“Only 30 percent of [Christian] leaders finish well. That is deeply disturbing.” This is the launching pad for Dave Kraft’s excellent book Leaders Who Last. Before you pass over this book (that deserves a 5 out of 5 stars) as a “book for pastors”, understand that the author is addressing these kinds of church leaders: senior pastors, ministry staff members, volunteer leaders, Sunday school teachers, small-group leaders, and leaders in local parachurch organizations. If you are a serious enough to even consider reading this book, odds are that you are at least interested in being a volunteer leader in your church, so this book is for you.
Kraft defines a leader in this way: “A Christian leader is a humble, God-dependent, team-playing servant of God who is called by God to shepherd, develop, equip, and empower a specific group of believers to accomplish an agreed-upon vision from God” (p 25).
He defines finishing well as including but not limited to: “Maintaining a vibrant and rich walk with Jesus. Having a solid relational network that includes at least one good friend with whom you can bare your soul. Making a lasting and God-honoring contribution in your areas of passion and gifting” (p 19).
The book unfolds in three sections that no leader can choose to ignore: Foundations, Formation, and Fruitfulness. Each section makes probing statements and challenges a person to not just mentally know the information but to live it out. For those entering into a leadership role for the first time or for those who have been leading for years, this is a must read.