Entries by Dave Kraft (1002)


Seven steps to developing leaders in your church

Every church and organization needs to have a leadership  development plan and  pathway.

Most churches don’t have any.

The current leaders are mostly praying that some good leaders will show up.

Brian Howard shares seven great and practical steps to developing leaders in your church.

Originally posted by Brian Howard

 7 Steps to Developing Leaders in your Church

I encounter few pastors who have any real plan for intentional leadership development.

Most, instead, rely on imported ready-made “leaders.” We say that we value developing leaders, but often times we just are not sure where to begin. Earlier this week I wrote on the biblical precedent for leadership development. What follows in this post is a clear, customizable plan for developing leaders in your church. I know that this plan works because I have implemented it 7 times over a period of 12 years with both men and women. Those who I have taken through this plan have gone on to become ministry leaders, local church elders, missional community leaders, cross cultural missionaries, pastors, and church planters. This plan will require you to put in some work in order to apply it to your context, but will help you create a leadership pipeline for your church and beyond.

Read on for 7 steps to developing leaders in your church.

1.  Define what a Leader looks like.

Imagine building a house with no idea of what the finished product will look like. This would be unwise if not impossible. This same principle applies to developing leaders. Leadership development begins with a clear and written definition of what a leader actually looks like. Take a few hours, use your mind, and write down what a leader will look like when developed. What should a developed leader know, have experienced, and be shaped in? In answering these questions, consider the following three areas:

  • Content (Head) What kinds of things does a leader need to know? These kinds of things will be likely addressed through reading, teaching, etc.
  • Character (Heart) What kinds of heart issues need to be addressed? No amount of knowledge can shape issues of the heart. You can have a lot of theological knowledge and still be greedy, be a gossip, have hidden sin etc.
  • Competence (Hands) What kinds of things does a leader need to learn to do? For example, I see a developed church leader knowing how to teach, knowing how to have a gospel conversation in a variety of circumstances, etc.

At the end of this step you should have a page or two written out that describes key issues that a leader should be developed in and what kinds of content, character, and competence issues have been addressed.

2. Begin to Create a Process.

Now that you have identified what a developed leader looks like, what kinds of things will you do to develop leaders in these areas? What will you read? What will you do? How will heart issues be addressed? How will you address these things?

3. Identify 6-10 people who you will take through your process.

You’ve defined what a developed leader looks like, and have some ideas on the kinds of things that you will do in order to develop a person. The next step is to select a small group of people who you will invest in. 6-8 is the sweet spot and 10 is max. (I know that Jesus invested in 12 but you aren’t Jesus:) I recommend hand selecting these future leaders the first time that you do this. They don’t have to be perfectly mature or have seminary degrees. They just need to be people who you are wanting to develop as future leaders. Take some time and put together a group that you plan to spend a year investing in.

4. Invite each Person you have Selected into the Process.

Invite each person that you have selected into a year-long process. I normally do this by sending a letter but you could do it face to face as well. However you do this, let each person know that you are wanting to invest in a small group of future leaders and that you have hand selected them to be a part of this group. I also recommend inviting them to an introductory meeting where you will lay out the process and commitment.

5. Meet Monthly with the Group you have Selected.

You now have 6-10 people who you have decided to invest in. I recommend (in most contexts) meeting monthly with this group for 12-15 months. In my experience a three-hour meeting on Sunday afternoons or Monday evenings works well. A weekly commitment is hard for many people but almost anyone can commit to a monthly gathering. Why three hours? There is no sense meeting for only an hour when you are only meeting once per month. Three hours will allow you to really spend time together and grow together. I also recommend meeting in a home rather than in a church building. You can mix in a meal, change houses monthly, etc.

6.  Tips as you move through your Leadership Development Process.

  • At your first meeting, devote 3/4 of your time to each person sharing their story and 1/4 of your time casting vision for the year and communicating expectation.
  • Plan, Schedule, and communicate all of your meeting dates at the first meeting so that every person in the group can calendar in advance.
  • Call for a high commitment. I don’t allow a person to miss more than twice in a 12 month period or 3 times in a 15 month period.
  • Give each person a chance to opt out after the first meeting if they do want to commit to your process. If a person shows up for month 2 it indicates that he has committed to the process.
  • Devote each month to one particular area that you have identified in steps 1 and 2.
  • Require reading and preparation for the monthly meeting.
  • Don’t require too much reading. Believe it or not, Some people haven’t read anything since college. You could easily overwhelm a person with a lot of Seminary level reading.
  • Provide audio books for those who commute. has an extensive selection.
  • Require each person to make up any monthly meeting that is missed by meeting with you or another person in the group one on one.
  • Some of my favorite books for content foundation include Grudem’s Biblical Doctrine and Graeme Goldworthy’s According to Plan.
  • Consider having each man Write a Life Plan between months 1 and 2. I suggest having each partner up with another person in the group meeting monthly with each other.

7. Finish the year with a Retreat.

Consider finishing your year with a 2-3 days retreat. Communicate this at the beginning of the process so that each person is able to plan. (I took our groups on whitewater rafting trips.) There is something about being afraid that you will drown that brings people together!



To stay sane, a leader needs a good sense of humor!

I usually share things of a serious nature in most of these posts. Today I want to do something different; color outside the lines,  get outside of the box, allow you to have a good dose of humor on this Lord’s day.

My wife, Susan, received this from her friend, Pat Weaver, who lives in McCall Idaho.

Enjoy and laugh as unto the Lord!

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question,' half empty or half full?'... But, she fooled them all .... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden--holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.

Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. Pick them up tomorrow.

 1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5 * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can't push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.


20 *Save the earth..... It's the only planet with chocolate!*


Seven ways to add value to your team!

