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Examples of Great Leaders in the Bible

Updated on July 26, 2017
Bible by lantern light.
Bible by lantern light. | Source

Leadership is a quality that everyone can have if they choose to willingly set their life to serving God and others. Although you don’t need to have a relationship or even believe in God to be a great leader, some of the greatest examples of profound leadership can be found within the Old Testament.

These prime examples of great and Godly men are foundations to what a great leader could and should be as well as how they should carry themselves. There are many forms of leaders and I believe that the bible offers three great examples of that. Three of the more common leaders of the bible are those that are called, brave, and anointed.

Called Leaders:

Called leaders are those that are called by God to do His work. They are leaders that maybe were not qualified to be leaders, but God chose them and set in them great works to enhance His kingdom. These leaders have a special and important role in the enrichment of the Kingdom of God. Their roles as leaders have been predetermined by God to help Him in bringing His people out of the darkness and evil in this world and into His kingdom of light. Many of today’s leaders that would qualify as called would be any religious leader whether that is a priest/pastor or someone involved in youth ministry or simply volunteering.

Moses (in my opinion) is the greatest called leader of the Old Testament. Born a Levite and raised an Egyptian he is a “misfit” in both cultures. He runs away to the desert where he finds God in a “burning” bush calling out to him. Moses answers God’s call by saying “Here I am” (Exodus 3:4). Moses made a great leader because he was available. He was alone in the desert giving God opportunity to call out to him.

Today we probably will not see “burning” bushes, however that does not mean that God will not call His children to lead. He will continue to speak to us, if we will only choose to listen. Moses had an incredibly hard and unrealistic challenge ahead of him if he would have tried to go it alone. However, God gave him the tools and abilities to lead and become great.

Moses teaches us that leaders do not always have to feel qualified. God will give the qualifications to the leader. God chose Moses to lead His people, because He knew that Moses was capable of great works despite his inability to speak clearly. Moses had a strong will and determination to follow God making him a prime leader in God’s eyes. Don’t let the fear of your insecurities stop you from choosing to lead. Follow God and let His light shine through you. You are bound to be a great leader to those around you.

Statue of the Prophet Moses.
Statue of the Prophet Moses. | Source

Brave Leaders:

Brave leaders are those that step up and be courageous in dangerous situations when others would not think about stepping up. Brave leaders are those that stand up for what they believe in and know is right and do not back down, because of the consequences that may come their way for disobeying the king. Brave leaders are not just those leaders that go to war, but they can and are leaders like Daniel who persevere through the trials and hardships brought to them through their faith in God. Our soldiers are not just hero’s they are among the bravest of leaders. Without them we would not be where we are today.

Daniel is a wise, faithful, and brave leader. He was taken from his Israelite home and forced to serve in the king’s palace. Although Daniel was with the king, he refused to follow the same customs and laws. God found favor with Daniel and gave him knowledge and skills in every aspect of literature and wisdom. Daniel also had the insight into all dreams and visions. “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom” (Daniel 1:20).

Throughout his time at the palace, Daniel never failed to follow faithfully his God even after the new decree was put in writing. “Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10). Because of his faithfulness to God Daniel was to be thrown into a den of lions for praying to his God and not the king. Daniel trusted in the Lord and knew that no harm would be done to him, so he went to the den and survived for his faithfulness to God.

Daniel found favor with the king and the king changed his decree saying that all his peoples and nations throughout the whole world should tremble and fear the God of Daniel. “For He is the living God and He endures forever; His kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and He saves; He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions” (Daniel 6:26-27).

Daniel was a true and faithful servant to God and God’s people. Daniel never ceased to worship and follow his God, despite the hardships that would come to him. Daniel truly was a brave servant of God and brought many people to believe in God’s power through his wisdom and faith. It only takes one brave person to stand up for what they believe in to become a great leader. Honor our soldiers and veterans, they are among the greatest brave leaders we have today.

Daniel and the lion's den.
Daniel and the lion's den. | Source

Anointed Leaders:

Anointed leaders are those that become kings and dedicate their lives to God. Anointed leaders are consecrated in a ceremony with oil. These leaders are anointed to symbolize the introduction of a divine influence. Anointed leaders are called by God to rule over a nation and are to show the people God’s glory and His kingdom. Now today I realize we have very few kings and queens that rule over us, however anointed leaders can also be applied to the clergy.

