In thinking about Biblical Leadership, I notice something significant. There are two key places in which qualifications for leadership are outlined. The first place is in Exodus 18. You might be familiar with the story. Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, comes to visit, and notices that Moses is overworked, and needs to delegate (that is a lesson in itself, but we’ll save that for another time).
Jethro advises Moses to identify some people to assume leadership roles. Jethro lists some qualifications that Moses should look for in potential people: “Select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens” (Ex. 18:21).
Later, in the New Testament, Paul is advising Timothy about how to choose leaders. He, too, like Jethro, tells Timothy some qualities to look for in potential leaders (1 Timothy 3).
The thing to notice about both of these passages is what the qualifications for leadership are. In both lists, the only concerns are the character of the leader, not their skills. When we ask, “is this person qualified for leadership?” we tend to focus on their skills or accomplishments, but the Bible seems to focus on their character instead.
As you look at the people you lead, are you more focused on their skill set, or their character?
Does this make you re-evaluate people for leadership?
What is the proper place for evaluating skills and accomplishments?