The point of being on a team is to add value to that team that it might otherwise not have. Every team member you add should increase the ability of the team to achieve goals the team has. Here Ron Edmondson shares seven ways to make yourself  invaluable to your team.

Originally posted by Ron Edmondson

One of my first managers frequently reminded us no one is irreplaceable. He would use the illustration of placing your hands in a bucket and then pulling them out. The level of the water doesn’t change much when one or two hands is removed. While I agree with him on some levels – even though I’m not quite sure it’s a healthy demonstration for building team morale – I think there are ways a person can make themselves more valuable to a team. Perhaps, even invaluable.

Here are 7 ways to make yourself invaluable to a team:

1.  Be a chief encourager. Be one who helps people feel better about themselves and their contribution to the team. Be a cheerleader – positive-minded – willing to do whatever it takes to build upon what exists.

2.  Support the vision and direction. Be honest about it, but be a verbal proponent of the overall objectives of the team and where things are going. Be a known team player. Have more good to say about the place than you have bad. Everything might not be wonderful – in fact many things may need changing – but, if you can’t love the people with whom you work you’ll have a hard time being seen as valuable by others.

3.  Respect others. In the way you treat and respond to everyone on the team – be respectful. Recognize everyone is not like you. People like different things. People respond differently than you would respond. Other people’s opinions and viewpoints matter.

4.  Give more than required. This doesn’t mean you have to work more hours. It might. But it might mean you work smarter than everyone else. Plan your day better. Be better at setting goals and objectives. Hold yourself accountable.

5.  Be an information hub. Be well read and share what you learn. Information is king. Be the king of it. Without being obnoxious – of course.

6.  Celebrate other people’s success. Send notes or encouragement. Brag on someone else. Tell others what you admire about them. Without being creepy – of course.

7.  Be a good listener. Everyone loves the person they can go to and know they won’t just be heard they will be listened to. A good person to bounce ideas off of his invaluable to the team. Then keep every confidence.


Hidden Figures...what a movie...what a lesson on leadership!

My wife Susan and I try to go to a movie each week. It can take some time looking at all the options and deciding on one that we would both enjoy.

This past week we saw “Hidden Figures,” a movie about three brave and extremely gifted African American ladies who fought tradition and racism and made some incredible contributions to the United States Space Program. We were both inspired in numerous ways. I highly recommend it for the whole family, especially if you have young daughters who could use some inspiration.

In the past, I’ve said that if I’ve read a book or seen a movie and come away with one great idea it was worth every penny.

During the movie “Hidden Figures” one of the men was saying to another that there was a danger at hand which might make things go a bit slower, to which the other responded,

“I’ll tell you what’s dangerous, inaction and indecision.”

I turned my cell phone to one side so as not to bother Susan and typed that statement into Evernote for future reference.

As I’ve been thinking about this statement, here are a few observations related to leadership:

1.  Inaction and indecision at the top will eventually negatively affect the entire group, church or organization.

2.  One of the marks of a good leader is the ability and the courage to make the tough decisions when they need to be made.

3.  Fear of people’s opinions and fear of failure often hinder leaders from making the tough decisions. (Proverb 29:25)

4.  No matter what decision you make, or don’t make, someone will probably not like it and be reluctant to support it--at least at first. Can you live with being unpopular for a time--maybe a long time?

5.  A leader is a person who makes decisions, some of which are right. No leader (except Jesus) ever makes the perfect decision every time. But we learn from poor decisions and hopefully make better ones in the future.

6.  Refusing to make a decision which is difficult is, in itself, a decision.

7.  You may never have all the information you’d like to have in order to make a difficult decision, but do you have enough?

As a leader may you, by his grace, be bold and courageous in making the tough decisions and not slip into inactivity and indecision!



4 Leadership behaviors that make the difference between strong and weak leadership!

I have heard it quite a few times, that leaders behave differently than other people. What sort of behaviors do we need to acquire and cultivate to be excellent leaders?  Dan Rockwell shares some light on this.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

Mckinsey research* suggests 4 leadership behaviors make the difference between strong and weak leadership.

Top 20 Leadership Behaviors:

  1. Be supportive.
  2. Champion desired change.
  3. Clarify objectives, rewards, and consequences.
  4. Communicate prolifically and enthusiastically.
  5. Develop others.
  6. Develop and share a collective mission.
  7. Differentiate among followers.
  8. Facilitate group collaboration.
  9. Foster mutual respect.
  10. Give praise.
  11. Keep groups organized and on task.
  12. Make quality decisions.
  13. Motivate and bring out the best in others.
  14. Offer a critical perspective.
  15. Operate with a strong results orientation.
  16. Recover positively from failure.
  17. Remain composed and confident in uncertainty.
  18. Role model organizational values.
  19. Seek different perspectives.
  20. Solve problems effectively.

Successful leaders engage in all 20 leadership behaviors, but four make the biggest difference in effectiveness. 

4 Behaviors Account for 89% of Leadership Effectiveness:

#1. Be supportive.

  1. Show authentic interest.
  2. Build trust.
  3. Help team members overcome challenges.

#2. Seek different perspectives.

  1. Monitor trends and patterns.
  2. Invite ideas that could improve performance.
  3. Differentiate between important and unimportant issues.

#3. Operate with strong results orientation.

  1. Follow through.
  2. Emphasize efficiency.
  3. Prioritize work that matters most.

#4. Solve problems effectively.

  1. Gather and analyze information.
  2. Make decisions.
  3. Handle disputes.

You can’t neglect any of the 20 leadership behaviors listed above. However, McKinsey’s research suggests that you would serve your organizations well if you get really good at the four that account for 89% of leadership effectiveness.

Which of the top four do you find most challenging? Why?

How might leaders demonstrate competence in the four behaviors listed above?