News Articles

Servant leadership sometimes requires waiting patiently on Christ, Brister

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Ministers must model servant leadership if their ministries are to flourish, said Mark Brister, president of Oklahoma Baptist University, in a Sept. 7 address at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
Preaching from Luke 10:38-42, Brister used the story of Mary and Martha as an example of servant leadership. Brister said he began his own ministry more in the “Martha mode” than the “Mary mode.”
“It’s a lot easier just to get out there and start working … for Jesus than it is to pause and reflect and sit patiently waiting at the feet of Jesus until he gives the assignment to go,” Brister said. Servant leadership means “being willing to sit at the feet of Jesus and being willing to serve him”
But servant leadership isn’t always easy to practice. The temptation, Brister said, is for ministers to take ownership of a ministry and sacrifice stewardship.
“You must never forget that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who owns life,” Brister said. “He is the one who created, and he is the one who sustains, and he is the one who is coming again, and he is the owner. … When we recognize his ownership and we’re teachable and we’re open, God then will give us opportunities to serve.”
Another temptation for ministers is “workmanship leadership,” Brister said. Sometimes people get so busy doing things that a ministry becomes bigger than they are.
“Make sure that you are not preaching more than you’re living,” Brister said. “Make sure that your relationship with Jesus is very strong and close. …
“If the temptation in your life today is to skip your quiet time and to skip that time with Jesus and to think that you can make it in ministry today without prayer and without the power of a powerful relationship with Jesus Christ, you’re kidding yourself and you’re fooling yourself and you’ll never make it,” Brister said.

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth
    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.Read All by Tim Ellsworth ›