What Qualities Does God Say a Leader Should Possess?

This Guest Post Monday is from TC Avey who writes about religion, current events and politics at Wisdom of a Fool. Make sure to check out her blog and follower her on Twitter. If you would like to be featured on the Guest Post Monday please click here.

I’ve been praying about qualities God likes in His leaders.  After much prayer, here is what God has spoken to me.

1. Willing to do what is right instead of what is easy. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Matt 7:13NIV

2. Should not expect special privileges!!! “Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”  John 15:20 NIV

3. Willing to sacrifice their fleshly rights, (selfishness- to get their own way, to lose control of emotions, set their own schedule, to take a day off- leaders do not get to take the day off when they don’t feel like being responsible, they are always responsible 24/7 because someone is always watching and always needing them).  “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 NIV

4. Willing to decrease self-decreasing self is painful; it means swallowing pride and not retaliating.  It means giving up the right to be “ME”.  It’s not about my preferences or personality traits, it’s about glorifying God.  “He must become greater; I must become less.”  John 3:30 NIV

5. Willing to control tempter/emotions – not “speak my mind”.  People remember the times leaders mess up more than all the times they do what is right.  Leaders cannot be perfect, but they should have a willingness to endeavor to control emotions.  “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” James 3:5 NIV 

6. Willing to follow the rules even when no one else does. “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,” Titus 3:1 NIV

7. Willing to love the unlovable, a leader cannot exclude people from their group/life.  “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” Matthew 5:46 NIV

8. Willing to compromise, make things convenient for others.  “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.” 2 Corinthians 6:3 NIV

9. ABOVE ALL:  Willing to daily grow spiritually.  Cannot take a day off from serving Christ and following Him“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV.  Because a Good Christian Leader knows that their ability and strength to lead comes not from self, but from God.  They also realize that the lust of the world is difficult to withstand therefore they need Gods help.  They also must be aware that what they may do in moderation, those who follow them will do more liberally.

To sum it up:  I heard a speaker say that a good leader mustn’t Project their own glory but must REFLECT God’s Glory!  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 KJV

Question:  What qualities has God shown you a leader of His must possess? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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46 thoughts on “What Qualities Does God Say a Leader Should Possess?

    • Thanks Jim, I appreciate you reading it. I pray in the coming days God will continue to speak to you about how he wants to work in your life. God bless you.

      Oh, I see you like UFC- did you watch the new season of the Ultimate Fighter last Friday night?

  1. T.C you hit it right on with this. I love Integrity, and you spoke about this. Doing the little things that nobody see’s exceptionally well and not wanting to be seen for it. Telling the truth when it could be so easy to not tell the truth. Its an integrity thing, excellent post.

    • Thanks Lincoln, I appreciate your kind words. Integrity is really important to me too. My father taught it to me throughout my life- he was a self made man and operated his business and his life based on the Integrity of Christ.
      It really saddens me to see a lack of integrity in so many people today and it encourages me to find individuals who possess it.

      • T.C Tell me about it. The lack of Integrity in all facets are lacking nowadays. Its folks like you Dan, and all the bloggers in this community that will help us change this. Thanks so much!

        • You humble me with your words.

          But I agree, this is a wonderful blogging community and I believe God is working in His people’s lives and change will happen. It all starts with us. We can’t wait for Washington DC to make changes, we have to be the change we want to see. We have to instill these values in our children, even if others are not.

        • And you Lincoln Parks.

          I want to share a personal story about integrity but hope it does not seem like I’m bragging about what I did. While getting pizza the other day I handed the person $25 for a 23.75 total but the young person handed me back $15 dollars. As you can see his math was off. I had to chose to be honest and give it back to him even though it was his mistake, which I did. When I was a teen I don’t think would have made the same choice. It was in that instance I knew I needed to be honest because it could effect my integrity down the road.

          I share this story because its some times the small choices that allow us to have good character and integrity.

          Thanks for reading and sharing.

          • Dan, now that is real transparency. God is continuously at work in your life and you won over temptation. That is so great and I applaud you for sharing that, that is real true integrity.

            • Thank you Lincoln Parks. I thought it would show the importance of small acts of integrity. For anyone small acts like this allows them to be a person of character and integrity.

            • TC Avey,

              I just did not want to be like, hey look what I have done. But wanted to share the story because of the importance doing the right thing in small situations, is so important.

              Glad everyone saw it was through humility that I shared it.

              • I understand, sometimes I struggle/worry I will come off proud or arrogant when I really only want to give an example or show Christ. I guess there can be a fine line.

                I’m so glad that even though man can misconstrue our dialog, God knows our intentions.

  2. This is a great list. One thing I would add is an attitude of being proactive. We were talking yesterday in church about what it means to love like Jesus loved – and he was proactive in his love for us.

    • Awesome point Loren. Jesus was proactive! I was just reading through the Beattitudes this morning and thinking along those lines. Jesus called the sinners of this world and he loved them. Then he blessed them in the difficulties he knew they would face. He showed by example how to overcome evil with good and he never backed down from someone- no matter if they were a leaper, a prostitute or a murderer. Jesus loves us all…can we say the same?

