Cover Image: Servants for His Glory

Servants for His Glory

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How do we serve in the Church? Why do we serve? What exactly are we trying to accomplish when we serve? In this marvelous handbook for anyone wanting to serve, author Miguel Núñez goes back to the fundamentals of being before doing. In a world where we like to see action first, we have used performance as the primary measure of our success. As Jesus has said, good fruit comes only from good tree. Núñez helps us go back to the foundations of what it means to be a good tree as we serve God. Based on his own experience as a medical professional, a pastor, and a counselor, he cautions us repeatedly about running ahead of God's work in our inner selves. We do not let our works define us. We let Christ in us to define us. Núñez writes that before we can truly serve God's family, we need God's sanctification, which also means the need to let God heal us from the inside, that we can grow up well. Otherwise, we become vulnerable to our sinful nature to let the world outside deceive our sense of identity and worth. He debunks some erroneous measurements of success before giving us several important ways to evaluate ourselves. Instead of being one who depends on approval from the external world, he assures us that as long as we get our inner house in order, we will not easily fall prey to the temptations of perfectionism, insecurity, and fear. A Christian servant is one who is biblically minded. Once we have the Bible in our minds, we will be able to differentiate and compare the world's standards to the biblical standards. The danger for the Christian is to reverse it, and bend the Bible to meet the world standards. The servant is also to be set apart and manifests the presence of God. Living well is not about our self-centered living but about living for God's glory, just as the title suggests. Other attributes include being shaped by the gospel of God, that happiness is not our first goal. It is holiness. These more than 13 orientations or re-orientations will help us get our spiritual bearings correct, especially for those of us immersed so comfortably in this world.

My Thoughts
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This book reminds me of a classic by Gordon MacDonald entitled "Ordering Your Private World." In that book, the author asserts that our inner lives need to be aligned correctly in order to live well. Why should anyone read this book? First, this is a powerful corrective for anyone desiring to serve God faithfully. Just like how one famous missionary once said: "God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply." The biblically minded servant will be able to serve God more fully and purposefully. In our success-driven world, we often use the standards of the world to measure the way we do Church. This is so dangerous because we are called to be gospel people, which is already an antithesis of what the world believes in. Núñez is spot on when he refers to the dangers of using our performance to determine how well we serve. Just like a hollow tree, we might look good on the outside, but when the strong weather conditions appear, the tree will not stand. It will collapse quickly. The same applies for anyone wanting to serve God. 
Second, Christians are called to be light and salt of the world, distinct and different. What good will it be for Christians to claim to be relevant to the world but loses her own identity and uniqueness to be the called out people, the ekklesia? The Church is the people of God and the people of God need to live as servants who are faithful not just in practical ways but also in spiritually faithful ways. That means learning what the standards of God is. The sad thing is that many believers are increasingly Bible illiterate. They can quote a few choice verses but often fail to understand the contexts in order to apply them correctly. Books like this provide us a way to get back on track.

Finally, who should read this book? All who are serving or intending to serve in the future. Churches nowadays have many challenges. Some of the most pressing needs are the availability of people in a very busy world. It is already difficult enough to find people willing to serve, let alone good and competent servants. Those who are willing might not feel adequate. Those who are able might not be willing. given the lack of choice, we need a way to equip and to train whoever is available. This book is one such resource to point the way. 

Dr. Miguel Núñez, MD, DMin serves as the senior pastor of the International Baptist Church in Santo Domingo, and is the founding president of Wisdom & Integrity Ministries, which seeks to impact today’s generation with God's revelation in the Spanish-speaking world. In addition, he is the president of the Wisdom and Integrity Institute, as well as a member of the teaching staff, a council member of the Gospel Coalition, and Vice-president of the Coalición por el Evangelio.

Miguel is a medical doctor by trade with specialties in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. In the area of ministry he has several graduate degrees, including a Doctor of Ministry from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Miguel has authored more than a dozen books and articles and is a frequent conference speaker throughout Latin America and the United States. He lives in Santo Domingo, with Dr. Catherine Scheraldi-Núñez, his wife since 1981.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.

conrade
This book has been provided courtesy of B&H Publishing Group and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
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The foundational concept for this book is phenomenal: being before doing. Focusing on who you are in God before focusing on what to do in ministry. 

The book begins with a somewhat painful, diagnostic test of spiritual maturity. Phrases like, “We see things not as they are but we see things as we are”, challenge us to dig deeper. At first, one might assume the book simply brings another form of legalistic condemnation, while casually tossing it to the side. However, if you humbly allow yourself to assess where you are currently (using the diagnostic tools provided)—you might greatly benefit from the insight into Scripture, offered in the remainder of the book. 

At the end of the day, the book works to build a Godly character in the heart of the believer. Character trumps action, seems to be the resounding axiom. Núñez offers a very specific working definition of character. It is defined as “doing good naturally”. If we allow God to transform our “being” then our “doing” will flow naturally from who we are. If we have a Godly character, we will engage in Godly actions. 

I highly recommend this book. I would specifically encourage those feeling the call to public ministry to pick up a copy. You will find this as a great tool to help prevent you from falling into certain pitfalls that have plagued so many others. 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Hopefully, I have accomplished that. 

#ServantsforHisGlory #NetGalley
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