Romans 15:4 clearly states that “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (ESV).  Studying the lives of biblical leaders can be both instructive and encouraging. We see, and learn from,  the good, the bad and the ugly. Ron Edmondson shares 10 biblical characters and the leadership tensions they lived with.

Originally published by Ron Edmondson

Throughout my time in vocational ministry I’ve encountered people who shy away from terms such as leadership when talking about the church. Christ is the leader of the church and we are simply servants under His command. While I agree with their assessment of Christ’s ultimate leadership, I see all kinds of examples of biblical characters with their own leadership tension.

I see leadership throughout the Bible – through people. God’s greatest servants were leaders – with significant examples of leadership challenges I face every day. And, as I read their story, I learn great Biblical principles – and also leadership examples.

David – Have you fought a giant? Do you ever feel like unqualified?

Esther – What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do? You sensed it was up to you to do it, yet the outcome was unpredictable and scary?

Joseph – Have you ever prepared for a potentially bleak future? Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do? Also, have you had to reconcile a broken relationship?

Paul – Has a changing culture ever impacted your leadership? Did you ever have problems getting the established leaders to trust you?

Gideon – Do you ever feel you are not prepared to fulfill what you know you have to do? Did you land in a position and – honestly – you’re not sure why?

Rahab – Has your “history” been a deterrent in some people’s minds – thinking you shouldn’t be in the position God has afforded you?

Moses – Is the weight of your responsibility ever overwhelming? Is someone else getting to complete the work – and enjoy the benefits – of something you started?

Abraham – Have you led a team into an unknown? Do family situations often distract you from what you feel you must do? Also, do you ever have to wait?

Noah – Does the task in front of you seem impossible? Ever feel no one understands what you’ve been called to do?

Deborah – Have you ever landed in a position you weren’t necessarily trained to do?

Look over the list. Which of these are most representative of your current leadership tension. Finally, discover things these Biblical leaders did wrong or did right in handling their challenge.

Perhaps some of the best leadership advice is closer than you think.