In light of Father’s Day where I live, I thought I’d offer the two styles of leadership taught in the Bible, some characteristics of each, and the question, “What type of leader am I?” All adults are leaders sometime and some place. Fathers are leaders; mothers are leaders as well. Let us study the truth and apply God’s wisdom to ourselves.
There are 2 Styles of Leadership in the Bible
B1 There are 2 styles of leadership in the Bible.
C1 The shepherd
D1 The greatest example is the Lord Jesus
E1 THE great shepherd was promised: Matthew 2:6 CSB And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah: Because out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.
E2 Without a shepherd, sheep wander: Mark 14:27 MKJV And Jesus said to them, All of you will be offended because of Me this night. For it is written, “I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” Compare Matthew 9:36 and Mark 6:34.
E3 His care for His sheep described: Revelation 7:15-17 WPNT Therefore they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His sanctuary. And He who sits on the throne will shelter them. They shall not hunger anymore, nor thirst anymore; the sun will absolutely not strike them, nor any heat; because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
D2 The Greek word for shepherd is (G4165) ποιμαίνω poimainō (verb) ποιμήν poimēn (noun). It means leading, guiding, caring for, responsible, and safe like shepherds do.
D3 A shepherd feeds, gathers, carries, and gently leads. Isaiah 40:11 NKJV He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
D4 He teaches, speaks, and lives the truth according to God’s standards. John 14:6 CSB Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
D5 He provides. Psalms 23:1 GNB The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
D6 He lets us rest. His provisions are the best. Psalms 23:2 GNB He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water.
D7 He gives us strength. His leading is always the best and good. He keeps His promises. Psalms 23:3 GNB He gives me new strength. He guides me in the right paths, as he has promised.
D8 He comforts and goes with us even in the scariest, most fearful moments imaginable: Psalms 23:4 GNB Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, LORD, for you are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.
D9 He makes us feel honored. He protects us from our enemies even when they are near. Psalms 23:5 GNB You prepare a banquet for me, where all my enemies can see me; you welcome me as an honored guest and fill my cup to the brim.
D10 His goodness is to us. He loves us. Our home will be with him forever. Psalms 23:6 GNB I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life; and your house will be my home as long as I live.
D11 If we lose our way, He seeks for us. Matthew 18:12-14 GNB What do you think a man does who has one hundred sheep and one of them gets lost? He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hillside and go and look for the lost sheep. 13 When he finds it, I tell you, he feels far happier over this one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. 14 In just the same way your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost.
D12 He is willing to die for us. John 10:15 NKJV As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
D13 Wants us to imitate His lifestyle. 1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
D14 Jesus delegates individuals to be undershepherds: John 21:16 CSB A second time he asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to him, “you know that I love you.” “Shepherd my sheep,” he told him.
D15 Note the contrast between God as shepherd and lying, self-seeking shepherds: Ezekiel 34:8, 12 NLT As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were my shepherds, you didn’t search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve…12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. The whole passage is pertinent—Ezekiel 34:7-24.
C2 The hunter
D1 The greatest example is Nimrod. Genesis 10:8-9 NASB77 Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.
D2 Keil & Delitzsch state in their commentary of Genesis 10:8-9: Nimrod “began to be a mighty one in the earth.” גִּבֹּר is used here, as in Gen 6:4, to denote a man who makes himself renowned for bold and daring deeds. Nimrod was mighty in hunting, and that in opposition to Jehovah (ἐναντίον κυρίον, lxx); not before Jehovah in the sense of, according to the purpose and will of Jehovah, still less, like לֵאלֹהִים in Jon 3:3, or τῷ Θεῷ in Act 7:20, in a simply superlative sense. The last explanation is not allowed by the usage of the language, the second is irreconcilable with the context. The name itself, Nimrod from מָרַד, “we will revolt,” points to some violent resistance to God. It is so characteristic that it can only have been given by his contemporaries, and thus have become a proper name.
D3 This is the leadership style of satan—rebellious, dictatorial, psychopathic, murderous, etc. He wants to control everything including thinking, actions, speech, work, etc. in every area of life. There is no free will; it is not allowed. Those who disagree will be hunted down and dealt with.
D4 Church leaders of this sort are called out and by name by the Apostle John. 3 John 1:9-11 NKJV I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. 11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
D5 All of which is fueled by pride. 1 Timothy 6:3-5 Williams If anyone teaches different doctrines and refuses to agree with the wholesome messages of our Lord Jesus Christ, the teaching that is in accordance with true religion, 4 he is a conceited ignoramus with a morbid appetite for discussions and controversies which lead to envy, quarreling, abuse, base suspicions, 5 and perpetual friction between people who are depraved in mind and deprived of truth, who imagine that religion is only a means of gain.
D6 An overriding trait is CONTROL.
E1 Matthew 20:25-28 WEL But Jesus called to them and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles wield power over them, and those who are great, wield power over them. 26 But it is not to be so among you. Whoever wants to be great among you, then let him be your servant. 27 And whosoever wants to be chief among you, then let him be your servant. 28 Even as the Son of Man didn’t come to be served but instead to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.
D7 A list of traits from the Dictionary of Bible Themes by Manser.
E1 Self-interest: Philippians 2:3-4 WPNT Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard one another as being better than yourselves. Let each of you look out not only for his own concerns, but also for what concerns others.
E2 Pride in one’s position: James 3:1 WPNT My brothers, not many of you should become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. [Alford comments: The more the idea prevailed, that faith, without corresponding obedience, was all that is needful, the more men would eagerly press forward to teach: as indeed the Church has found in all ages when such an opinion has become prevalent: for then teachers and preachers of their own appointing have rapidly multiplied].
E3 Love of worldly things: 1 John 2:15 WPNT Do not love the world, neither the things in the world; if anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him. [Pickering comments: The crucial issue is the values that the surrounding culture seeks to impose on us—materialism, relativism, humanism; these values are directly opposed to the Father’s values, and therefore to His love].
E4 Follow the crowd and/or pervert justice: Exodus 23:2 NIV—Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd.
E5 Worldly thinking: Romans 12:2 NLT—Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. [See also Colossians 3:2, 2 Timothy 2:4, Titus 2:12, and James 4:4]
E6 Desire for money: 1 Timothy 6:9-10 NIV—Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
E7 Find pleasure in wicked things: 2 Thessalonians 2:12 NIV—and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
E8 Following false gods of any type or form: Deuteronomy 12:30-31 NIV—and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
D7 God judges these types. Note how these types of leaders hurt the sheep in every way possible. They are abusers.
E1 Ezekiel 34:17-22 GNB Now then, my flock, I, the Sovereign LORD, tell you that I will judge each of you and separate the good from the bad, the sheep from the goats. 18 Some of you are not satisfied with eating the best grass; you even trample down what you don’t eat! You drink the clear water and muddy what you don’t drink! 19 My other sheep have to eat the grass you trample down and drink the water you muddy. 20 “So now, I, the Sovereign LORD, tell you that I will judge between you strong sheep and the weak sheep. 21 You pushed the sick ones aside and butted them away from the flock. 22 But I will rescue my sheep and not let them be mistreated any more. I will judge each of my sheep and separate the good from the bad.
E2 Jeremiah 23:1 GNB How terrible will be the Lord’s judgment on those rulers who destroy and scatter his people!
E3 Zechariah 10:2-3 NKJV For the idols speak delusion; The diviners envision lies, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; They are in trouble because there is no shepherd. 3 “My anger is kindled against the shepherds, And I will punish the goatherds. For the LORD of hosts will visit His flock, The house of Judah, And will make them as His royal horse in the battle.
B2 Which one are you?