Entries by Dave Kraft (800)



It is crystal clear from everything I’ve ever read on leadership that micromanaging is never a good idea. But nonetheless it is still very prevalent among Christian leaders. Here is  Barnabas Piper to deal with the issue.

Nobody likes a micromanager, except maybe the one doing the managing. Even people who need close oversight hate it. Why? It’s annoying. It’s overbearing. We generally chalk it up to a poor leadership style or ineffective management. It’s more than that, though. Micromanagement among Christian leaders reflects poorly on our faith and the gospel. It doesn’t work, and that’s mainly because it’s not the way God designed things to work.
Here are five reasons why.

1.  Micromanagement is a failure to lead.

In fact, it is not just a failure to lead; it is the opposite of leadership. Leaders, whether in business or ministry or any other context should be empowers of others, setting them up to succeed. Micromanagement bears all the burden and actually undermines those it oversees. It takes away their opportunities to shine and never shows them a way forward. Instead of raising up new talent and new leaders it suppresses both and limits everyone’s effectiveness.

2.  Micromanagement is a failure to self-evaluate.

To be fair, every shortcoming is a failure to self-evaluate. But for someone responsible for other’s success, refusing to self-evaluate is a recipe for disaster. Micromanagers don’t realize they are actually making life harder for others. They don’t see the damage they are causing. They also don’t see the damage they are causing to themselves. By taking on all the burden of work instead of empowering others to do it well, a micromanager is stockpiling stress and burden. More than that, though, they aren’t evaluating their own gifts. The question every micromanager must ask themselves is this: should I really be in a position of leadership? If the inclination is to do all the work instead of helping others do it then maybe being in a position of leadership is the wrong fit.

3.  Micromanagement is a failure to recognize the gifts of others.


God has uniquely gifted every person. Leaders are tasked with seeing those gifts, feeding them, and giving people room to use them to the fullest extent. Micromanagers either cannot or will not do this. They see people as tools to be wielded or foolish sheep to be shepherded. They cannot recognize that the people under them may be better at certain tasks and responsibilities and that this is a good thing! Those serving under a micromanager cannot reach the potential God has imbued them with until they are free to use their gifts. Micromanagers stand in their way.

4.  Micromanagement is a failure to trust others.


 lack of trust fits hand-in-glove with failure to recognize people’s gifts. If you cannot be confident in another person’s ability to do the job well you cannot trust them. When a person cannot trust others, though, it isn’t just about their view of people. It is about their view of God. Micromanagement reflects a lack of grace, a lack of connection to God’s immense mercy and kindness. People think of grace in terms of forgiving sins and failures. For a leader forgiveness like that is a tough balance because doing so too much means allowing flaws in your business or ministry too often. Yes, forgiveness is good, but a line must be drawn somewhere. But grace is also about giving responsibility and space to those who are flawed and might fail. When a leader can’t give any leeway to try new things or take some risks it is a lack of grace. However, when leaders show that aspect of grace, people under them feel both safe and free to pursue great things. Grace allows bigger things to be accomplished where micromanagement crushes them.

5.  Micromanagement is a failure to trust God.

If a leader professes to believe that God gifted people uniquely, in His image, and believes in the grace of God and has experienced it, then why would he set that aside in leadership? Does he know better than God? Is he a better leader than God? He put that leader in a position to make other’s lives better, but by acting on his own, in his own wisdom, the micromanaging leader is harming them. He is harming himself by his lack of trust, too, by taking on burdens God didn’t intend for him to have. Leaders must remember who gave them their position, who gifted them to do it, and who gave the people around them their abilities. If God can do all that, He doesn’t need a leader to micromanage all the work too.


What are YOU waiting for to truly enoy your life and responsbilities?

On Oct 1st I went to the local DMV to renew my driver’s license. When I stepped up to have my picture taken, I asked the gentleman at the window, “Having a good day so far?” To which he replied,  

“I’ll have a good day at 5p,”

which I assumed was when he was getting off work. How sad!

This didn’t surprise me as I have read lots of material over the years supporting the fact that many people don’t like their jobs. This is not the first time I have encountered a person who was waiting to be happy and enjoy their work life.

Some are waiting for the end of the day, some are waiting for the end of the week, some are waiting for the start of their next vacation and some are waiting for retirement; all waiting  to begin living and enjoying the life they have, but not enjoying it NOW!

I guess that’s why they have TGI Friday. But for those of us that truly enjoy what we do, we need to have a TGI Monday. It was Seth Godin who said,   “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.” Now that is something to think about.

