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Avoiding Ministry Pitfalls

By Stephen Blandino | Posted In Ministry Tools

According to research conducted by author Steve Moore, there are 1,181 leaders named in the Bible, and more than 13,000 others who are mentioned but not named. In addition, Moore notes there are 1,090 leadership conversations in Scripture.

J. Robert Clinton suggests that of the biblical leaders on whom we have enough information to follow their lives, approximately two-thirds did not finish well.

What lessons can we learn from the leaders in the Bible — whether they finished well or not? That’s the focus of this edition of Make It Count.

We’ll look at 10 biblical leaders and consider lessons we can glean from each of them.

1. Joseph: Leading With God’s Favor. Though Joseph was tossed from one hardship to another, he experienced God’s favor. Favor is a sovereign act of God, but it is also something Joseph learned to position himself for throughout his lifetime.

2. Joshua: Leading With Perspective. Joshua and Caleb were the only leaders who returned to Moses with a good report after exploring the land of Canaan. Forty years later, that same perspective gave Joshua the courage to lead God’s people into the Promised Land.

3. Deborah: Leading With Resolve. God used Deborah to help lead Israel to a military victory. Afterward, Deborah praised God, saying, “When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves — praise the Lord!” (Judges 5:2). Leaders lead in the face of opposition.

What lessons can we learn from the leaders in the Bible — whether they finished well or not?

4. Nehemiah: Leading With Vision. When Nehemiah heard about the condition of Jerusalem and its people, God birthed a vision in his heart to return and rebuild the wall.

5. Esther: Leading With Courage. Esther had every reason not to leverage her position for the rescue of her people. Yet Esther ditched the excuses and courageously took action that would lead to their deliverance.

6. Daniel: Leading With Cultural Influence. Daniel was an outsider, but God gave him great influence under four different kings. By modeling commitment, character, competence, courage and consistency, Daniel positively influenced the culture of his day.

7. Mary: Leading Through Devotion. Mary of Bethany led through devotion at the feet of Jesus. In that posture, Mary learned from Jesus, found comfort in Him, and offered worship to Him.

8. Priscilla and Aquila: Leading Through Partnership. The apostle Paul described Priscilla and Aquila as “co-workers in Christ” (Romans 16:3). This couple understood that leading through partnership provides encouragement, support and the ability to multiply ministry.

9. Peter: Leading Through Failure. Although Peter experienced multiple failures throughout his ministry with Jesus, the Lord restored Peter. Effective leaders choose to own their failures, learn from them, and lead through them.

10. Paul: Leading Through Hardship. Paul endured countless difficulties and intense persecution, but he never quit. Paul’s example teaches us the value of endurance in leadership.

As you read, reflect on, and apply these lessons with your team, you’ll harvest insights that will equip you to lead effectively and avoid common pitfalls in leadership.

Find these downloadable lessons here.

This article appears in the Summer 2021 edition of Influence magazine.