Entries by Dave Kraft (919)


Encouragement for younger leaders!

I have given the rest of my leadership life to helping equip and empower the next generation of leaders in local churches. Here is Ron Edmondson with eight words of encouragement for young leaders!

Originally posted by Ron Edmondson

I love investing in the next generation of leaders. They are our future. I think we have an obligation to share our experiences and help them learn from our mistakes. This is a huge purpose of this blog.

Most of the ones I invest in these days are younger pastors – or those who want to be some day. I love it. It’s honestly what fuels me most.

With this in mind, I occasionally like to share some principles and practices of leadership I’ve learned along the way. I’ve written more to pastors and ministry leaders in other posts – and more about keeping your relationship with Christ first and foremost – these are more general thoughts.

Here are 8 words of encouragement for young leaders:

1.  Become an early risk taker.

It’s seems more difficult the older we get to take bold moves. I hope I keep doing so. I look at Moses and Abraham as examples, but I know the meaning of “comfort zone” now more than ever. Develop into your personal DNA early you will always be willing to walk by faith.

2.  Learn to enjoy and be content in today.

Don’t concentrate so much on the next level of achievement you miss the lessons of today or never experience joy in the journey. God is doing something now – today – even as you wait for the next great thing. Looking in reverse – today will probably seem more valuable in your development than you can imagine now. And, every season of life is like this.

3.  Manage your time wisely.

It passes quickly and you don’t want to regret too many missed opportunities – or too many avoidable mistakes. Grace is amazing, but there are moments in life you only have access to once. Then there are those really dumb things we do we wish we hadn’t. If your long-term goals and objectives for life scream this will be a decision you will regret – don’t do it!

4.  Be inventive.

We need innovation in leadership. Take us places you see in your dreams, where God is calling you, but we can’t seem to find our way there. It will be hard, there will be resistance, but there’s a value in youth and leadership. We need you and your unique contribution.

5.  Find the right people to influence you.

Don’t allow the negative words in your life to crowd out the positives. Concentrate more on what God is calling you to do than the naysayer’s personal agendas. You’ll struggle with this all your life, so the sooner you discipline yourself the better. Just like Elijah, you probably have more supporters than you think you have. Complainers simply have larger vocal chords. Hang around positive-minded people – people you trust and who trust you – then let them speak into the deepest and darkest places of your life to help you continually mature as a person and leader.

6.  Live in stored up praise.

You’ll seldom know the good you are doing. Keep going even when the cheering crowds are silent. Find your affirmation in God and His truth spoken to you. Know who believes in you! Know your self-worth is not found in your performance, but in your unique design by your Creator. You have value to this world!

For the continuation of this article go to Ron Edmondson




A story you will never forget!

I read of a math teacher who one day had her students list the names of all the other students in their class and then add a line about the nicest thing they could think about each one. Later, she compiled everything and handed the list to each student so they could see what everyone had said about them.

When class resumed the next day, everyone was as happy as a clam and treasured what they had received. The rest of the school year they said nothing about the lists.

Years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his body was brought back to the United States. The teacher attended the funeral. A soldier who was serving as a pallbearer asked, “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” she said yes. The soldier responded, “Mark had talked a lot about you.”

At the luncheon that followed the funeral, Mark’s mother and father come over to speak with the math teacher. The father said he wanted to show the teacher something. He pulled out a piece of paper. Yes, it was the list of what his fellow students had written about him that day a long time ago. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.”

The mother chimed in with, “Thank you so much for doing that. As you can see, Mark treasured it a lot.” As the teacher spoke with the parents, several other students in Mark’s class remarked that they had also saved the list of comments.

One mentioned that the list was in the top drawer of her desk at home. Others kept their list in a wedding album, in a diary, or in their purse. One spoke up saying, “I think we all saved our lists.”

Oh, the power of affirmation.

There is great book on affirmation under “Book Notes” on my blog called, “The Practice of Affirmation.” It is the only book that I know of totally devoted to this subject and it is extremely gospel centered and practical.

I have never in my life met someone who felt they were encouraged too much. Most leaders I know are super busy and slammed most of the time. The thought seldom crosses their minds to express thanks, encouragement and praise toward people in their employ, or on their team. People are starved to know that what they do matters and is important to their bosses and the team.

Investment banker Charles Schwab commented, “I have yet to find a man, however exalted in his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism. “

A pat on the back goes a lot further than a kick in the pants. Unfortunately, unhealthy leaders use fear and criticism as a motivational tool, oblivious to the damage it causes to morale and the well being of those on the receiving end. Fear and general negativity can become a part of an organization’s culture; better to create cultures of joy, safety, and affirmation.

Who needs some encourgement from you TODAY! Don't wait any longer.


Some things successful leaders ignore!

Leaders are successful not only because of certain things they do, but also because of things they intentionally decide not to do or to ignore. Here Dan Rockwell shares seven of them.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

7 Things Successful Leaders Ignore

Your leadership is doomed if you pay attention to everything. Urgency and priority may be separate issues.

