BRF Press Information March 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SERVANT MINISTRY A portrait of Christ and a pattern for his followers Tony Horsfall Servanthood is at the heart of Christian life and ministry, yet few Christians, it would seem, have a developed understanding of why they are to serve, how to go about it, or indeed how to resource themselves when they find the going tough. Popular author, retreat leader and team trainer Tony Horsfall believes that servanthood is very much on the heart of God for his church today. Reflecting on this issue convinced him that a reminder of the way Jesus expressed his own servanthood might be a timely word for the Christian community. I am a strong believer that Christian leadership is, in fact, servant leadership, and that we should serve first and lead second. Jesus himself said, ‘I am among you as one who serves’ (Luke 22:27, NIV). This is a great safeguard against the abuse of power, and the question of how we can both lead clearly and serve humbly is one of the main themes of the book. Servant Ministry offers a practical exposition of the first ‘Servant Song’, in Isaiah 42:1–9. Writing from many years of Christian teaching and mentoring, Tony applies insights drawn from the Isaiah passage to a range of issues, including the motivation for service and the call to serve; valid expressions of servanthood with extensive coverage of the abuse of leadership power; the link between servanthood evangelism and social action; character formation and what it means to be a servant; how to keep going over the long haul in the harsh realities of ministry; and the importance of listening to God on a daily basis and over a whole lifetime. The issue of servanthood is not, however, solely a matter for leaders to engage with. Servanthood lies at the heart of Christian discipleship and is therefore a formative issue for all Christians, whether within traditional church or the newer fresh expressions of church, where questions of discipleship are becoming increasingly debated. I am not just writing for those in leadership or ‘full-time’ ministry. Servanthood is for all, and every follower of Jesus is called to serve God, the body of Christ, and the wider world through gospel proclamation and compassionate involvement in the needs of society. All of us need the confidence that comes from hearing God speak to us in the way that he does through this particular passage. For church leaders who want to develop a firmer basis of discipleship in their church community, Servant Ministry also includes group study material. Tony has served the church so well in the writing of this book. It has potential to make the church a better bride of Christ and each individual Christian a closer reflection of Jesus this side of heaven. Rob Hay, Principal, Redcliffe College Tony Horsfall is a freelance trainer and retreat leader, whose work regularly takes him around the world. He has written a number of books for BRF, including Mentoring for Spiritual Growth, Working from a Place of Rest and Rhythms of Grace. He also contributes to New Daylight Bible reading notes. Servant Ministry is published on 22 March 2013, priced £7.99, ISBN, 978 0 85746 088 2, pb, 144 pages

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