Not Brilliant Personalities – But Faithful Servants

kinnon —  January 7, 2011 — 11 Comments

via Jared Wilson

The Church does not need brilliant personalities but faithful servants of Jesus and the brethren . . . Pastoral authority can be attained only by the servant of Jesus who seeks no power of his own, who himself is a brother among brothers to the authority of the Word.   [emphasis added – bk]

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I find this quote particularly helpful in light of the apparent offense I’ve caused some with my previous post.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

11 responses to Not Brilliant Personalities – But Faithful Servants

  1. I think it’s all cultural … there is far too much either or (known as zero sum) thinking in our culture. That is, if someone else is a leader then I cannot be. Or if there are x number of disciples there must be y number of leaders. All of which is silliness. Leaders must also be disciples and disciples can also be leaders and there is no stock formula.

    All of which is to say … there is no Oscar ceremony for Jesus followers. And there should not be. The pastor who dies with the most disciples does not win. The one who dies with the least doesn’t win either. They’re both dead and gone to glory. Jesus wins.

  2. Too true, Sis, too true. And well said.

  3. What we need is a leader to arise who really understands discipling! Bu seriously, doesn’t the Gospel and Jesus becoming the focus tend to alleviate problems of idolizing leaders and/or our own discipleship efforts?

  4. The passage that shines forth for me is 1 John 2:27 –

    But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

    Real leadership is just a ministry of pointing out the authority and anointing of Jesus. Which teaches and leads us.

  5. Well said, I like that…real ministry points towards Jesus. I think it starts and ends on the ground floor…Jesus served us…Jesus chose us…Jesus saved us, rescued us etc etc…kind of levels the field even when disciples (like the 12) bicker amongst themselves like we are wont to do.

    I think the correction for self-centered ministries is that they clearly lack focus on Jesus and his saving work on our behalf…k.i.s.s.

  6. Bill – love the quote. And, find Bonhoeffer’s Life Together to be pivotal to understanding how our very own wish dreams sabotage the vision we witness in Jesus.

  7. You got me thinkin’, Bill, as is your wont.

    Here’s what came to mind

  8. Sometimes, you need a brilliant servant to give you a fresh (although two century old) point of view.

    Is Jesus History?, for instance.

    link to

  9. Had I read your posts five years ago I would have John Maxwelled you to death!

  10. Now that's funny!

  11. One step missing from many involved in apologetics, is to let the word of truth speak for itself, with the guidance of the Spirit. He will, if your heart is right, bring to remembrance things in His word. Look at the other person for who it is, a real person behind a keyboard. One can make someone look like a total fool, prove every point they offer as invalid, unnecessary or wrong, yet the person remains five thousand miles away from the Lord.


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