Entries by Dave Kraft (951)


7 secrets to spotting people you can trust!

Trust is the bedrock for all good teams and organization. When trust has been eroded or is lost, it is very difficult to regain it. Dan Rockwell shares secrets to identifying people whom you can trust.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell


Failure awaits all leaders who trust the wrong people.

Surround yourself with people you can trust. Few things are more powerful than a team of talented people who trust each other.

It doesn’t matter what you want to accomplish if you surround yourself with untrustworthy people.

7 Secrets to spotting people you can trust:

#1. Trust people who connect rather than isolate. Accept the need for privacy, but trustworthy leadership includes relationship building.

People who can’t connect, can’t lead.

#2. Trust people who stay supportive after not getting their own way. Beware of team members who cross their arms and pout when they don’t get what they want.

#3. Trust people who criticize up and down organizational hierarchy.

  • Don’t trust people who refuse to voice constructive criticism.
  • Don’t trust people who only criticize people who aren’t present.
  • Don’t trust people who shift positions depending on the people around the table.

#4. Trust people who express gratitude for colleagues and teammates. People talk about you the way they talk about others.

#5. Trust people who disagree kindly and openly. Don’t trust people who raise an eyebrow of disapproval, but don’t openly voice concerns.

Manipulators wrinkle their foreheads, but don’t speak up.

Beware of people who avoid, deflect, and sweep important issues under the carpet.

#6. Trust people who treat powerless people with respect. Do they speak kindly to you and rudely to the server at dinner? It’s possible to have a bad day. What’s the pattern?

#7. Trust people who trust others. Delegating, listening, and transparency indicate you have learned to trust others.

A person who can’t trust others can’t lead.

Bonus: Trustworthy people tell you what they really want.

How do you spot people you can trust?






The leaders greatest fault!

A number of years ago Warren Myers (one of my early mentors, who has since gone to be with Jesus) returned from an overseas trip and I picked him up at the airport.  He had been working on the attributes and qualities of the type of person who would make a good cross-cultural missionary.

He shared his list with me as I drove him to his home.  He then asked me my opinion. He was one of the most teachable and eager learners I have known.

I told him that one trait seemed to be missing…


He added it.

Fast forward 45 years. I watched a 30-second video clip from a leader on what he thought was a leader’s greatest fault.

Following that clip, and for several weeks running, various leaders from around the country would be weighing in on what, in their opinion, would be a leader’s greatest fault.

What do you think a leader’s greatest fault would be?

Would it be:

  1. Insecurity?
  2. Pride?
  3. Sexual impurity?
  4. Ministry idolatry?
  5. Financial mismanagement?
  6. Lack of honesty/integrity?

After many years of thinking and praying about this, my answer would be:

Not being teachable!

The same trait I mentioned to Warren Myers 45 years ago.  Maybe it’s true that some things never change.

Dave, you can’t be serious in saying that teachability is more important than a leader’s walk with Jesus?

Yes I am. 

If a leader is walking with Jesus but is not teachable he/she won’t continue to hear from God (and others) and continue to grow and mature.

This unteachable leader will eventually fall into other sins and disqualify him/herself. If a person is truly teachable, God can get through to them on every other issue or sin. If the leader is truly teachable, then other people will have permission and freedom to speak into his/her life.

Here is my favorite verse on being teachable:

“And you say, Oh if only I had listened.  If only I had not demanded my own way.  Oh, why wouldn’t I take advice, why was I so stupid?”

Proverbs 5:12 13 (The Living Bible)

What do you think? Do you agree/disagree? Have at it! Let me hear from you on this.




Autopsy of a Deceased Pasor

As a pastor or leader you can be physically (at times barely) alive but dead in every other meaningful way.

Here is Thom Rainer on the Autopsy of a Deceased Pastor. Fellow leaders, be honest with yourself on this critical issue!

Originally posted by Thom Rainer 


They are the walking dead.

  • They are dead emotionally.
  • Their vision and passion is dead.
  • Their spiritual life has little life at all.
  • They are burned out.
  • Many have died vocationally. Others are waiting for burial. 

Autopsies are not a pleasant topic. I get that. But I would be negligent if I did not share with you about the numbers of pastors who are dead in ministry. You need to know. You need to grasp this reality. You need to pray for them. You need to walk alongside them.

How did these pastors die? My figurative autopsies uncovered eight common patterns. Some pastors manifest four or five of them. Many manifest all of them.

