Is Leadership Theory Biblical?

Leadership is at the core of every individual because it is at the core of our Creator, Yahweh, and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Leadership cannot be separated from the existence of mankind, because it is central to Yahweh’s plan for his people, and it is the driving force behind Jesus’ mission to sacrifice himself for the sins of the human race. A close look at Jesus’ life and leadership will reveal Jesus was a strong model for the authentic and servent leadership theories.

As an authentic leadership model, Jesus used modeling (Kouzes, 2012, p. 40) to teach his disciples how to be relationally transparent with Yahweh. From his times when he pull away and pray (Lk. 5:16) and when he walk in obedience to Yahweh. (Jn. 5:30) This modeling for the disciples of relational transparency is one of the four primary components of authentic leadership theory. (Northouse, 2013, p. 254)

Northouse (2013) provides the five basic characteristics of authentic leadership, which Jesus clearly demonstrated throughout his ministry. He had a clear understanding of his purpose, (Jn. 18:37, Mk. 1:38) he had strong values about the right thing to do, (Lk. 6:9) he established trusting relationships with others, (Mt. 28:18-20) demonstrated self-disciple, (Lk. 23) and he was passionate about his mission. (Mt. 21-12, Lk. 23:26-46)

Jesus also demonstrated effectively the servant leadership theory throughout his ministry. Primarily, he valued individuals by relating to them and meeting them on a one-on-one level. (Irving, 2011, p. 123) He did this with his disciples, namely Peter and John, (Jn. 21) the Samaritan woman, (Jn. 4) as well as the men on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24) just to name a few.

Leadership theory can be biblical, and Jesus demonstrates this reality. Are there leadership theories in opposition with biblical principles? (Please feel free to leave a comment and engage in the conversation. Top Right Corner)


Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: study Bible: English standard version (ESV text ed). Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles.

Irving, J. A. (2011). Leadership Reflection: A Model for Effective Servant Leadershiph Practice: A Biblically-Consistent and Research-Based Approach to Leadership. Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership, 3(2), 118–128.

Kouzes, J. M. (2012). The leadership challenge: how to make extraordinary things happen in organizations (5th ed). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th ed). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

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