Monday, February 02, 2009

The heart of a servant leader

Years ago, when I used to drive to work (an hour each way) I would often listen to a Keller sermon on both legs of the journey. On some occasions on one side of the tape there would be a speaker other than Keller preaching. In this category, I remember one sermon above all others and it was preached by a man called Dr Jack Miller. The sermon was called 'Covered by Jesus' love'

As is the norm, my first response was to surf the net to see if I could find any other sermons but I searched in vain. Imagine my surprise as I started reading the 'Heart of a servant leader' to learn that these two Jack Miller's are one and the same. Now I often say this, but I mean it here- this is a 'sell your bed and go out and buy' book.

The book collects together letters to missionaries, pastors, mission teams, family, friends and wisdom drips from every page. I think anyone in the business of pastoring should have these on their desk. There are so many quotable bits but here is just one I liked:

"For what it is worth, here is how I see the theological emphasis of English Puritanism: 1. Know your enemy-sin, the devil, the flesh; 2. Know your personal limitations-your particular fleshy characteristics and habits; 3. Know your Friend-the grace of God in Christ.

Personally I cannot deny that sometimes churches need that order and such an emphasis has led to revival. Still, I find myself overhelmed when I pick up a 320-page book by John Owen and find 308 pages devoted to points 1 and 2, and only 12 pages to point 3, grace and the gospel. Owen of course doesn't always do this but it seem pretty typical.

My own heart likes this order better: 1. Know your Friend; 2. Know your enemy; 3. Know your personal limitations. and I would keep the controlling theme point 1 even when talking about point 2 and 3

I pray this book might be a mighty blessing and encouragement to you.

No comments: