the shape of leadership

Leadership Lessons From the Life of Moses

A 10-week study

Scripture is full of leadership examples. Some are inspiring models of leadership, while others are tragic pictures of evil exertions of influence. While the Bible barely mentions the names of some leaders, it provides thorough detail of others. Moses is, of course, in the latter category.

God raised up Moses for one of the most inspiring missions we find in the Bible: the deliverance of Israel from 400 years of slavery so it could enter the land God had promised. Moses certainly wasn’t perfect. In fact, Moses only completed half his mission — delivering the Israelites out of Egypt. His successor, Joshua, would lead them into Canaan.

In the story of Moses, we nevertheless discover some profoundly important leadership lessons. We can glean insights from his life that will help us grow as leaders. This edition of Make It Count focuses on 10 leadership lessons from Moses:

God’s presence was the lifelong distinguishing factor in Moses’ leadership.

  1. The breaking of a leader. God has a way of breaking every leader of the things that can get in the way of God’s perfect plan. God broke Moses of three issues that had the potential to undermine his leadership.
  2. The role of faithfulness in leadership. Faithfulness is the unglamorous part of leadership, but it builds within us maturity, humility and preparation for the future.
  3. Leadership and God’s presence. Without God’s presence, leadership is limited by human wisdom and abilities. God’s presence was the lifelong distinguishing factor in Moses’ leadership.
  4. Overcoming leadership insecurities. Moses encountered five leadership insecurities from the very beginning, but he faced them and learned to overcome them.
  5. Becoming a persevering leader. Moses persevered through 10 plagues in Egypt and 40 years in the wilderness. Despite the difficulties, he never gave up.
  6. Four keys to delegation in leadership. Like many leaders, Moses assumed an unsustainable load. But with the help of his father-in-law, Jethro, Moses learned to delegate.
  7. Forming a strategic plan. Constructing the tabernacle was a massive undertaking. Moses employed a four-pronged strategy to make it happen.
  8. Learning from leadership failures. When Moses let his emotions get the best of him, he struck the rock and disobeyed God. From this failure, we learn three important lessons.
  9. Leadership and miracles. Through their reliance on God, miracles accompanied Moses and the Israelites. God wants to do the same today, and it can happen in your life and leadership.
  10. Successful leadership succession. There’s no success without a successor. Moses modeled the way as he handed the baton to Joshua.

As you discuss these 10 lessons with your staff and volunteers, you’ll mine important leadership insights from the life of Moses. Each one is essential, and each one will sharpen your leadership effectiveness. Not only will they help you lead better, but they’ll also reveal the process God often uses to develop leaders today.

Find these downloadable lessons in English or Spanish.


This article appears in the April–June 2021 edition of Influence magazine.
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