David is a shepherd and the youngest of Jesse’s sons an Ephrathite. The Lord found favor, chose David, and had him anointed by Samuel. “Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power” (1 Samuel 16:13). David was a brave man and warrior, who spoke well and was a fine-looking man. I’m sure most know the story of David and Goliath and for that reason I’ll keep this short, David went with a sling and a stone and cast down the Philistine killing him.

David was a great leader because he was not only an anointed and brave leader but David was a called leader the Lord told Samuel “rise and anoint him; for this is the one” (1 Samuel 16:12). David was a faithful and determined servant of God doing His will despite the cost. Could you imagine taking on a giant with just a sling and a stone?

King David's Tomb.
King David's Tomb. | Source

Many different types of personalities and qualities make leaders unique. Moses, Daniel, and David were all leaders in their own way, yet God found favor in all of them and was with them always. Though these leaders had their own qualities they shared many of the same as well. God qualified each of these leaders because they had true hearts for God. They were willing and accepting of the challenges God brought forth and relied on Him fully.

These leaders remained faithful to God when times were good, but also when times were hard and others were turning from Him. No matter what your background, age, sex, or ethnic heritage God will find favor in all His people. God used these men to enhance His kingdom and bring glory to Him. These men followed God faithfully and earnestly until their deaths. He calls us to do the same today, yesterday, and forever.

Whether these stories are just stories, or real events the profound truth and knowledge that we can take from these stories can be used for generations to come; bringing forth great leaders that serve God, others, and ultimately change the world around them.

© 2011 Cholee Clay


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    • profile image

      justin 3 years ago

      it is very useful.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      I agree with you about Moses.

      What other Biblical leader had such a great faith that he told God to His face, "You cannot destroy the Israelites--what will the Egyptians think of you?" "But if you want to destroy them, take my name of Your Book." This of course, is a type and shadow of how much Yashuah loved us as to, I am sure prayed to His Father to spare "us" by His death and sacrifice on the cross.

      The Bible is as fascinating book, but then again, I am but a mortal with no adequate words to describe The Trinity and His book.

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 3 years ago from Wisconsin

      Deborah-- Thanks for stopping by and commenting :) I love Moses, he is by far my favorite biblical leader. I love learning about him and what he's done for the Kingdom of God. I don't know much about Deborah, but she sounds like someone I should do some research on.

    • profile image

      Deborah Sexton 3 years ago

      Great hub.

      My Two Favorite Biblical Leaders

      Moses was a Hebrew prophet and lawgiver;, the brother of Aaron. According to the biblical account, he was born in Egypt and led the Israelites across the desert toward the Promised Land. During the journey he was inspired by God on Mount Sinai to write down the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone (Exodus 20). He was known as the greatest prophet who ever live.

      Deborah was a Hebrew Prophetess of God, the Fourth Judge of Israel,and a powerful leader, She was also a counselor, and warrior,

    • profile image

      ccdursina 4 years ago

      Thanks for a great hub, and... the best leader of all it was JESUS!!

    • profile image

      nacam 4 years ago

      Nice points,but unfortunately leadership in some churches today is an act of dictatorship

    • profile image

      Fiddleman 5 years ago

      wonderful hub, one can find so many interesting things in the Bible

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      FSlovenec--Your Pastor is completely right. Moses did not get a vote, and he wasn't able to talk it over with anybody else. God said you will lead my people out of Egypt and so it was. Moses needed to have a change of heart and decide to listen to God, but after listening to God Moses was able to do God's work.

      With God anything is possible, and so Moses a servant was able to become a great leader and release God's people from Egypt. Moses may have doubted and stumbled in his leadership at times, but that is all the more reason why we should look at him and his leadership. As humans we can greatly connect and understand his doubting and failures , however through God we can also rise above and become quality leaders just as Moses was.

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      You know our Pastor talks about Moses Leadership and how important it is to be recognized by Church Leaders. Mose did not take a vote, there was no consensus. Moses herd from God and from this spoke to the people. That is the foundation of most if not all long term successful ministries. First the leader must hear the voice of God then act. God is never wrong. Waiting on the Lord is hard. Thank you again..