1.  They said “yes” to too many members. In order to avoid conflict and criticism, these pastors tried to please most church members. Their path was not sustainable. Their path was unhealthy, leading to death.

2.  They said “no” to their families. For many of these pastors, their families became an afterthought or no thought at all. Many of their children are now grown and resent the church. They have pledged never to return. Their spouses felt betrayed, as if they were no longer loved, desired, or wanted. Some of these pastors have lost their families to divorce and estrangement.

3.  They got too busy to remain in the Word and in prayer. Simply stated, they got too busy for God. Read Acts 6:4 again in the context of all of Acts 6:1-7. The early church leaders saw this danger, and they took a courageous path to avoid the trap.

4.  They died a slow death from the steady drip of criticisms. Pastors are human. Yeah, I know; that’s an obvious statement. We sometimes expect them to take the ongoing criticisms from members as if they were rocks. But a steady drip can destroy even the most solid rocks.

5.  They were attacked by the cartel. Not all churches have cartels, but many do. A church cartel is an alliance of bullies, bully-followers, carnal Christians, and even non-Christians in the church. Their goal is power. Their obstacle is the pastor. Many pastors have died because cartels killed them.

6.  They lost their vision and their passion. This cause of death is both a symptom and a cause. Like high blood pressure is a symptom of other problems, it can also lead to death. Pastors without vision and passion are dying pastors.

7.  They sought to please others before God. People-pleasing pastors can fast become dying pastors. The problem is that you can never please all the members all the time. If pastors try, they die.

8.  They had no defenders in the church. Imagine a dying person with no medical intervention. That person will die. Imagine pastors without members who will stand by these leaders. Imagine pastors where members are too cowardly to stand up to cartels. If you can imagine that, then you can imagine a dying pastor. By the way, this form of death is often the most painful. The pastor is dying without anyone to help or intervene.

Autopsies are not fun. Talking about dying is not fun.

But if you are a church member, you can be a part of the solution.

Will you?




Learning from Pete Wilson's experience!

Not too long ago, Pete Wilson, a well know large church pastor, resigned from Cross Point Church in Nashville.

Ron Edmondson had the opportunity to talk with Pete and post that conversation on his blog site.

Here it is.

Hopefully we can all learn from this. Do pray for Pete, his new work and for Cross Point Church.

Originally posted by Ron Edmondson

Iwas delighted to talk with my friend Pete Wilson recently for some insight into his recent resignation from Cross Point Church in Nashville where he served as senior pastor. Pete planted Cross Point 14 years ago and it quickly became one of the fastest growing and now one of the largest churches in the country.

Not only was Pete pastoring a great church, he is a sought after speaker at conferences and other events. He has written several books – which have been helpful to me and others. He is a great husband, father, and friend. (Imagine continuing to be great at all of these!)

Pete and Cross Point were great ministry companions when I was a planter in the area. We did some staff retreats together. Some of our staff stayed in touch with some of their staff. They were a few years ahead of us in age, so we learned from them. Cheryl and I frequently attended their Sunday night service, since we didn’t have a service on Sunday night.

I was shocked and surprised as many others when I heard Pete’s announcement. Then I was shocked and surprised again when I heard Pete was starting a new role as president of the A Group – a Nashville based nonprofit/church marketing agency, geared towards partnering with churches, nonprofits, ministries and faith based organizations to increase their impact. You can read about his new role HERE.

I reached out to Pete and asked if he would be willing to answer some questions. I’ll share our conversation then offer some closing comments.

Did you anticipate the growth you experienced at Cross Point?

No one plants a church not to reach people and we planted to reach people. Not in a million years, however, did we think we would grow that fast. Sometimes it just felt like we were along for the ride things were moving so fast.

How did you personally allocate your time? What took most of your time as a pastor of a large church?

Message preparation. Leadership and vision casting – and this was a constant need. And, then, just putting out fires. And, it seems there was always a fire to put out.

Over the years my role changed a lot. I’ve said many times – Biblically speaking there is no number which is the perfect church size. In my mind, though I’ve always thought 700 would be a great number. The church would be large enough to have some great ministries, but small enough where people knew each other.

I remember one of our elders telling me in year two – when we were growing so fast – “If this thing continues to grow at this extent you’re not going to be here in 5 years.” As it turns out, we were here 14 years, and he wasn’t being cruel. Reflecting on that now he was looking into my life and saying I was wired a certain way. I was probably perfectly wired for a 700 person church.

How did you know it was time to make the decision? What was going on at the time?

