5 Bible Verses About Leadership That Should SCARE Leaders

Today, I want to pull back the veil and share the Bible verses that should make leaders nervous. Are you ready for this?

bible verses about leadership

The Bible is a wealth of leadership wisdom. There are also Bible verses about leadership that should scare leaders. There are Scripture verses that encourage leaders.

These scary Bible verses are rarely talked about. They’re kept under wraps and ignored by most.

I’ve even swept the troublesome Bible verses under the rug and shared encouraging Bible verses for leaders with you, my readers.

This is a mistake. The Bible has clear warnings for leaders. If we ignore these challenging Bible verses, us leaders are in deep trouble.

Today, I want to pull back the veil and share the Bible verses that should make leaders nervous. Are you ready for this?

1. Acts 20:28

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Our flock may not be a church congregation, but it may be a team of hard workers on the shop floor or a group of volunteers working within the church.

These people are our responsibility. God has tasked us with being overseers of those we lead.

Even more so, God has paid a price for these people. He paid with the blood of His son.

We’re leading some pretty valuable people. Don’t neglect this post you’ve been given.

2. John 3:30

He must increase, but I must decrease.

Why is John 3:30 a scary Bible verse for leaders? Because it’s telling us that leadership and our lives aren’t all about ourselves. There’s a higher purpose to life, and that’s to the ONE we should be modeling our lives after.

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3. Proverbs 16:12

It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, for a throne is established on righteousness.

This verse is telling us that, as leaders, we especially need to be aware of our actions. If we’re leading with wickedness, we’re committing an abomination.

Lead with righteousness and our position is established.

How are you leading?

4. Proverbs 4:23

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it springs all life.

At first glance, this Bible verse is benign. There’s nothing scary about it.

That is until you begin to study the Bible verse.

We discover our heart is the wellspring of life. Now, whether that life is good or bad, that depends on what you put into your heart.

Are you putting good things into your heart or are you filling it with bad things? The choice is yours.

5. Matthew 18:6

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

I think Matthew 18:6 may be the scariest Bible verse of all for leaders. While this is describing what happens to those who lead children astray, this easily applies to leadership as well.

As leaders, you are responsible for those you lead. These people are looking to you for guidance, like little children.

We have a responsibility to lead and to lead well. We can’t take our leadership lightly.

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Realize your position as a leader isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ve got a great responsibility to lead rightly.

There you have it. This is my list of the five scariest Bible verses for leaders.

The Bible lays down the law when it comes to leading. We have a responsibility, and we’ve got to be aware of that responsibility.

Are you?

Question: Do you have any other scary Bible verses for leaders to add to the list? If so, I want to hear about them in the comment section below.

Joseph Lalonde
Joseph Lalonde is passionate to see young people serving God and becoming the leader God has created them to be. He served as a youth leader for 15 years and is on a new journey now. You can find him encouraging young leaders here and on Twitter.
  • lori

    Back in January I ‘noticed’ a few verses that should be a little scarey – just as applicable to many leaders today as it was then. Among them, Luke 11:52; Matthew 23:13

  • Lyman Hults

    You want scary? How about Ezekiel 33:8 ” When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.”

  • Jon

    Jeremiah 23:1-2 “Woe to the shepherds
    who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the GOD of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord.

    • Another scary verse Jon! What are you doing to prevent this in your leadership?

      • Jon

        We were among the scattered. We attend an unscattered church now.

  • Joe

    it is appointed unto man once to die and after that judgement Heb9:27 Death scares everyone. It’s a common denominator to all. This gentle reminder helps us as leaders and followers alike to be ready for eternity.

    • Hey Joe! That’s a scary verse. There’s no do-overs once you’re gone.

  • sd

    James 3:1… “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”

    • Yes sd! When we take on the mantle of leadership, we are held to a higher standard. This should scare leaders!

  • Norman Stolpe

    James 5:1-5 Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. 2Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. 3Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. 4Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

  • fatcityblue

    Zechariah 11:16 – and I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broke, or sustain the one standing, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hoofs.

    That’s the pastor of a doomed flock. I never want to be anything like that man…

  • Concernedintercessors Ofnigeri

    1Timothy 4:1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
    These verses tells me that devils has doctrines preached in the church. if care is not taking you might be preaching doctrines of devils and think you are serving God. Joseph thanks for this message.

  • Prabakar Chakravarthi

    Thanks for the scriptures,just to add, the scripture that immediately comes to mind is
    1 timothy 4:16-Watch your life and doctrine closely.Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

  • Jorge Hernandez

    For me Matthew 7:21-23 have always kept me grounded, not to seek the gifts or signs that will follow believers Mark 16:17 but remain focused on Christ alone.

    Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)

    True and False Disciples
    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

  • James Raifsnider

    Since when are pastors and leaders kings, and sit on a throne ? Leaderships stated purpose is to nurture spiritual maturity in the church…a valuable goal. In actuality, however, it accomplishes the opposite by nurturing a permanent dependence of the laity on the leadership. Pastors become to their congregations like parents whose children never grow up, like therapists whose clients never become healed, like teachers whose students never graduate. The existence of a full-time, professional minister makes it too easy for church members not to take responsibility for the on-going life of the church. And why should they? That’s the job of the pastor (so the thinking goes). But the result is that the laity remain in a state of passive dependence.

  • Richard Beavo

    Matt 5:17-19 would be a good way to end your article of admonitions.

    17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
    18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
    19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    What you do is one thing – what you teach and lead others to do is much more severe in Jesus’ eyes.

    Revelation 2:20-22

    20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
    21 I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
    22 Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

  • Timothy Stanton

    Proverbs 16:12 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

    12 “Wicked behavior[a] is detestable to kings,
    since a throne is established through righteousness.”

    Footnotes:

    a. Proverbs 16:12 Either the king’s or someone else’s behavior

    Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

    Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

  • Timothy Stanton

    Proverbs 4:23 New Living Translation (NLT)

    23 “Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life.”

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

  • Timothy Stanton

    Matthew 18:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

    6 “But
    if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into
    sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around
    your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

  • Timothy Stanton

    Colossians 1:28 New Living Translation (NLT)

    28 “So
    we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone
    with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God,
    perfect[a] in their relationship to Christ.”

    Footnotes:

    1:28 Or mature.

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

  • Timothy Stanton

    2 Corinthians 6:11-13 New Living Translation (NLT)

    11 “Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. 12 There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. 13 I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!”

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

  • Timothy Stanton

    2 Corinthians 11:23-29 New Living Translation (NLT)

    23 “Are
    they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have
    served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more
    often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and
    again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three
    times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was
    shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I
    have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers
    and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as
    well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the
    deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to
    be believers but are not.[a] 27 I
    have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been
    hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in
    the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

    28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?”

    Footnotes:

    a. 11:26 Greek “from false brothers”.

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

  • Jonah Carmona

    God Will Not Save You.