7 Traits of a Great Leader

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Faith Based Leadership | 7 Traits of a Great Leader

We’ve been talking about building foundations and how important that is to bothpersonal and corporate success. In my last post, we talked about leaders having to stand upon a firm basis of character, integrity, and identity. I promise you, I can ask 10 different people what those principles look like to them, and I’ll get 10 different definitions. Luckily, the Bible contains a wealth of information on the subject.

So what does a biblically-rooted leader look like? For the answer, I turned to Paul’s second letter to Timothy. Paul wrote this letter from a jail cell as he awaited execution in Rome; probably around 67 or 68 A.D. One of our first great church leaders, Paul understood the importance of developing the next generation by passing down sound doctrine. He was not going to let his life come to an end without providing guidance for those that would carry the torch after him.

Inspired by God in the Holy Spirit, Paul faithfully relayed the model for leading and educating disciples within the simple yet pointed words of this letter. We get a magnificent overview of what roles a great leader should take on from 2 Timothy Chapter 2. For today, we’ll settle for a simple listing of the traits that Paul writes about, but my readers can expect the next several posts to expand on each in much greater detail.

1. Teacher

2 Tim 2:2 – “…and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

2. Soldier

2 Tim 2:3-4 – “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

3. Athlete

2 Tim 2:5 – “An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”

4. Farmer

2 Tim 2:6 – “It is the hard working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.”

5. Worker

2 Tim 2:15-17 – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.”

6. Vessel

2 Tim 2:20-22 – “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”

7. Servant

2 Tim 2:23-26 – “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

Note: If you’ve read Developing the Leader Within by John C. Maxwell, this will seem very familiar to you, as I received the inspiration for this series from that book and seek to simply to expand upon and share the model with you.

Question: What do you think is the most important trait of a great leader?

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8 Responses to 7 Traits of a Great Leader

  1. Tary Snyder November 25, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    Great Post about Paul and leadership, Kenny. My wife has been leading a bible study class about Paul at our Church, Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. You might find the book we are using useful – it's "Three Months with Paul" by Justo L. Gonzalez.

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