Bringing Order from Chaos: Biblical Leadership Principles for Overcoming Organizational Turmoil

In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, effective leadership is crucial for organizations to thrive. On a recent episode of the podcast, I had the privilege of interviewing Gary Harpst, a New York Times bestselling author, podcaster, and former successful CEO, who shared powerful biblical insights for leaders to overcome organizational chaos.

According to Gary, there are three main types of chaos that leaders need to navigate:

  1. External Chaos – Events outside of your control like natural disasters, economic upheaval, etc.
  2. Social Chaos – Turmoil and conflict arising from interpersonal dynamics on teams  
  3. Internal Chaos – The inner battles, fears, and misalignment within oneself  

The Biblical Mandate for Servant Leadership

Gary made a profound point – the Bible calls every believer to a form of servant leadership. This leadership calling stems from the Genesis mandate for humanity to steward and “have dominion” over the earth by cultivating order, purpose, and flourishing out of chaos.

Effective leadership, from this biblical perspective, involves aligning your God-given desires, reason, imagination, and actions to overcome chaos in every sphere of life and influence. 

One of the greatest obstacles to overcoming chaos is a lack of relational capital and social cohesion within teams. When relationships are unhealthy, people tend to isolate instead of coming together to problem-solve challenges.

However, Gary emphasized that differences among teams are by divine design to create balance and synergy. By understanding and appreciating how team members’ differing personalities, gifts, and perspectives complement one another, leaders can build the relational capital necessary for overcoming chaos as a united front.

Integrating Faith for Holistic Transformation  

To explain the balance between human effort and God’s miracle-working power, Gary presented a three-layer pyramid model:

  1. Body, Soul, and Spirit – The base needs of stability, functionality, job security
  2. Soul Care – Caring for others’ well-being by following the “golden rule”
  3. Kingdom Impact – Jesus giving us a new identity and purpose (the “miracle” layer)

While leaders should strive to meet the foundational needs of their teams and organizations, Gary stressed the importance of not separating the spiritual from the practical. With so many people spending most of their waking lives in the workplace, integrating faith principles into that domain is essential for holistic personal and cultural transformation.

Whether overcoming turmoil in a business, ministry, family, or other organizational context, Gary Harpst’s insights provide a profound biblical framework for leaders to overcome chaos by bringing order through engaged servant leadership, relational investments, and spiritual impact.

I would encourage you to listen to the full episode.