54 Bible Verses about Church Leadership

1 Timothy 3:1-7 ESV / 109 helpful votes

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?

Acts 20:28 ESV / 81 helpful votes

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.

Hebrews 13:17 ESV / 78 helpful votes

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Colossians 3:17 ESV / 56 helpful votes

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Peter 5:2 ESV / 50 helpful votes

Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;

Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV / 47 helpful votes

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

1 Peter 5:3 ESV / 46 helpful votes

Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

1 Timothy 3:8-13 ESV / 41 helpful votes

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.

Hebrews 13:7 ESV / 30 helpful votes

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

Titus 1:7 ESV / 30 helpful votes

For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 ESV / 26 helpful votes

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

2 Timothy 2:2 ESV / 23 helpful votes

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.

1 Timothy 3:2 ESV / 22 helpful votes

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

Acts 14:23 ESV / 22 helpful votes

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Acts 6:1-15 ESV / 21 helpful votes

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.

1 Timothy 5:17 ESV / 19 helpful votes

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV / 18 helpful votes

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 20:25-27 ESV / 18 helpful votes

But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV / 15 helpful votes

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

James 5:14 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

Titus 1:1-16 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—

1 Timothy 3:3 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

1 Timothy 3:1 ESV / 12 helpful votes

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

Ephesians 5:25 ESV / 11 helpful votes

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

1 Peter 5:1 ESV / 10 helpful votes

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:

Titus 1:5 ESV / 10 helpful votes

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—

1 Corinthians 7:32-34 ESV / 10 helpful votes

I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.

Acts 15:22 ESV / 9 helpful votes

Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers,

Acts 6:5 ESV / 9 helpful votes

And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.

James 1:3 ESV / 8 helpful votes

For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Colossians 4:1 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Philippians 1:1 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

Ephesians 5:23 ESV / 8 helpful votes

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

1 Corinthians 7:7-8 ESV / 8 helpful votes

I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.

1 Corinthians 3:1-23 ESV / 8 helpful votes

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.

Acts 15:2 ESV / 8 helpful votes

And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.

John 3:8-12 ESV / 8 helpful votes

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

Acts 20:17 ESV / 7 helpful votes

Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him.

Matthew 16:15-19 ESV / 7 helpful votes

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

1 Peter 2:25 ESV / 6 helpful votes

For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Ephesians 5:28 ESV / 6 helpful votes

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Acts 15:6 ESV / 6 helpful votes

The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.

Acts 15:4 ESV / 6 helpful votes

When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.

Acts 11:30 ESV / 6 helpful votes

And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

John 20:19-23 ESV / 6 helpful votes

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

Luke 5:5-9 ESV / 6 helpful votes

And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken,

Luke 1:33 ESV / 6 helpful votes

And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

James 3:1 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

1 Corinthians 11:26 ESV / 5 helpful votes

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

John 5:3 ESV / 5 helpful votes

In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.

John 3:5 ESV / 5 helpful votes

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Acts 17:11 ESV / 4 helpful votes

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

1 Corinthians 12:1-31 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;

Acts 16:4 ESV / 3 helpful votes

As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem.

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