Ignore things or waste your leadership on things that don’t matter.

7 things successful leaders ignore:

#1. Ignore occasional failure in others. Let people fail and learn on their own. Pay attention to patterns not isolated incidents.

#2. Ignore insults. People won’t always understand your passion or vision. They may sin against your sincerity, let it go.

#3. Ignore people who say, “I told you so.” They’re jerks.

#4. Ignore guilt from isolated failure. Take responsibility, learn and move forward. Don’t waste energy beating yourself up. The worst failure is allowing failure to hold you back.

#5. Ignore counsel from advisors that don’t ask questions. They’re uninformed, misinformed, or close minded. (A word of caution. Sometimes wise counsel sounds stupid. When people with a proven track record sound stupid, listen again. Ask questions.)

#6. Ignore those who always see the bad and never see good. They’ll drain you.

#7. Ignore feedback that comes from people who don’t understand your role, mission, vision, or values.

Bonus: Ignore people who don’t challenge you. Too much compassion destroys potential.


Ignoring things may be dangerous. Jim Evans commented, “Another way to lose control is to ignore something when you should address it.”

Turn toward things that matter more in order to maximize your potential.

The decision to ignore:

  1. What do values tell you to ignore? Focus on?
  2. What do stakeholders and top leadership expect?
  3. What do experienced leaders advise?
  4. What patterns do you observe?
  5. How are you making choices based on what you want rather than what you don’t want?
  6. What will make you proud six months from now?
  7. How are you moving toward agreed upon goals?

What should leaders ignore?

How do you decide when to ignore something?




Four ways to determine if your team is truly healthy!

  • Moses had a team to lead the people of Israel toward the promise land
  • Joshua had a team to lead them into the promise land
  • Nehemiah had a team to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem
  • David had a team of mighty men to fight the Lord’s battles
  • Paul had a team of young men who traveled with him on his missionary journeys (Acts 20:4)
  • Jesus had a team which took the gospel to the ends of the earth, fulfilling Matthew 28:18-20

Teamwork makes the dream work, as John Maxwell is fond of saying.

The days of the Lone Ranger riding into town and doing everything single-handedly is no longer valid. From kindergarten forward we are taught to do things in teams and achieve better results through teams.

1st Corinthians chapter 12, the great passage on spiritual gifts, is a treatise on teamwork, with each person complementing the others for the glory of God and the accomplishment of His purposes.

It is certainly true that T.E.A.M. stands for Together Each Accomplishes More…much more!

Here are four things that healthy team members do:

1.  Healthy team members receive critical input from each other without being overly sensitive or defensive.

2.  Healthy team members celebrate rather than resent their individual differences in personality or way of operating.

3.  Healthy team members encourage rather than discourage new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.

 4.  Healthy team members hold each other accountable for agreed-upon results.

How healthy is the team you lead or are on? Ask your team members to rate the team on the four qualities listed above!




Ways incompetent leaders dis-empower good people!

As leaders, we should be empowering our people, not dis-empowering them. Be that as it may, here is Dan Rockwell with five ways poor leaders actually dis-empower people on their teams and under their care.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

Don’t expect bold performance from dis-empowered people. 

You drain, discourage, and demotivate, if your goal is conformity.

An egotistical need for control – in those with positional authority – dis-empowers others. In reality, incompetent leaders are afraid of empowered people.

5 negative results of dis-empowerment:

  1. Frustration. Anger permeates life when people feel powerless.
  2. Blame. Powerless people use “they” more than “I”.
  3. Paranoia. People believe you’re out to get them when you make them feel powerless.
  4. Anxiety. Incompetent leaders use anxiety as motivation.
  5. Helpless. Incompetent leaders make people feel they have no voice.

5 ways incompetent leaders dis-empower good people:

  1. Exclude, don’t include. Keep decision-making processes narrow and small. Elitism makes you feel powerful and others feel like outsiders.
  2. Make people feel they don’t matter. Minimize or ignore experience, expertise, and talent on the team. After all, you know and understand more than anyone else.
  3. Keep blabbing.
  4. Isolate yourself.
    • Stay at arm’s length.
    • Don’t physically touch people.
    • Act busy. We all know busy and important are the same thing.
    • Never walk around the office.
    • Avoid front-line people at all costs.
  5. Treat people like ignorant tools. Create policies without collaborating with them.

Powerful isn’t egotistically making everyone conform to your wishes.

Real power gives power.

5 ways skillful leaders expand power in teammates:

  1. Set limitations that keep teammates focused on what matters. Feeling powerful is about doing meaningful work.
  2. Create four viable options with others, but delegate final decisions to others. Choice feels like control. Control is power.
  3. Have candid conversations before making decisions.
  4. Seek and give feedback on behaviors and results.
    • How are you doing?
    • How am I doing?
    • How are we doing?
  5. Reject the need to be liked. Embrace thee need to have influence and impact. Leaders who need to be liked cause instability by making exceptions.

Powerful people look for a way forward, not a way out.

How do leaders dis-empower others?

How might leaders make others feel powerful?