05 March 2010

Leadership Fridays: A devastating prologue to "Leaders Who Last"

If the prologue is any indication of the heart of "Leaders Who Last" by Dave Kraft, it promises to be both helpful and stirring.

Here it is.
Bill Broadhurst entered a 10K race in Omaha, Nebraska. When he was younger, he suffered and aneurysm in the right side of his brain. It resulted in a partial paralysis on the left side of his body. Nonetheless, he was determined not only to enter but to finish the race because his hero, Bill Rogers (a world-class marathoner), would be in that race. Rogers won the race, finishing in twenty-nine minutes. It took Broadhurst two and a half hours. He was teased by children, became numb, experienced great pain, had to avoid cars (they opened the race course up to traffic when they thought everyone had finished), and fought the desire to quit most of the way.

As the sun began to sink in the western Nebreska sky, Broadhurst could barely see the finish line. Approaching the end of the race, consuming the last fumes in the tank, Broadhurst saw Rogers suddenly step out of a darkened alley and welcome him, the partially paralyzed runner, as he stumbled across the the line.

Rogers embraced him. Then he took the gold medal from around his neck and placed it over Broadhurst's head, saying "Broadhurst, you're the winner. Take the gold."

Broadhurst finished the race. It was difficult and full of obstacles, but he made it to the end and received the gold medal from Rogers.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul compares the Christian experience to a race. (The same comparison is also found in Hebrews 12:1-2.) The Christian journey is akin to a race - a marathon, not a short sprint. The key is not how you start the race, but how you finish it. Finishing well is what this book is all about.
Additional Resources
Leadership Fridays: Leading yourself (thoughts from "Leaders Who Last" author Dave Kraft)


  1. Leaders who last? Hmmm?

    The front cover of the book says, “Only 30% of leaders last.”

    Doesn’t that mean, 70% of leaders - FAIL.
    Seems like a very dangerous “position” to assume. “Leader.”

    Just wondering how you reconcile the use
    of the word “leader” With what Jesus said in Mt 23:10.

    The word “leader” seems like a “high place.” Yes?
    Jesus always took and recommended the “low place.” Yes?

    Jesus humbled Himself, made himself of no reputation
    and took on the form of a servant.
    Php 2:7

    Jesus in Mat 23:10 told His disciples
    “NOT” to call themselves master/“leaders”
    for you have one master/”leader” the Christ.

    King James Version -
    Neither be ye called masters:
    for one is your Master, even Christ.

    The Interlinear Bible -
    Nor be called leaders,
    for one is your leader the Christ.

    Phillips Modern English -
    you must not let people call you leaders,
    you have only one leader, Christ.

    Today’s English Version -
    nor should you be called leader.
    your one and only leader is the Messiah.

    The Amplified-
    you must not be called masters ( leaders )
    for you have one master ( leader ) the Christ.

    Jesus told “His disciples” not to be called “leaders” and none did.
    Ro 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ…
    Php 1:1 Paul and Timotheus,the servants of Jesus Christ…
    Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, servant of Christ…
    Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God…
    Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God…
    2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant…

    His disciples “all” called themselves “servants.”
    None called themselves “leaders.” None? None.
    None called themselves “servant-leader.” None.

    Why are we trying to train “Leaders for the ekklesia of God?”
    Why aren’t we training “Servants of Christ” like Jesus did?

    Isn’t “Servanthood” inclusive? Everyone can be a “Servant of Christ.”
    Isn’t “Leadership” exclusive? Only available to “A special few.”

    If Jesus instructed “His disciples” NOT to call themselves “leaders,”
    and someone calls them self a “leader,” or thinks they are a “leader;”

    Are they a “disciple of Christ?”

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall hear “my voice;”
    and there shall be “one” fold, and “one” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold - One Shepherd - One Voice.
    If Not Now, When?

    Be blessed and be a blessing.

  2. Great thoughts. This definitely is the biblical attitude. And yet, the bible is clear that some will have to be identified in the role of leader, elder and deacon (Romans 12:8, 1 Peter 5:1-5, Titus 1, 1 Timothy 3)

  3. Mitch

    Appreciate the response and the verses.

    You write...
    “some will have to be identified in the role of leader,”

    How do we “Identify” who the “Leader” is? From the Bible?

    Qualifications, in 1 Tim, and Titus, which you mention, are for elders, bishops, and deacons.
    Does anyone, today, still think these qualifications are important? And believe them?
    I mean, if someone dosen’t qualify, they shouldn’t be an elder, bishop, or deacon, Yes?

    Can’t find where elders, bishops, and deacons are called “Leaders.”
    The “Disciples of Christ” all called themselves “Servants.”

  4. A. Amos,
    It might help if I had some context here. First, how about a real name? Dealing with imaginary figure and discussing hypothetical situations (e.g. "if someone doesn't qualify, they shouldn't be an elder, bishop, or deacon...") is difficult and often non-productive.

