Christmas Leadership Lessons from Joseph and Mary

Encouragement for Pastors
Leadership Development
Spiritual Encouragement

Christmas Leadership Lessons from Joseph:

Christmas Leadership Lessons from Joseph and Mary

“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly,” (Matthew 1:18-19, NIV).

Joseph was calm and loving in a situation where he could have easily reacted toward Mary in anger instead. As we see in the scripture above, at the time that Joseph was considering divorcing Mary quietly, he likely thought she must have betrayed him. Still, rather than spite, he was going to part from her in a discrete manner. As leaders, showing kindness even in the face of seeming betrayal is an example of leading with love.

“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus,” (Matthew 1:24-25, NIV).

Joseph listened to God and followed His instruction. As a leader, this is such an important principle. Can you imagine the damage that can result in the lives of those we lead when we don’t lead them down a path of God’s design? But more frequently, this is likely to manifest because we’re not paying attention to His direction. So Joseph’s scenario here is a good reminder for leaders to follow God’s direction, but also to be receptive to receiving that instruction.

Christmas Leadership Lessons from Mary:

‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.’ ‘I am the Lordʼs servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her,’” (Luke 1:34-28, NIV).

Mary answered a huge leadership call in these Scriptures. She was given a big spiritual and leadership role to play as the mother of Christ and she answered the charge with conviction. This was a great example for leaders to take leaps of faith and fill leadership opportunities (which are opportunities to serve others and serve God).

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.'”

Mary showed true gratitude. She embodied a spirit of gratitude as she praised the Lord for blessing her with such a special opportunity. Thankfulness is a key component of leadership. No leader is ever entitled to such a wonderful opportunity… rather positions of leadership are great blessings. Thankfulness to the Lord and gratitude toward those we serve are both very important for successful leaders.

If you’re a church leader, pastor, or the leader of a non-profit organization, are you looking for leadership training or team development help? Thanks to the backing of a generous foundation, LifeEquip is able to offer leadership and organizational training at highly reduced rates to meet the needs of smaller organizations. Some LifeEquip services include pastoral coaching, OLA, Everything DiSC, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, and Lead Like Jesus.


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Glenn C. StewartPastor & Church Coach
Glenn C. Stewart has forty years of experience leading churches, planting a church, and developing leaders. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology and leadership at the Orlando campus of Palm Beach Atlantic University, and as the chairman of the board of a Christian college and seminary. Along with his degrees in Bible and theology he has a master’s degree in organizational leadership. Glenn has a heart for serving pastors and being a spiritual mentor.


Glenn C. Stewart
Glenn C. StewartChurch & Pastor Coach

Authorship Credentials:

  • Adjunct Professor of Theology and Leadership
  • Certified as a Human Behavior Consultant
  • Authorized Wiley Everything DiSC© Partner
  • Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) Partner
  • Certified Facilitator of Ken Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus Encounter Groups
  • Certified Facilitator of CPP Personality, Career, and Organizational Development Assessments
  • International Speaker and Trainer


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