Navigation
Subscribe

Entries by Dave Kraft (1093)

Saturday
Nov252017

King David's other sin!

The First Sin:

 King David committed adultery and then murder...

 “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’”  

 ~2 Samuel 12:13a (ESV)

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.”

~Psalm 51:1-4a (ESV)

Psalm 51 has been of huge encouragement to countless people regarding sin in their lives.

This first sin (committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband Uriah murdered) is well-known and has been preached on and taught for several thousand years. In most evangelical circles committing adultery and/or murder would have serious consequences and would, in most cases, disqualify someone for leadership for a long time, if not forever.

Most everyone has heard this story and most everyone would agree that the sin was grievous in God’s sight. We know that it carried a huge price tag for David in his personal and family life.

The average Bible-preaching, Jesus-honoring, gospel-centered church today would come down heavy on the sin of adultery. Sexual sin among leaders usually results in swift action.

But there is another sin David committed that is hardly ever mentioned. It is more prominent and widespread than adultery, but is, for the most part, overlooked, with scant attention paid to it.

 The Other Sin:

King David took a census numbering the people of Israel...

“But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, ‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.’” (Emphasis mine.)

 ~2 Samuel 24:10 (ESV)

The story is problematic in that it appears that the Lord suggested David count the people. (2 Samuel 24:1) Perhaps the sin lies in David’s heart and motivation in the counting. At any rate, 70,000 people lost their lives as a result of David’s second sin, whereas two people (husband Uriah and the baby) lost their lives as a result of David’s first sin. So by sheer body count, the other sin was more costly. 

We pay a lot of attention to the sin of adultery today, but what attention do we give to “counting.” What is the sin in this?

It was Albert Einstein who said, “A lot of what can be counted doesn’t count, and a lot of what counts can’t be counted.”

 Allow me to add to that by saying that what really doesn’t count is easy to count and what really counts is hard to count.

 I’m not 100% sure of what David had going on in his heart and values, but find it interesting that he says, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done.” Not just sinned, but “sinned greatly.” He also goes on to say, “I have done very foolishly.

Not just foolishly but “very foolishly.” So, he discerns in his heart that he has “sinned greatly” and done “very foolishly.” As to why he actually did what he did is open to speculation, but one thing is clear and that is that he was convicted that he had sinned greatly and acted foolishly.

So let’s talk about numbering/counting, as it goes on incessantly today in Christian circles. Now, let me be clear in saying that numbering or counting is not wrong in and of itself, but what we count and why we count is where the sin may lie.

I love 1 Corinthians 4:7 in The Message; “Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing?”

Having an unhealthy and unbiblical interest in knowing how much/many of anything I have as a leader and looking to that for significance can be sinful:

 1. Number of people in my ministry

 2. Number of dollars in the bank

 3. Number of hits on the website

 4. Number of followers on Twitter

 5. Number of friends on Facebook

 6. Number of attendees at conferences

 7. Number of subscribers to my blog site

 8. Number of books sold

Any of these things can become idols and replace love for/of Jesus in my heart and affections, which can lead to being driven (rather than led) to want more and more in every category mentioned above.

John D. Rockefeller was asked how much money it takes to make a man happy? His response: “Just a little bit more.” How much more do we need of the above eight mentioned items (and perhaps you can think of others) to keep us satisfied? Just a little bit more?

So fellow leader, hopefully you have not, or are not, falling into David’s first sin; and, even if you have, there is total forgiveness and restoration available to you. (Psalm51).

But where are you on “The Other Sin?” Are you attempting to get your sense of value, worth and identity by counting—and, thereby, competing and comparing with your fellow leaders?  

 

  • Is it time for you to rethink your definition of success, from God’s vantage point?
  • In your heart have you rewritten, “Well done good and faithful servant”  to read, well done good and successful, famous, better, most popular, fruitful servant?
  • Is the grace of God and the sovereignty of God your source of stability and security or have you been looking elsewhere? 

 

 

 

 

Friday
Nov242017

Being a leader worth following

Leading is not always easy nor is following. However, there are some things a leader can and should do that make following him/her easier. Ron Edmondson shares seven of them.

Originally posted by Ron Edmondson

Are you easy to follow as a leader?

I might ask — are you followable?

Followable may not be a Scrabble approved word — or even a word — but the application and the intent of the word is huge.