    I'm sure you are familiar with a couple of "leader" verses in the NT:
    Acts 15:22
    Hebrews 13:7,17

    Certainly, elders/bishops/overseers (each descriptions of duties in the same office, see A. Strauch's "Biblical Eldership" for more details) 1 Peter 5:1-5; a good summary here: http://marks.9marks.org/Mark9/ ) and deacons are the official offices in the church. But there are other leadership roles referred to in Acts 15 (and others) and Ephesians 4. For the church to function, responsibilities must be delegated. That delegation is useless without some measure of communal recognition.

    This, I believe, is the point of encouraging the exercise of the gift of leadership in Romans 12:8


    A helpful interview from 9 Marks ministries:

  5. Mitch - Yes, I’m familiar with what some call “Leader” verses.

    From your “position” and “Tradition” a “gift of leadership” makes sense.
    When I was in “Leadership” it made sense to me as well.
    I could make a good case of how important “leadership” is to the body.
    Especially the part about “Obeying” and “Submitting” to your “Leaders.” ;-)

    After leaving “The Religious System” in the early 90’s,
    through much pain, tears and “Spiritual Abuse,” :-(
    I started to ask different questions and received different answers.

    Seems, in my experience...
    “Leadership” = exercise authority = lord it over = abuse = always

    Had to go to Jesus directly, no longer having trust in man.
    Jer 17:5, Isa 30:1, Rom 16:18, Col 2:4, Jer 50:6, 1 Pet 2:3,

    “MY” leaders, elders, overseers, told me to be a Berean. Test everything.
    I did. When God started teaching, giving revelation in addition to theirs, John 6:45.
    “My” elders, no longer “watched for my soul.” Heb 13:17. :-(

    Found out...
    It’s the things you learn after you know it all that really counts.

    What is popular is not always truth.
    What is truth is not always popular.

    “My”elders were big on the verses where I was to “Obey” and “Submit.”
    BUT, when I mentioned we were to submit one to another - OUCH! :-(
    And, In lowliness of mind, “esteem” others better then themselves.
    They were not too happy with that part of scripture. OUCH again.
    Much pain, tears, and “Spiritual Abuse.” Seems they wanted to be the boss.

    Eph 5:21 KJV
    Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

    Php 2:3 KJV
    Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;
    but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

    1Pet 5:5 KJV
    Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
    Yea, “all of you be subject one to another,” and be clothed with humility...

    I do see “Leadership” a little greater today.
    Jesus said “You have “ONE” master/leader, the Christ. Mat 23:10.
    Jesus also said, “You can’t serve “two” masters.” Luke 16:13.
    Jesus is the “Head” of the body, the church. Col 1:18.

    If you’re interested, I have looked at the “qualifications of elders,”
    and came away with something in addition to what we are taught.

    Blessings in your search for truth... Jesus

  6. Dear Jesus,
    Would you say that your problem with what I am sharing here would be less about hermeneutics and more about your past experiences?

  7. Mitch

    You write...
    “Would you say that your problem with what I am sharing here would be
    less about hermeneutics and more about your past experiences?”

    I would say, past experience has flavored interpretation of certain Bible verses.
    I no longer call it a problem, but a learning experience. ;-)
    All things do work together for good.

    I now thank God for keeping me through the “Spiritual Abuse.”

    I now have many opportunities to "minister healing" to those who have
    been abused by those who thought they were “leaders."

    Folks who have been *burnt,** burnt out,** kicked out,*
    and *crawled out* of "the religious system" most today call “church.”
    With it's leaders, submission to spiritual authority, tithes and offerings,
    and other unbiblical "heavy weights" put on folks shoulders.

    I also spend a fair amount of time with pastors,
    "so called leaders," who can't do it anymore.
    Trying to run the show and please so many masters.

    Trying to "please" the denominational leaders,
    "please" the congregation, the congregations leaders,
    your own family, and of course Jesus.
    Who is often relegated to last place. Hmmm?

    Serving so many masters, that's tough, Yes?

    Peaching every week... and it better be good, being the CEO,
    the team leader, counciling, marrying, burying, smiley face. etc. etc.

    As this book says on the front cover, “Only 30% of leaders last.” :-(
    And that is after they've worked and cried, trying to make it work.
    Most leave thinking they did something wrong or they weren't good enough.

    Seems to me there is something wrong with this system of "Leaders." Yes?

    We have over 300 Semenaries, Bible schools, Divinity Schools in the USA
    and Canada who say their mission is to train “Leaders.”
    If only 30% last; Doesn’t that mean these Religious Institutions are failing?
    Why do we support these Institutions when their failure rate is so high?
    Why do we believe what they are doing is okay? And should continue?

    And, We have all these Leader Confrences, Seminars, Books, Websites, etc.
    All about helping “Leaders” and still, only 30% last. Hmmm?

    Jesus warned us about “The Traditions of Men” that nullify “The Word of God.”

    IMO - Jesus trained up “Servants of Christ.”
    He taught “His Disciples” NOT to be called “Leaders” and none did.
    They all called themselves “Servants of Christ.”

    Jesus said, “For you have “ONE” "master/leader," the Christ. Mat 23:10.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice;
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold - One Shepherd - One Voice.