10 Scriptures for When You’re Struggling in Leadership


To be in leadership is both a blessing and a privilege, however, it comes with the weight of expectation, scrutiny, and adversity.

Some of us arrive to leadership roles feeling wholly unprepared for what leading entails, while others feel that they’ve been preparing their whole lives to lead well. Regardless of how we arrive to these roles and positions, it can universally be said that there will be days of struggle and difficulty no matter where or how we lead.

As Christ-followers, we should take on any role in leadership with added gravity. Not only are we to be leading well, but we are also to be representing Christ through our leadership. We don’t always get it right. I often feel like I’m failing at this more than I’m succeeding; especially as I categorize myself as one such leader who came into her role wholly unprepared.

How Do We Respond in Critical Moments?

Thank God for his gentleness, forgiveness, and his Word that can be applied to our lives and our leadership. No matter where we lead, whether we lead within the context of a small group, a church ministry, in a student-led role, or in a boardroom, we will always have areas in which we need to grow. Often—if we are self-aware—we discover these areas through our own shortcomings and our failures. Conversely, if we are still developing our self-awareness, we may become painfully conscious of our failures through the words and prompting of others—this is obviously much less fun, but often critically important to our development as leaders.

When these critical moments come into play, the way that we respond to and handle critique can say a lot about our maturity and character. I have to say, my first response is often through the flesh, in moments of duress or when I am at the absolute end of my rope with a situation, I often want to take things into my own hands and solve them my own way. Again, thank God for his gentleness and his forgiveness. Thankfully, we can look to God’s Word and discover how to grow in our leadership, how to repent when we need to, and how to ultimately glorify God through the work that we do.

10 Scriptures for When You’re Struggling in Leadership

If you are in a season of struggle in your leadership here are 10 verses to write down, pray over, and apply to the situation that you’re walking through:

1. Ask God to Show Us Our Faults

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. —Psalm 139:23-24

2. Become Aware of Our Motives

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the Word should share all good things with their instructor. —Galatians 6:4-6

3. Seek Out Wise Counsel

For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers. —Proverbs 11:14

4. Understand the Weight of Leadership

But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. —Luke 12:48

5. Use Our Gifts in Leadership to Glorify God and Serve Others

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. —Romans 12:3-8

6. Care for Those We Serve

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. —Philippians 2:3-4

7. Confess Our Failures in Leadership and Seek Restitution

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9

8. Forgive Those Who Have Harmed Us

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” —Ephesians 4:31-32

9. Lead with the Fruits of the Spirit

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. —Colossians 3:12

10. Maintain an Eternal Perspective

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” —James 4:13-15

Have an Eternal Perspective

Walking out our lives through Christ isn’t an easy task. We are constantly being refined and made holy. We’re going to trip up along the way. We trip up in our own homes when we’re leading our children and families, we do it in church when we wound others—whether intentionally or unintentionally. We do it in our professions and in our relationships with others. Fortunately, for all of us, our God is so much bigger than our failures.

As we continue to allow God to mold us, we can write his Word upon our hearts and allow them to change our behavior. The more that we do this, the better we’ll get at it. As we continue in leadership, we must continue to ask God to show us our shortcomings, we must become aware of our own motives and seek out wise counsel. We must be leaders who are willing to own up to our mistakes and apologize for any harm we may have caused, likewise, we must keep our hearts soft to be able to pour out forgiveness on those who may have harmed us.

Finally, it is imperative that we keep our eyes upward and ultimately maintain an eternal perspective. Things may feel hard or difficult in leadership right in the moment, however, when we remove our own short-sightedness in replace of that eternal perspective, we might also reduce some of the pressure that we’re feeling. This is all a lifelong process and while it does take a lifetime it is well-worth it to lead well.

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