I’ve been struggling with it for some time. It’s hard and it’s still hard. I was 21 years old when I started my first church. This is the only thing I’ve ever really done. And, I was afraid of making the wrong decision.

I also know this is a season. I’m not going to say at some point I won’t be back in full-time vocational ministry.

I think you just know though when you’re out of season. Things which used to bring me a lot of joy were no longer bringing me joy. If you stay out of season too long the wise thing to do may be to step aside. Church leadership takes a lot of energy.  I just got to the place I didn’t have the energy. I didn’t feel I had the energy the church needed. I got to the place I knew decisions needed to be made, but like every decision a pastor makes, you have to weigh the need for the decision against the acceptance of the people. I couldn’t seem to pull the trigger anymore. I just knew eventually that was going to hurt the church.

Who knew first – you or your wife?

I think she knew long before I did. She also has always been the one who wants to be supportive and give me the space to make the decision I think God wants me to make, but she also wasn’t surprised at all when I shared what God was doing.

How have the demands of ministry changed since you first became a pastor?

For me, and this might not be true of everyone, but the demands were coming from lots of different places. I had demands from Cross Point, book publishers, and conferences.

Of course, these were all my choices. I agreed to all of it. I simply got really good at saying yes and horrible at saying no. I found myself asking, “how do I get out of this?”, which obviously isn’t a healthy place to be for long.

I think one of my bigger mistakes was not developing a larger teaching team. I was preaching 6 times a weekend. It was usually Tuesday before I felt normal and then Sunday was coming again.

How will Cross Point be moving forward? Does this concern you?

It doesn’t. Of course, you always have a little bit of fear, but we’ve said from the beginning Cross Point was not about Pete Wilson. People don’t realize the incredible team of staff and volunteers we had in place. I talked to one of the elders today and they think things are going very well. I haven’t seen anything to indicate they aren’t going to continue to do well.

It’s going to be different. And, that’s okay. Senior leader’s DNA settles into the organization, but I think it’s really going to be good in the long run for Cross Point to experience this change.

Will you still attend the church?

I’m not right now. We just made a decision during the transition that it would be best for them if we didn’t. And, that’s hard, because it’s where our friends and our children’s friends are – and we think it’s the best church for them. But, we just really believe the wise and healthy thing is to step aside so they can move forward and heal in whatever ways they need to.

Some might question the timing. You moved pretty quickly into a new role. Can you give me some insight into that? Did you know about this other opportunity?

No, I had no idea. It’s crazy how this happened. I’ve been friends with Maurilio for many years. He was part of the launch team at Cross Point. After I resigned, he asked me what I was going to do. When I told him I had no idea he invited me to lunch to discuss some ideas. It all fell together in about 3 weeks. And, it was great timing, because I knew during this season I needed to heal. I’ve spent 21 years pouring into the local church and I just needed to be poured into for a season. I didn’t want to simply go into the business world. So, the idea I could work behind the scenes and help pastors fired me up! I look forward to being a cheerleader for pastors.

Some people questioned the timing of going back to work so soon,  but people don’t understand the pressure and weight of a senior pastor versus what I’m doing now. I’m not trying to say the new job is a cake walk, but the differences in weight of responsibilities are huge when you compare them.

What would your advice be to those who are sensing the need for a change?

It’s hard for pastors who sense a season of change. I think we probably put some unnecessary guilt on ourselves – that if we step away from the pastorate for a while we are disappointing God or disappointing the church. And, I wrestled with that fear a lot, but I’ve preached it for years and now I had to live it. God cares a lot more about who I’m becoming than what I’m doing. My identity in Christ isn’t being a pastor. It’s being who He wants me to be. And, if I kept doing this, who I was becoming was less than He wanted me to be. I would encourage pastors to live the same advice they would preach to their people.

Thanks, Pete!

I was so humbled by some of Pete’s responses. I think the honesty in the size church he felt best equipped to lead was huge. I think that’s such a healthy attitude and approach. And, he stung me with his comment about getting “good at saying yes and horrible at saying no”. Wow! I’m in a season I certainly need to hear that.  (In fact, he challenged and encouraged me in several places in my current life during the interview.) 

I also appreciated his response about the timing of this new job. I, too, had wondered about the quickness of the decision. But, I TOTALLY understand his point about the weight of responsibilities. When I consider the amount of decisions I have to make in a day, the number of people looking to me for answers and support – and realize his church was more than twice the size of ours – I totally get it. Wow, I totally get it. The A Group appears to be a great place for Pete to heal, yet also continue to make a Kingdom difference, which is what he feels called to do.