A followable leader has people who want to follow. See how elementary I can be?

Seriously, leaders who are easy to follow inspire people to join them on a journey and they develop loyalty from their team.

A couple of good questions to ask yourself: Do people want to follow my lead? Why would they want to follow me?

The best example I know of a followable leader is Jesus. Consider some of the reasons He was able to develop such loyalty among the people He led — why He was easy to follow.

Here are 7 qualities of an easy to follow leader:

1. Have a vision worth following - A leader needs a vision which lasts beyond today. There needs to be an element of faith and risk to motivate followers. The vision needs to take people somewhere they want to go, but aren’t sure how to get there. It needs to be a “bigger” reality than people are experiencing today. (Do I have to make that point for Jesus?)

2. Willing to lead the way – A leader who is easy to follow is willing to go first. They pave the way. (Jesus went first. He suffered first. He challenged the tired, worn out system first. Others could follow, because He led by example.)

3. Remain steadfast – Even through difficult days, a followable leader stays the course. Followers know they can depend on the, resolve, strength and fortitude of the leader during the darkest hours. (Jesus went all the way to the Cross!)

4. Display patience – A followable leader extends grace and forgiveness when mistakes are made. They pace the team until the team is ready for greater challenges. They equip the team with the proper training and resources to complete assignments. (Jesus gave His disciples — and everyone He met — much grace.)

5. Challenge followers with high expectations – People want to follow someone who sets the bar for achievement high. There’s no intrinsic value in following easy-to-attain goals. (Jesus pushed the disciples beyond what they thought they could do. Recall Peter walking on water?)

6. Practice humble servanthood – To be followable, a leader should display humility and be a servant of others — especially those he or she is supposed to be leading. (Jesus washed the disciples feet.)

7. Place energy into others – Followable leaders consistently invest in other people. They give real authority and responsibility as they encourage and develop other leaders. They even replace themselves in key positions. (Jesus sent the disciples out — and He’s left His church in our hands.)

Would you follow a leader with such qualities?

Thursday
Nov232017

DEVELOPING AN "ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE."

Developing an Attitude of Gratitude

 A verse we are all probably familiar with is 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ESV 

You have heard, as I have, sermons that stress that the verse says in all

circumstances--not for all circumstances.

We can be thankful in the midst of difficulties, problems, discouragements and setbacks even though we are not thankful for these situations.

Stinkin’ thinkin’ is what takes place when we see life through a negative (instead of a positive) set of lenses. We see sand traps next to every green instead of greens next to every sand trap and most always see the glass as half empty rather than half full. It’s mostly about perspective--God’s perspective on things.

I heard that John Maxwell says: “Attitude more than aptitude will determine your altitude.” I truly believe that with all my heart. Attitude more than aptitude will determine what kind of life you experience.

So, as a Christian, while you celebrate Thanksgiving this week, here are five things you can be thankful for:

  •  The salvation that has been given to you. -Ephesians 2:8,9
  • The plans that are developed for you. -Jeremiah 29:11
  • The promises that are true about you. -Joshua 23:14; 2 Corinthians 1:20
  • The transformation taking place within you. -2 Corinthians 5:17
  • The future guaranteed and waiting for you. -John 14:1-4

As you reflect on his goodness and grace to you, may he, through the power of the Holy Spirit enable you to indeed have an attitude of gratitude!

 Blessed Thanksgiving wishes to you and your family!

Saturday
Nov182017

One of the most important and mishandled aspects of effective leadership

At the top of my list of critical leadership skills would be effective communication. Not from the pulpit or in a teaching situation per se (although that’s important also); but I’m thinking of communication in written form to a person or a group of people, as you seek to inform,  get feedback, persuade or cast vision.

I have seen more trouble and unnecessary misunderstanding over the issue of communication than any other single issue I can think of.

  I have experienced my share of:

  • No communication
  • Inaccurate communication
  • Late communication
  • Inadequate communication
  • Insensitive communication
  • Untimely communication
  • Sloppy and unprofessional communication
  • Boring communication

I’ve heard things like:

  • Why didn’t we know about this?
  • Why am I always the last one to find out about these things?
  • Why do we always seem to get things out at the last minute?
  • How could we possibly have forgotten to include ______ on this?
  • We should have communicated this a month ago
  • We forgot to mention______ now we have to redo it and resend it

I have seen lots of money invested in some print material that had incorrect information and had to be redone because it was not proofread by a detail-oriented person, or people were in too big a hurry to get it out and didn’t pay enough attention to the details.

