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Thursday
Jan202011

Leadership Weekends with Dave Kraft

Due to the huge response and continued strong sales for Leaders Who Last, I am setting up "Leadership Weekends" with churches around the country as well as in Canada.

It is one year since Leaders Who Last was published by Crossway Books and the book is still in the top ten in Christian leadership on Amazon both in paper and electronic format and is in it's 4th printing. All praise to Jesus!

I head out on Friday, Jan 21st for the 1st weekend of 2011; River Lakes Church in Bakersfield, California. They are expecting 200 of their leaders for a full Saturday of presentation coupled with think, write, pray, application time, small group discussion & Q&A. 

I gather with key leaders on Friday and Saturday evening and preach at all services on Sunday morning on "What leaders and followers expect from each other."

My dream goal for 2011 is to be in twenty-four Cities.

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest"~Matthew 9:36-38 ESV

You could refer to laborers as leaders in these verses without violating the meaning of the passage. These verses have been significantly motivating for me for over 25 years.  Things haven't changed much since Jesus first said this. The harvest (hurting, hungry and needy people) are still plentiful & the Laborers (leaders) are still few.

My calling is to impact the next generation of church leaders through: Teaching, Writing and Coaching.

The expressed purposes for the Weekend are:

1.  To move each leader's personal leadership to a new level

2.  To encourage each church(s) to take leadership development seriously and make it a core value

3.  To help each church (s) to launch/ improve a leadership development philosophy and pathway

You can go to this link  http://bit.ly/g4F3Rg  to see more details or click on the "Seminar Tab" at davekraft.org (this web site). I would love to come to your church!

I would deeply appreciate your praying for my weekends at churches during 2011.

Pray that as I am there, all of us would see Luke 5:26 ESV happen, "And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe saying, 'we have seen extraordinary things today.' "

Monday
Jan032011

Starting and Finishing

Someone has observed that it’s not what you don’t know that can hurt you, but what you think you know that just ain’t so.

Here is one of those “just-ain’t-so”

It’s not how you start but how you finish that counts”

First of all, if you don’t start something, you can’t finish it.

Secondly, how you start something can greatly impact how well you finish it…whether you are talking about a day, a job, a project or a marriage.

Procrastination is the father of failure and it’s no secret that the biggest waste of time is the waste of time in getting started.

It takes determination, being focused and being proactive, along with a good game plan, to get going. Good intentions and noble desires won’t cut it.

So, as you stand on the threshold of a brand new year with the chance to start lots of things, here are some simple and practical thoughts on starting well so you don’t sputter out three months into it like New Year’s resolutions generally do with lots of emotion and hoopla but with little specificity.

Start with yourself. It is tempting to want to change everything and everyone around you but not begin with yourself. By God’s grace and with the help of the Holy Spirit, where specifically do you want to see some changes in your life?

Start the first step now rather than later. Don’t put off till tomorrow, next week or next month what you can do today. Start right now. Whatever you are thinking about won’t get any easier the longer you wait. Make the phone call now.  Go to the gym now.  Write that letter of apology now. Begin working on that family budget now. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

I have the germ idea of an article in my head titled “One of these days.” One of these days I am going to get my life in order. One of these days I’m going to work on my health. One of these days I am going to give quality time to my wife and children. One of these days is right now…today!

 John Maxwell says:

“It may be a cliché to say that every journey begins with the first step, yet it is still true.  Successful people don’t wait for everything to be perfect to move forward. They don’t wait for all the problems or obstacles to disappear.  They don’t wait until their fear subsides. They take initiative. They know a secret that good leaders understand: momentum is their friend. As soon as they take that first step and start moving forward, things become a little easier. If the momentum gets strong enough, many of the problems take care of themselves. But it starts only after you’ve taken those first steps.”

Start with the hard ones first. We talk ourselves into saving the hard tasks until later, or last, and then postpone them to the next day, the next week or the next month. Tackle, and finish, the hardest ones first and watch what happens to your motivation, joy and sense of accomplishment.

Start small. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the task before you is not big enough. I need something really big to get me going. The big “deals” are usually accomplished through a combination of smaller tasks. Break down a large intimidating task into small steps and begin with a first step and then another and yet another. Before you know it, you’ll be there!

Start with the end in mind. I read somewhere that author H. G. Wells would, at times, write the last chapter of a book first so he knew how he wanted to end and then begin the first chapter with the end in view. At Mars Hill Church we call this “reverse engineering.” It creates motivation and momentum to start with where you want to wind up in a given area, back up from there and begin with the end in mind.