Let’s move this conversation from a general one to a more specific one when it comes to those of you reading this who are in a leadership role at a church or in your work or business. 

Do you really enjoy where the Lord has placed you and what he has given you to do, or are you among those who are waiting for 5p or 6p or whenever you get off work to be joyful and grateful? Are you waiting for, and living for your day or days off?

Do your current responsibilities as a leader tap into who God made you?  To paraphrase Marcus Buckingham, Is the best of who you are reflected in what you spend most of your time doing? It is critical to make the best of your work the most of your work as much as possible. Are you truly and biblically content or are you a perennially unhappy camper in your leadership?

I love Ecclesiastes 5:19 in this regard, “ Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.” (NIV)  (Underlining is mine)

I review this verse twice a month. I believe our work is part of the wealth and possessions that the Lord entrusts us with. By his grace I want to:

  1.   Accept my lot (my current circumstances that God has allowed)
  2.   Enjoy what he provides (work is among his many gifts)
  3.   Be happy in my work

 Additionally I pray for true biblical contentment with:

1.  Who I am

2.  Where I am

3.  What I’m doing

4.  What God is doing

Are you stuck emotionally and vocationally? Do you feel you are in a rut and will be there for a long time?

Some of the leaders I coach have come to the conclusion that they are in the wrong role; a role that doesn't fit who they are in Christ,  doesn’t utilizer to the fullest extent their gifts and doesn’t keep them motivated.

I strongly encourage them to renegotiate their job responsibilities if at all possible, as it will be a win/win for both the church/organization and them personally.

Now in any job you are not going to spend 100% of your time doing what you adore and love. That is unrealistic. If you are a people oriented person there are tasks, and if you are a task oriented person there are people.  It was Charlie Brown who said, “Humanity I love, it's people I can’t stand.” Poor ole Charlie Brown.

Try to get your roles and responsibilities to the place where 70-80% of what you do is a great fit that will keep you grateful, energized and productive.

If you’ve been able to navigate a change in your roles and responsibilities, do share your experience in the comment section below so others can learn from you.




Eight traits of outstanding church staff members

Every leader longs, for a looks for, great team members; great staff members. What makes a good staff person?  What qualities and attributes should you be looking for?

Here Thom Rainer lists his top eight!

Originally posted by Thom Rainer

Eight traits of outstanding church staff members.

The stories are tragic but too common. Different members of a church staff unite in opposition to other staff. An executive pastor goes behind the back of the pastor and undermines the leadership of that pastor. The lead pastor of a church rarely communicates with the other church staff. The different members of the church staff operate in silos instead of cooperating synergistically. A lead pastor fires a staff member without any due process or compassion.

Those are but a few examples of a divided church staff. The result is always harmful to the church they are called to serve. Sometimes the negative impact of the division takes years to overcome. Sometimes it lingers the entire history of the church.

This article is for individual church staff: senior pastors, lead pastors, executive pastors, and numerous others serving in such areas as children, students, discipleship, worship, small groups, and pastoral care, to name a few.

These eight characteristics are for you as you relate to the other staff at your church, regardless of how they respond or reciprocate. The most godly and influential staff members I have known share these eight traits.

  1. They pray for other staff members individually. In their private prayer time, effective staff members pray for the others who serve on the team. They pray for those who support them. And they pray for those who oppose them and even antagonize them.
  2. They seek to build up the ministries of the other staff members. In public and private, the best church staff members say great things about the other ministries. They seek to work with the other areas of ministry instead of competing with them.
  3. They communicate openly. They have no hidden agendas. They are not duplicitous in their public words versus their words said in private. They make certain everyone else understands fully what is taking place in their ministries and why.
  4. They express disagreements with other staff face to face. They are not cowards who spread venom behind the backs of other staff. If they have a disagreement with another staff person, they go to that person directly in a spirit of humility, honesty, and love.
  5. They seek to serve. They will show up at a ministry led by another staff person to help and demonstrate support. They will ask other staff how they can help them. I know the story of a discipleship pastor who brought a meal to the worship pastor during the busy Easter season just to let him know he appreciated him.
  6. They execute the tasks they are given. When one church staff member does not execute the tasks for which he or she is responsible, the entire staff is demoralized. There is a sense that some are working and others are not. It makes the entire staff ministry look weak or incompetent to church members. Often, other staff members have to pick up the slack.
  7. They defend other staff members to church members. Every church staff member receives criticisms on a regular basis from church members. But the best staff members will not allow a church member to denigrate other staff to him or her. The outstanding staff members will defend their fellow team member or, at the very least, direct the church member to speak directly with the person who is the subject of the criticism.
  8. They support and encourage the families of other staff. Families of church staff need support and encouragement. For sure, they often get enough of the negative feedback. Support and encouragement is especially powerful when it comes from another church staff member. Few things unify a church staff and, thus, a church as much as intentional encouragement of the families of church staff.

Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Unity and love are incredibly important for Christian witness. Unity and love are imperative for church staff who serve together.


Fifteen painful but hugely important questions to ask yourself!

A few years ago, I heard Dr. Ed Stetzer speak. He said there are certain topics that everybody is interested in: 

1. Sex

2. The “end times”

3. Will we have sex in the end times?

Well, in this post we’re not going to talk about any of these three; but, rather, another topic which gets a lot of air/blogtime: ”Idolatry.” It might not be as interesting as sex or end time discussions, but it certainly is relevant to a vibrant, intimate and growing relationship with Jesus leading to fruitful ministry.

We are all worshippers and worship someone or something(s).  When we allow anything in place of Jesus at the center of our worship, the Bible calls this “worshipping idols” or idolatry.

The apostle John in his 1st letter, chapter five, verse 21 says: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” Years ago I ran across this in the Living Bible and it says: “…keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your heart.”

Generally speaking, people and things take God’s place in our heart. But how would you identify those people or things to see if they indeed have become the center of your affections and attention to the point of taking the place of Jesus?

Here is a list of questions to help us in idol identification. 

These honest and soul-searching questions admittedly may be painful and uncomfortable, but it’s better than self-destructing down the road somewhere.

Carefully and prayerfully look at each one, and be open to enemies of Jesus and His gospel which become clear to you.

These questions are adapted from some thoughts by Mark Driscoll and Tim Keller:

1. What am I most afraid of?

2. What are the primary things I spend my money on outside of necessities?

3. What do I long for most passionately?

4. Where do I run to for comfort?

5. What do I complain about most?

6. What makes me happiest?

7. How do I explain myself to other people?

8. What has caused me to be angry with God?

9. What do I brag about?

10. What do I want to have more than anything else?

11. What do I sacrifice the most for in my life?

12. If I could change one thing about my life, what would it be?

13. Whose approval am I seeking?

14. What do I want to control/master?

15. What comfort do I treasure most?

How about taking one or two insights you received and seek His help in dealing with current or potential idols?



Developing the talent you have

If you want to accomplish more for the kingdom, one of the best things you can do is develop the talent you already have on your team.

Here is Dan Rockwell with some practical ideas on how to do that.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

Six Core Skills of a Leader who Develops Talent

Leaders face turbulent situations, diverse personalities, and multiple opportunities all while developing talent.

Talent development is the best development.

Coaching-leaders passionately develop talent and deliver results at the same time.


Powerful conversations are the coaching-leader’s path to remarkable results.

Coaching-leaders focus on developing strengths and maximizing capacity.

Six core coaching skills:

  1. Self-awareness and energy management:
    • Develop awareness of your energy state.
    • Notice the impact of your energy on others.
    • Manage energy before conversations. How are you approaching this conversation?
    • Monitor and manage energy during conversations. Watch for joy and frustration during powerful conversations.
  2. Curious questioning:
    • Invite input and expect differing opinions.
    • Seek to understand the values, assumptions, and goals of others.
    • Pursue new ways of seeing by inviting others in.
  3. Open listening:
    • Remain respectful when others speak. Reject personal assumptions and expectations.
    • Listen for aspiration. What motivates them?
    • Watch body language and monitor emotions. How do they feel and what does that say about this topic?
  4. Appreciate discovery:
    • Look for untapped talents, strengths, and capabilities.
    • Explore new options and opportunities for service.
    • Generate enthusiasm by connecting with aspiration and motivation.
  5. Catalytic feedback:
    • Talk about what’s working and what’s getting in the way.
    • Set achievable goals and celebrate small wins.
    • Reinforce positive behaviors with praise.
  6. Heightened engagement:
    • Stay focused on results while building relationships.
    • Define success together, agree on next steps, and how progress will be reviewed.
    • Review progress, identify relevant learning, and celebrate achievement.

(Adapted from, Coaching for Engagement.)

Surprising strategy:

Begin with self awareness and end with heightened engagement. Approach the six core coaching skills as a sequential trail to a mountain peak.

Which coaching skill has been most useful to you? How?

Which coaching skill is most challenging? How might leaders develop it?