With the proliferation of communication avenues (Facebook, Twitter, Slack, websites, emails, text messages, voicemail) and the amount of words flying back and forth, it’s so easy to loose important information that is buried in the amount of content being generated and the speed at which it’s going out, coupled with the expectation of quick responses. “I sent you an email 5 minutes ago, why haven’t you responded?”

Would it be a possible for a group or church to use a single mode of communication as much as possible so everyone knew where to find it, as opposed to looking in five or six different places? At our church we are trying to get all our ministry teams, leaders, staff and pastors to use Slack.

Here are a few practical ideas to help all of us do better at communicating:

1.  Have someone in your group, church or organization assume responsibility for overseeing all communication, both internally and externally.

2.  With any decision being made and communicated, carefully ascertain who needs to be on the receiving end and create (and keep updated) a distribution list so no one is overlooked or forgotten.

3.  Before sending anything out, double check the details to make sure everything is correct: dates, time and specific details which are included. Is the date and time accurate? Did you say am when you meant pm?

4.  Don’t say next Tuesday, but say Tuesday the 5th of December.  Be as precise as you possibly can. Next Tuesday could mean this coming Tuesday or the following one depending on how you understand it.

5.  If you are very relational but not quite as good with the details, have a detail-minded person look it over before it goes out. If you are very detailed but not as relational, have a relational person look it over before it goes out.

 “Your ability to communicate effectively with people will contribute more to your success than any other skill that you can develop. I’ve studied success and achievement in America for more than 30 years. I’ve spoken to more than a million people, individually and in groups, and I’ve taken extensive courses on speaking and the art of persuasion. I’ve read countless books and articles on how to influence, negotiate with and persuade people.

“I’ve learned that fully 85% of what you accomplish in your career and in your personal life will be determined by how well you get your message across and by how capable you are in inspiring people to take action on your ideas.”

Brian Tracy, author, speaker and seminar leader

I trust this is helpful

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Nov152017

Four types of leaders. Which are you?

I have learned over the leaders come in all different kinds of personality types and styles of leading. Erick Geiger shares four different types and how they can respect rather than resent each other. Understanding the differences and contribution each makes can exponentially increase team effectiveness.

Originally posted by 

Eric Geiger

With our leadership team, we use the Insights Discovery tool to help each other understand our unique personalities. The tool is validated and has proven helpful to our team in serving and communicating with one another. Our Auxano consulting team often uses the tool when consulting with churches.

Though there are variations of each color (based on your secondary color), the tool helps team members know their towering personality when it comes to serving on a team. The tool focuses on the strengths of each personality type, while also giving insight into the potential downsides of each.

 A “red” is strong-willed and purposeful, a “yellow” is enthusiastic and persuasive. A “blue” is precise and deliberate, and a “green” is encouraging and sharing.

It would be a mistake to think that only a “red” can lead a team. Based on the people on my team (our colors are really diverse), I have learned to appreciate more the leadership effectiveness of people wired differently than me. Not all leaders are wired the same way. Based on my observations, here are the leadership personalities of each color.

Red: Directional leadership

 Some are wired, and feel most comfortable, providing directional leadership. Clarity is the gift a directional leader gives to an organization. A directional leader is driven by purpose, values bright and helpful ideas, and is determined to push things forward. Without directional leaders on a team, purpose and direction will wane over time.

Yellow: Inspirational leadership

Some are built to inspire others. While a directional leader leads with the strength of the idea or the mission, an inspirational leader leads with relationships. An inspirational leader excels at investing in people and inspiring people for action. Without inspirational leaders on a team, mission can feel mechanical and purpose can feel cold.

Blue: Operational leadership

Some are built to build processes and systems that enable the organization to succeed. An operational leader has the ability to create culture and serve people by wisely implementing structures and systems that help. Without operational leaders on a team, mission will not gain traction, as there will not be systems beneath the surface.

Green: Collaborative leadership

Some are built to build consensus, collaboration, and encourage team members in the midst of exciting or challenging times. A collaborative leader excels at lateral leadership, bringing others together who are not in his or her “reporting line.” A collaborative leader makes everyone better and has the trust of the team. Without collaborative leaders on a team, silos can develop and team unity can suffer.