leadership and the role you play in God’s Kingdom.