Leaders That Last

How Covenant Friendships Can Help Pastors Thrive

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A pastor can't go it alone. With the stress that comes with a life of service, leaders can too easily stumble, burn out, or feel the need to leave the ministry altogether. But with the support of others who've been there, you can increase your impact on the people you serve and enjoy a more rewarding ministry.

Leaders That Last provides the solution to the problem of going it alone. Submitting to a mentoring relationship, building strong friendships, and being challenged by fellow pastors to stay faithful to the call provide for vital balance while allowing for growth. The proven Pastors in Covenant model described in this book shows how to form small help groups with other trusted colleagues. These teams hold one another personally and professionally accountable and provide a lifeline during troubled times.

"As you well know, Focus on the Family's Ministry Outreach division receives thousands of calls every year from pastors (or their families) in crisis. I'm convinced that a great many of these situations could be avoided if ministers had a proactive support system like the one Kinnamen and Ells offer."-H. B. London, Jr., vice president, ministry outreach/pastoral ministries, Focus on the Family


"Genuine friendship is one of the most important elements in lasting ministry. Finally, we have a book that teaches this eternal principle for longevity. Leaders that Last is a godsend to ministry leaders. Gary Kinnaman and Alfred Ells use lessons form their personal friendship and ministry to make a compelling case for acquiring and maintaining healthy pastoral relationships. The readers will be challenged to pray for friends that can help them survive the rigors of ministry."-Ted Haggard, senior pastor New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO

"I practice what they preach, and believe it to be the single best idea to preserve pastors because it is pragmatic and effective. Read and apply to stay in the race."-Dr. Alan Nelson, founder, Leading Ideas;
author, Spirituality and Leadership

"Jesus defined life as relational and it is in relationship with him and others that we find the abundant life he promised. Leaders That Last gives the account of one successful pastor who has actually found the enjoyment of this life in ministry. This book will be a great encouragement."-Darryl DelHousaye, senior pastor, Scottsdale Bible Church; president, Phoenix Seminary

"Dr. Gary Kinnaman combines a humble heart and a remarkable comprehension of other cultures beyond his own. His ministry is a treasure of God that will profoundly enrich the Hispanic community. I recommend him with all my heart."-Alberto H. Mottesi, Evangelist

"One of the great needs in the world today is summed up in the title Leaders that Last. Gary Kinnaman and Al Ells have examined this subject from the unique vantage point of having dealt personally with both leaders that have lasted and, tragically, with those who haven't. Their collective insight, wisdom and advice in this work should become required reading for today's leaders and tomorrow's."-Tommy Barnett, pastor, Phoenix First Assembly of God

"Large-church culture is full of frequent, predictable, painful problems (small churches have their own). In Leaders that Last, Gary (a mega-church pastor) and Al (a therapist and consultant) open up about these faults. Their thoughtful candor is "sane" advice (especially their tips for groups) for healing "insane", unsafe church cultures and the people who--in spite of their best efforts--create them."-Todd Hunter, director, Allelon Fellowship of Churches, former national director, Vineyard-USA

"Covenant groups made up of busy and drained leaders is a win-win idea and this book is a vital resource for pastors considering accountability with relationships. It is a great book with awesome stories and will be used to save many ministries from extinction."-Frank Damazio, senior pastor, City Bible Church, Portland, Oregon

"The local church has a vital role to play in contemporary society and its leaders are often the determining factor for success or failure. For too long we've seen many leaders going at it alone or dropping out of the race prematurely. This book is a clarion call to church leaders to begin cultivating the kind of friendships that will help ensure that they are 'leaders that last.'"-Mark Conner, senior pastor, Waverley Christian Fellowship, Melbourne, Australia

"This book comes at a very critical time of transition for the Church. Without a doubt the contents of this book bring a voice of stability and hope for many pastors and leaders across America. Both Gary and Al are personal friends and mentors whose teachings have greatly influenced my life and ministry. The message within this pages will challenge you to take the next step for a Kingdom vision that will transform your life and your ministry."-Hector Torres, Hispanic International Ministries

"I love to learn from leaders I trust. In Leaders That Last, Gary Kinnaman has given us the treasures of his life. If we ponder these words and walk in this wisdom, our lives will be rescued from great folly and set on paths of joy."-John Dawson, president, YWAM International

"Every leader of a growing ministry and every pastor of a local church will immediately identify with the heartfelt insights of Gary Kinnaman and Alfred Ells. Leaders That Last goes right to the heart of the pressures leaders face, coping mechanisms that can undermine our ministry, and how to develop the health and skill necessary to finish well. It is the most effective and insightful book I have read in many years on the heart of a spiritual leader."-Floyd McClung, director, All Nations; senior pastor, Metro Christian Fellowship, Grandview, Missouri

"Church leaders carry enormous loads, and all too often they do it alone. Without close friends, trusted confidants, or genuine supporters, many of them eventually wear out under the pressure of ministry. This book provides wise, practical, and biblical advice on to build the safe relationships and godly accountability that church leaders need in order to persevere and thrive in pastoral ministry."-Ken Sande, president, Peacemaker Ministries

The Authors

  1. Gary D. Kinnaman

    Gary D. Kinnaman

    Gary D. Kinnaman served as senior pastor of Word of Grace Church in Mesa, Arizona, for 25 years. He now serves as pastor-at-large, mentoring and networking church, government, and marketplace leaders serving the Phoenix area. He is also chairman of the...

    Continue reading about Gary D. Kinnaman

  2. Alfred H. Ells

    Alfred H. Ells

    Alfred Ells, the author of seven books, including One-Way Relationships, is founder and director of ClergyCare, a non-profit counseling organization for ministry leaders. 

    Continue reading about Alfred H. Ells


What other leaders are saying about covenant friendships...

"As you well know, Focus on the Family's Ministry Outreach division receives thousands of calls every year from pastors (or their families) in crisis. I'm convinced that a great many of these situations could be avoided if ministers had a proactive support system like the one that Pastors in Covenant offers."-H. B. London, Jr., vice president, ministry outreach/pastoral ministries, Focus on the Family

"Pastors in Covenant is serving an essential function in American Christendom. The plague of isolation is picking off pastors weekly, and the covenant group format founded by Gary Kinnaman is the antidote. It is the participation in the 'one anothers' of Scripture, the relationships formed, that make 'Leaders' into real men. There is no short-cut to character apart from relationships. I applaud the Pastors in Covenant model, and I hope it catches fire."-Ed Barron, vice president for U.S. ministries, Promise Keepers