Leaders Who Last, Dave Kraft, Crossway, 2010, 155 pages.
Over the past year I have been super fortunate to have met and get to hang out with Dave Kraft about one a month for a weekend. What a blessing that he has been in my life in a short period of time! As I have worked through a schooling and training path, Dave has been my “coach”. This means I get to discuss the stuff of life with him and he uses his vast life experience to guide me, to challenge me and basically to help me keep my focus on Christ.
Now through the schooling I also had a small book that I had to read, Leaders Who Last, by Dave Kraft! This is a book that even from Dave’s own admission is not full of new ideas, but age tested truths that often time’s leaders either ignore or forget. The book is set in three basic sections; Foundations, Formation, and Fruitfulness.
Foundations is a great little section that talks about the source of the leaders power, purpose, passion, priorities and pacing. As the reader rolls through this list of ‘p’s’ we hit topics that are habit and routines that leaders need to be regularly giving attention to. It is a few chapters dealing essentially with habits. On page 35 Dave does put all these human efforts into perspective; “Effort definitely has a place in the Christian experience, but it is a result of salvation, not a means to salvation.” This is a section that we need to do, so that we can humanly effective … but it all needs to be for the glory of God and through the empowering of the Holy Spirit!
Formation deals with the leaders calling, gifts, character and growth. This section heads into the way that we are created; looking at the specific ways that God has prepared us to serve in leadership. “Leaders that last come in all shapes, sizes and personality types. We are talking about leaders whom god has called and given certain kinds of abilities that enable them to shepherd, develop, equip, and empower others to be part of reaching God-pleasing objectives. (pg 92)
Fruitfulness covers the three marks of the leader’s vision, influence and legacy. Finally there is a section that looks to the future, and really focusing in on the concepts and functions that leaders need to deal with so that they can be effective in ministry into the future. It is a great little section that directs the rest of the book with great intensity onto the future purpose of leadership!
This book has been a fantastic one to read through and ponder and prepare myself for a long term run at ministry. The reality is I have DECADES left in my work life, if you are like me and want to do everything you can to try and last as you serve Jesus Christ get this book and keep it close to remind yourself of what it takes!