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thanks for all the comments. I'm glad you have all found this very helpful.

      Peter--That is a great thing to remember. Moses happens to be one of my favorite bible leaders as he started out as a regular person denying God's word's to him that he needed to be a leader and eventually Moses becomes one of the most important leaders of the Old Testament (in my opinion).

    • lynnes75 profile image

      Maxine Samuel 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Very helpful guide, thank you.

    • profile image

      Peter 5 years ago

      Great article, it definitely is possible for anyone to be a leader if God so chooses. The great thing is that the people who were often leaders in the Bible, were just ordinary regular people. God truly is amazing!

    • profile image

      thanks for helping me re-dev 5 years ago

      Thanks for re-developing my faith walk with God in developing leaders. God gives the in crease in leadership and development. What a powerful word!!!!!!!!

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      It is encouraging to come back and read your commentary!

    • Free2writ3 profile image

      Free2writ3 5 years ago from Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania

      Awesome hub

    • Michael Jon profile image

      Michael Jon 5 years ago from St. Louis

      Yes, what you've said is true. The Lord Almighty raises up leaders and nations to serve His purpose, not all of them are righteous. For instance, God raised up Pharaoh and hardened his heart towards the Israelites so that He could show His mighty hand in bringing Israel out of Egypt.

      The same can be said about the coming antichrist. The Lord will allow him to be raised up so again His mighty hand will be seen by all during His time of wrath (the day of the Lord), which by the way will cause the greatest number of souls in the history of mankind to believe and turn to Christ Jesus.

      More people will be save during this seven year period than have been saved throughout history. There is no doubt in my mind as to who is in control, God Almighty!

      Nice hub, by the way and God Bless.

    • Nikki Major profile image

      Nikki Major 5 years ago

      Halleleujah!!!! This very important information. Keep on in the lord.

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      vee-I wrote this for a class in college and felt the need to share, I'm glad you have found it helpful :)

      owhorspecial-Thanks for stopping by and reading. Appreciate the votes!

    • owhorspecial profile image

      owhorspecial 5 years ago from Nigeria.

      "No matter what your background, age, sex, or ethnic heritage God will find favor in all His people." love this line.

      Thanks for this HUB ... voted interesting.

    • profile image

      vee 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your work with us, I have found it to be extremely helpful as I am a bible college student and am writing a successful leadership examination soon. God will bless you for spreading the gospel! Stay blessed.

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      wba108-Thanks for stopping by and the sweet comment. I totally agree, the best leaders are those that are not only called by God, but carry each of the qualities you have listed.

    • profile image 5 years ago from upstate, NY

      Nice Hub and a good commentary on leaders in the kingdom of God! It is my belief that a true leader in God's kingdom must be called, anointed or their not true leaders at all. The best leaders must developed their faith, courage, a close relationship with God and godly character.

    • Raitu Disong profile image

      Raitu Disong 5 years ago

      God bless you for sharing this bro.

      NIce one, inspiring...

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      F Slovenec- I totally agree, the stories are definitely amazing and inspiring. Whether people believe in the bible or not, there are great stories that hold life changing truth:)

      MilesArmbruster- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I had a theology class in college and I wrote on this for my final paper and thought others could benefit from what I found and thought.

      ericdunbar- Thanks for the sweet comment and for stopping by, God Bless.

    • ericdunbar profile image

      Eric Dunbar 5 years ago from New Orleans

      This is an awesome, awe inspiring hub. This is truly revealed knowledge from God to His people. I pray that God will continue to inspire you, for you have been a great inspiration to me.

    • MilesArmbruster profile image

      MilesArmbruster 5 years ago from Somewhere on the journey

      Interesting. I have never seen anyone take this approach to Biblical leaders. I will need to re-read this again.

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Good thoughts the Bible stories are amazing, if for no other reason than they are true and really happened...good work..

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thanks Felina! Sometimes I wonder the same thing. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • Felina Margetty profile image

      Felina Margetty 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Nice hub, good sentiment and it makes one wonder if our leaders have taken time to understand some very simple truths which you map out so brilliantly. Thank you Felina