I finish with the most important tip of all. 

Start with Jesus. Do what you do out of love for Jesus--not to be more wealthy, more popular, more admired, or more successful

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:14,15 ESV

Be Bible-based, Cross and Resurrection centered, Holy Spirit empowered and Jesus honoring as you start well--and aim to finish well!

 



Wednesday
Dec292010

Getting Older but not "Old"

Today is my birthday (71) and I want to share a few thoughts. Although I am getting older, I am not getting “old.” Older is a biological fact whereas getter old is an attitude and state of mind--at least in my humble opinion.

Some say you are only as old as you feel so, in actuality I am 35. I have a lot of passion in my spirit, dreams in my heart &  more miles left on my “tires” as Jesus continues to show His grace toward me and allows me more years.

Here are three passages of scripture that currently motivate me:

“They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green (one translation has it ‘fresh and flourishing’)” Psalm 92:14 NIV

By His grace and with the power of the Holy Spirit, I want to continue to be fruitful and flourishing like an older tree with great fruit on its aging limbs.

“Now Joshua was old and advanced in years, and the Lord said to him, ‘you are old and advanced in years, and there remains yet very much land to possess.’ ” Joshua 13:1 ESV

Even though I am older, there is much to do for the Kingdom and, like Caleb when he was 80, I want to continue to try impossible things, climb difficult mountains, do what I've never done; all for Jesus.

“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” Psalm 71:18 ESV

Since an integral part of my calling is leaving footprints in the hearts of  God-hungry leaders, this verse has become a ministry life verse for me. Application-wise, I take “forsake me” as not being usable any more. I deeply want to be used in impacting the next generation of leaders through coaching, writing and teaching.

Now that we have camped a bit on the serious side, let me throw in a little humor. As I age, it is important to keep my sense of humor and not be a dour old fart like some older people I know…I don’t want to become one of them!

You can tell you’re getting older when…

 

  • Everything hurts…and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work
  • You feel like the morning after and you didn’t go anywhere the night before
  • You know all the answers, but nobody’s asking you any questions
  • You sit in a rocking chair and you can’t get the darn thing going
  • You burn the midnight oil until 9pm
  • Your back goes out more often than you do
  • After painting the town red, you have to talk a long rest before applying a second coat
  • You look forward to a dull evening
  • When you have two choices you choose the one that gets you home earlier
  • You realize that everyone has a photographic memory, but everyone doesn’t have film
  • You’ve seen it all, done it all, but can’t remember most of it
  • You understand that he who laughs last, thinks slowest

I end with what I want to become as I age:

Lord, you know better than I do that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s life. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it does seem a pity not to use it all, but I do want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains; they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I don’t ask for improved memory, but for growing humility, and a lessened arrogance when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint—some of them are so hard to live with. A bitter old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see the good things in unexpected places and gifting in ordinary people, and give me the grace to tell them so.

Amen

 

 

 

 

 



Monday
Dec272010

Pray Dangerously 

Have you ever prayed a dangerous prayer asking God to do things that would upset the norm, cause you to move out of your comfort zone and try the seemingly impossible for the glory of God?

Are a lot of your prayers for safety, security, nice things to happen? Are you praying for calmer waters, smooth sailing and no storms?

As you move into 2011 this week, how about asking God to disturb your traditional thinking, safe praying and small dreams and move you to another level in the coming year? 

Here are some thoughts a friend sent me from the explorer Sir Francis Drake. 

Sir Francis Drake's prayer before circumnavigating the globe:

Disturb us, Lord, when

We are too pleased with ourselves,

When our dreams have come true

Because we dreamed too little,

When we arrived safely

Because we sailed too close to the shore.

 

Disturb us, Lord, when,

with the abundance of things we possess,

We have lost our thirst

For the waters of life;

Having fallen in love with life,

We have ceased to dream of eternity

And, in our efforts to build a new earth,

We have allowed our vision

Of the new Heaven to dim.

 

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,

To venture on wilder seas

Where storms will show your mastery;

Where losing sight of land,

We shall find the stars.

 

We ask you to push back

The horizons of our hopes;

And to push back the future

In strength, courage, hope and love.

 

This we ask in the name of our Captain,

Who is Jesus Christ.

 



Saturday
Dec252010

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty

He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself

He was only thirty three
His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend

He rose from the dead

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind's progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life

Dr James Allan © 1926.