To start off, the necessity of this book cannot be overstated. Statistically speaking only 30 percent of leaders finish well (for more on this, see Bobby Clinton’s landmark book The Making of a Leader), and only 1 out of 10 seminary graduates will finish in the ministry (let alone finishing it well, loving the Lord, etc.). So with pressures such as burnout being more and more a statistical probability than a far-off danger, what can we do to cultivate leaders who last?
Dave Kraft gives us a book that is to the point, extremely helpful, and one of the books next to the Bible that a leader should be extremely well acquainted with. Kraft approaches the writing of this book not with academic theories to implement, but practical life lessons to learn from.
One way in which Kraft presents this is through examining how the role and dynamic of a leader has changed over time (for instance, leaders in the past were organizational and characterized by command and control whereas today leaders tend to be more relational and permission-giving). One final (key!) area in which Kraft examines elements of leaders who last is by looking at the “areas” in which leaders ought to live:
With Jesus Christ in the center as their power,
With Jesus Christ as they develop a purpose,
With Jesus Christ as they develop a passion,
With Jesus Christ as they set priorities,
(and) With Jesus Christ as they develop pacing for how much they accomplish and how fast to do it.
This book is a book widely needed, especially within the church, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to read it on the front end of my ministry journey to safeguard against burn out, becoming a (negative) statistic, and further harming the perception of Jesus. This book is a necessity for all church leaders and is a quick, pointed, and necessary read.