Chapel Speaker Encourages Students to Serve

April 5, 2001

"It's your serve," Esther Burroughs challenged the Oklahoma Baptist University students and women from across the state during the annual Women's Day chapel service April 4.

Burroughs, a 1959 graduate of OBU, has spent her career ministering to people in a multitude of ways such as working with the YMCA, being a youth minister, working as an evangelist and most recently by directing Treasures of the Heart, a speaking and writing ministry.

Drawing from examples in her own life, Burroughs explained the importance service through "stooping love."

"Because of Christ's calling, we are to stoop in grace, clothed in the power of the Holy Spirit," she said. "Jesus himself was a servant. He modeled for us how to touch others' lives through service."

In today's culture, Burroughs said, we spend more time "vying for position" than we do serving each other.

She told the story of a missionary in South Florida who saw a need for a missions center to provide food, clothing and other necessary items to impoverished, single mothers in the area. He called the local churches and the women in the area began to collect the needed items. On the day the center opened, a young mother with two dirt-covered children showed up to see how the people at the center could help her. When she asked the missionary what the rules were concerning how many clothes or how much food she could take, he responded that there was only one rule: "If you have some, give some; if you need some, take some."

Burroughs told the audience that this is a picture of the New Testament church that churches today should strive to resemble.

"We need more priests (in America)," Burroughs said referring to her belief that through a personal relationship with Christ all Christians are 'priests.' "We need more people willing to serve."

In Atlanta, Ga., there are 800 single, homeless mothers, Burroughs reported. To address this problem she said, "I don't think it's the government's job, but the churches."

By being submissive to God's will in whatever circumstances, Christians can have a strong ministry and influence in society.

But submission requires obedience, Burrough said.

She told the audience a lesson she had learned when she was 16 from Henry Blackaby was this, "You never know when you are being obedient to God, what God is doing in other people's lives."

Burroughs is on the evangelism committee of Baptist World Alliance, and on the advisory boards of Women's Enrichment Ministries, the Florida Baptist Convention's Women's Ministry and Missions program, and Aspire magazine.

Burroughs has written several books and numerous pamphlets and magazine articles. In addition, she has been the lyricist for eight musicals, collaborating with her husband, Bob, also a 1959 OBU graduate, who is a composer and director of church music for the Florida Baptist Convention. The Burroughses have two children, Melody and David, and five grandchildren.