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Qualities of good Christian leaders

Description: With no shortage of ideas about good leadership, it’s remarkable that poor leadership abounds. Maybe a look back at basics might help.


Enough books, videos, podcasts, and more have been produced on leadership to cover the entire world to ear height. Christians may seek guidance from such worldly examples, but more important is the Bible’s timeless wisdom. To inspire others effectively, Christian leaders should align their approach with biblical teachings, yet still address the practical realities of modern life.

This blog draws from both scriptural foundations and practical aspects of leadership, and offers thoughts on the essential qualities Christians leaders should possess.

Bad leaders

Before we consider the good, it might be helpful to consider the bad – and who better to point this out than Jesus himself. In Matthew 23.13-32, we read his seven Woes (variations in Luke’s version 11.37-52). Jesus was laying it on the line for the Pharisees and teachers of the law – a point by point shame list for religious leaders.

He starts every criticism by calling them hypocrites. Such leaders have little integrity. Their mindset doesn’t include humility. They hide behind petty rules… and the list goes on. The point is: two thousand years ago, religious leaders had failings – as did leaders thousands of years before that. Sadly, history has a habit of repeating itself and many of us have experienced poor leadership in our own lives. Hence this look back at basics.

Six qualities of good Christians leaders

1. A servant's heart

The Bible emphasises the importance of humility and servant-hood. Jesus himself says that he came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10.45). Jesus’ servant-leadership model puts the needs of others first. In practical terms for modern Christian leaders, this means serving with humility and alertness to the needs of others. This in turn creates a culture of selflessness within the group, fostering both trust and unity.

2. Wisdom and Discernment

Proverbs is often regarded as a guide to wise living and provides invaluable insights into the qualities of good leaders. Proverbs 3.13-15 points to the happiness gained by those discovering wisdom and attaining understanding, asserting that the benefits surpass those of precious metals and their value exceeds precious gems. The conclusion: nothing anyone may desire can rival the immeasurable value of wisdom.

For Christian leaders, wise decision-making and discernment are essential for navigating the complexities of leadership. By seeking wisdom and discernment through prayer and reflection, leaders can elevate the well-being of the team and promote real accomplishments.

3. Integrity

Proverbs also spotlights the high standard of integrity required of Christian leaders. It affirms that all who live with honesty and integrity will navigate life confidently and securely, while those who choose deceitful paths will eventually be exposed (Proverbs 10.9).

Leaders with unwavering integrity set a positive example for others to follow. This consistency between beliefs and actions establishes a foundation of trust, credibility, and reliability within the group.

4. Dependability and Reliability

In Titus 1.7-9, the Apostle Paul outlines the qualifications for leaders, highlighting the importance of dependability and reliability. Effective Christian leaders should be individuals others can count on, mirroring God's faithfulness to his people.

Leaders who are dependable create a sense of stability and security within the team, fostering an environment where individuals can flourish and fulfil their potential.

5. Compassion and Empathy

Christian leaders are called to love others as Christ loved them (as are we all). Paul urges all believers to wear compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3.12). A leader's ability to empathise with the struggles of those they lead creates a supportive and nurturing community. Such leaders also inspire loyalty and commitment; individuals feel seen, heard, and valued within the community.

6. Effective Communication

Communication is foundational to effective leadership. Paul warns us to guard against speaking harmful words. Instead, our speech should be constructive and aimed at uplifting others (based on their needs) so that those who hear may benefit positively (Ephesians 4.29).

This calls for leaders to communicate with clarity, positivity, and with a focus on building up those under their care. With clear and uplifting communication, a healthy and constructive environment is promoted, allowing the team to thrive and work towards common goals.


Effective Christian leadership requires the crucial merger of Bible teachings with practical considerations. Good Christian leaders are servants at heart, wise in decision-making, unwavering in integrity, dependable, compassionate, and effective communicators.

By embodying these qualities, leaders can fulfil their calling to guide and inspire others. This fosters a community that reflects the love, grace, and wisdom found in the Word of God.


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