Leadership Lessons from Jephthah

Jephthah (Judges 12) was a mighty warrior who led Israel to victory over the Ammonites. He was also a flawed leader who made some serious mistakes. However, his story can teach us valuable lessons about leadership.

Lesson 1: Your background doesn’t disqualify you from leading.

Jephthah was born to a prostitute and was rejected by his half-brothers. This didn’t stop him from becoming a great leader. His story shows us that our past doesn’t have to define us. We can overcome our challenges and rise to greatness.

Lesson 2: Build a team and make disciples.

Jephthah didn’t lead alone. He built a team of followers who were willing to fight alongside him. He also made disciples, teaching them the ways of the Lord. This shows us that leadership is not about being the lone ranger. It’s about building relationships and empowering others.

Lesson 3: Take your opportunity as it comes.

Jephthah didn’t wait for someone to give him a leadership position. He took the opportunity that was presented to him and ran with it. This shows us that we should be ready to step up and lead when the opportunity arises.

Lesson 4: Know that every leadership battle isn’t won by you.

Jephthah won the battle against the Ammonites, but it wasn’t because of his own strength or abilities. It was because the Lord was with him. This shows us that we can’t lead on our own. We need to rely on the Lord for strength and guidance.

Lesson 5: Be careful of making foolish vows.

Jephthah made a foolish vow to sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house when he returned home from battle. This vow led to the tragic death of his daughter. This shows us that we should be careful of making vows that we may not be able to keep.

Lesson 6: Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes.

Jephthah was a flawed leader, but he was not afraid to admit his mistakes. He was willing to take responsibility for what he had done. This shows us that it’s important to be humble and to admit our mistakes when we make them.


Jephthah’s story is a complex one, but it teaches us valuable lessons about leadership. We can learn from his strengths and weaknesses, and we can apply his lessons to our own lives. If we do, we can become better leaders ourselves.

In addition to the lessons mentioned above, Jephthah’s story also teaches us the importance of prayer, faith, and obedience to God. When we are willing to put God first in our lives, He can use us to accomplish great things.

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