Leaders Who Last

Some Lessons from Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft (Crossway, 2010)

  • “I was taught early how important it is to feed myself from Scripture before seeking to give spiritual sustenance to others. Ezra 7:10 has long been my benchmark: ‘For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.’ First, I study and apply God’s Word to my life. Then I teach others.” (30)
  • “In my Bible reading I practice the Four R’s: Read: reading and marking the words and verses that speak to me. Reflect: Thinking about what I have marked. Respond: Focusing on the truths I marked to pray about and obey. Record: Capturing what God has said in writing (a journal). (33)
  • Concerning PASSION: “I recall hearing about two pastors who were discussing their theological positions when one said to the other, ‘Well it appears to me that we basically believe the same things.’ The other responded, ‘Yes, but the difference is that you have it on ice and we have it one fire.’” (51)
  • Concerning a leader’s PACING: “Personally, I practice the following: 1. Take a full day off each week and limit my work hours. 2. Plan a full day alone for a spiritual retreat on a monthly basis. 3. Make sure I have some fun each week doing things that make me laugh. 4. Limit the number of evenings I am not at home.” (71)
  • Concerning the leader’s CHARACTER: Quoting John Wooden, “Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, because your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” Also, quoting Arthur Friedman, “Men of genius are admired. Men of wealth are envied. Men of power are feared, but only men of character can be trusted.” (98-99)
  • It’s not what you’ve been taught that matters. It’s how fast you can learn. (107)
  • Are we truly growing in Christ, or are we experiencing a stagnant relationship, repeating year after year. Kraft tells a story of a man who filled out a job application with 16 years of experience. In his interview, he was asked “Do you really have 16 years of experience, or one year repeated 15 times?” (112)
  • Having and communicating vision is essential. (120-121)
  • Quoting George Cladis, “The key is a leadership team that lives the vision, breathes it, models it, tells its story every chance it gets, sleeps it, eats it, and otherwise calls people together around it.” A vision is usually birthed in isolation but communicated and implemented in community. (124)
  • Followers don’t do what leaders say as much as they do what leaders do. (129)
  • Quoting Howard Hendricks, “You can impress people at a distance, but you can impact them only up close.” (129)
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