  3. Great post, TC! I especially like the first quality: “willing to do what is right instead of what is easy”. The calling of a leader demands great responsibility. It takes God’s abundant grace to perform it.

    I like to add “willingness to change” as another quality of leaders. They must be flexible to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit even if it means terminating some of their pet products! By the way, I deal with this in today’s post: http://joeandancy.com/2012/03/12/do-you-know-the-expiry-date/

    Dan, you got another great guest blogger!

    • Thanks Joe! I like your point about great responsibility. It seems so many of our leaders today don’t realize that- then again they are “worldly” leaders and not necessarily “Godly” leaders. It is sad that our society as a whole has put such Godless leaders in the role to shape our opinions, views and beliefs.
      We need more Godly leaders to take responsibility and to to do what others don’t want to.

      Willingness to change is a great addition! I agree that sometimes we like to hold onto things that God is telling us to let go of. Sometimes it can be hard to hear that we need to let go of something, especially if it is something holy or righteous.

      I’m sure your post is great like always- I will be over to check it out soon! I pray others will too.

    • Thanks Marc,

      When I first started asking God to show me what I needed to develop in my life in order to be a better servant to His people I was not prepared for all the wonderful things He showed me, nor all the work I need to do. I am so thankful I am saved by grace!

  4. Wow TC, I have alot of work and prayer ahead of me. First, AMEN! You nailed it and gave us a list that is from the Lord that is real! Great post and pray that I could have even half of these qualities. Great post TC, can’t wait for your book!

    • Thanks so much Kimanzi! I don’t think anyone can claim to have all these down- if so they really need to work on honesty and humility.

      I have this list taped to my desk so I can see it everyday- I am a work in progress and need daily reminders about surrendering my life to Christ and being a servant to all.

      It has been great getting to know you through Blogging, I know you have a heart to serve God and that is the key. God doesn’t demand perfection nor is he looking for the one with the most talent- he is looking for someone like you. Someone who is endeavoring to know him more and to share his light. Just keep seeking Him and He will develop these qualities and more in your life.

  5. Profound truths in simplicity. Just the way God works. It struck me while reading, you’re right, regardless if we’re leaders or not, we don’t get a day off. Satan doesn’t take a day off. We must wear the armor of God our entire life in while we only have these limited soul cages.

    • Your right Floyd, Satan doesn’t take a day off! I think if more Christians grasped this concept we would see more people flooding into Churches and the Holy Spirits pouring out in our society.

      I have been wearing the Armor of God for over fifteen years- it is part of my daily morning prayers. It is a habit I am glad I cultivated- I believe it is vital, why else would God have put it in the Bible?

  6. Great points you make here!
    One of the most important leadership skills to me is a heart of empowerment – the ability to recognize and believe in the divine potential of others even more than they might believe in themselves. Godly leaders know that it’s not about building their own empire, but building His kingdom. A huge part of that means to build up His people to the point where they can manifest their fullest potential. It takes a lot of humility and security in one’s identity to be able to celebrate and empower others as leader. Remember how Saul applauded David after killing Goliath? Well, right after he heard how much the people love David, his heart got filled with envy and he started persecuting the one man who just saved his kingdom and should be treated like his son.

    • Excellent points Daniel. It reminds me of a blog post I read a while back about not feeling bad when your flock moves on to start their own flock-that is after all, the point. We are to build disciples- not for ourselves, but to further HIS kingdom!

      Thanks so much for adding this- it’s vital to growing the kingdom of God.

  7. Please forgive my “blasphemy” but I would like to add one more (or perhaps extend no. 8).


    A quality that any leader should possess regardless. You cannot exercise the full potential of your minions if you are unable to entertain any viewpoint other than your own. Also, a true leader should be able to provide leadership to anyone not just to the members of their own “flock.” I would hope that this “reflection of glory” that you speak of could be graciously extended to all and without retaliation.. regardless of belief. Thank you for your time. Be well.

    • No blasphemy involved that I can see. I think Versatility is a great addition.

      No matter if the leader is Christian or not, being flexible is important. One cannot get “stuck” on an idea or believe that there is only one way to accomplish something. That would be counterproductive to growth. A good leader desires to help others grow into their potential to be leaders. You cannot grow leaders if you are being a dictator.

      I also agree that leaders should be able and willing to lead regardless if one is in their “flock”. I think this is a major problem in some areas of our society. People don’t want to speak out right now for the Catholic Church because they are not Catholic- that is just the most recent example coming to mind but there are more examples.

      A person seeking God will act in the love of Christ and extend that love and grace to everyone, not just those they identify with. This can be difficul, but a follower of Christ should be acting with malice towards none.

      Thank you Nowhere Man for commenting. It’s been a while since I have heard from you. I pray you are well and your reading of the Bible is enlightening your soul.

  8. Let the truth flow! Thanks for this TC. The weight of your words is great as you used scripture to teach us. This is an outstanding list. Definitely one worth reviewing regularly! Thanks for sharing!