I’m pulling for you, Pete!

If your church needs help in Pete’s new role – with marketing, technology, or consulting, please keep him in mind. I believe his experience can be a Kingdom blessing to many. He’s ready to help. Check him out at



Greetings from Albania!

I had a nice run on the streets of Tirana this morning and Dan and I are ready for our 1st full day here. For those of you who didn't read yesterday's post, read on!

Through some sovereignly orchestrated events, I was invited by Andi and Vilma  Dina who live in Tirana, Albania to come and train some of their leaders.  

Albania (which lies West of Greece & next door to Macedonia) is one of the poorest countries in Europe. It's 60% Muslim and only 1% evangelical Christian. Out of about 3 million people, there are around 25,000 Christians; lots of work to be done.

I left Orange County, California at 8a on Wednesday, October 19th and will spend Thursday evening until Sunday evening with Andi, Vilma and some of their key leaders and fly home early Monday, October 24th.

Andi is in the process of applying to the Acts 29 network and has a heart to plant churches not only in Albania but in other nearby Balkan countries such as Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia & Bosnia Herzegovina. Andi and his team have a big vision and big hearts.

This is an incredible opportunity which may lead to coaching Andi on a regular basis as well as doing some ongoing training with him and his team over Skype.

Following is a bit of Andi’s story and vision:

“I am originally from Tirana, Albania. I'm 36 years old, married to Vilma and have four sons: Samuel 10, Amos 6, Joshua 4 and Jon Eliajah is 1 year old.

“I came to Christ 14 years ago when I was in college. I come from a Muslim family background and receiving Christ as Lord and Savior was a miracle for me!

“During these 14 years the Lord has transformed my broken life to a life with a purpose. I was spending my life in vain. I was about to immigrate to Germany and join a drug distribution network. One night I was so empty and restless and I whispered these words: Lord I don't believe in you, but if you really exist please show yourself to me, turn my life upright, perform a miracle in my life.

“I had two friends at the college and one of them gave me a New Testament. I took it and threw it in my room. But later I went and found it again and read my first Bible verse. It was not John 3:16 that could give me the gospel in one verse, but it was Romans 14:17 that says:  "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

“This verse jumped into my heart. I was eating and drinking but didn't have any peace or joy. God did a miracle at the college I was about to quit. He made a way for me so I could continue the studies and, in this way, He protected me from joining the drug network. God showed his power to me and precisely answered my prayer. I started to cry and cry and I couldn't stop.

“I was kneeled down, thanking and worshipping Him and didn't want to get up. Then I made my second prayer ‘Lord I believe you are God and you answer prayers but please show me where can I serve you. I don't want to go away from you anymore. Lord, I'm Muslim, please show me where to go, please show me the right place to follow you.’

“For 13 years I've been serving His church, leading different cell groups and two church planting teams. I've been involved in children and youth ministry for the last four years, traveling in all the Balkans countries to train, encourage and motivate children and youth workers, pastors and ministers. It has been a great journey, full of challenges but always full of God's grace and faithfulness.

“We want to invest our lives to see the kingdom of God advance through the preaching of the gospel and planting new churches.

“We also want to be a blessing for all the wounded and fallen young Christian leaders. We want to help them recover, to be spiritually healed, to empower them and to equip and release them in the fullness of Christ in God's kingdom. (Isaiah 40:30,31)

“We want to invest our life and ministry in strengthening and helping the unity of the body of Christ in Albania by providing sound leadership and mentorship trainings. Also, by providing good resources in outreach and discipleship for all the churches and ministries in Albania.

“We want to help the vulnerable communities and those who are living in extreme poverty. We want to feed them by providing daily meals and also by providing the true bread that comes from heaven, the Word of God.”

David: I thought you would be encouraged to read Andi’s story. Praise the Lord Jesus for saving Andi and for calling him into an exciting life of sharing the gospel and planting churches.

Pray for me as I’m in Albania with Andi, Vilma, their four boys and their team:

1.  That the Lord would give me health, strength and energy. (It took 24 hours to get here!)

2.  That I would have great wisdom to know what to focus on in the training that they have asked me to provide

3.  That Dan McIntosh (a 29 year old leader from my church who is with me)  and I will work well together

4.  That the Lord of the harvest will deepen and strengthen Andi and his team for the mission ahead

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!