May 04, 2015
By: Tiffany Kriss
Student, Mid-Atlantic Christian University
General Roger Brady retired as a four-star general from the United States Air Force after forty-one years of service. After retiring, he and his wife moved to the Outer Banks from Europe around Christmas time of 2010 because they weren’t sure what they were going to do. After moving, they did not know anyone in the area, so they became affiliated with a local church, as was their custom. They were able to get to know some people such as Dr. Clay Perkins (current MACU President) and Kurtis Kight (former MACU Vice President for Finance). General Brady was invited to speak at a chapel on campus in 2011, and has since spoken at a few events on campus.
General Brady became impressed with the MACU mission. He has been affiliated in the past with some Christian colleges, but he was, “particularly struck by the focus the University places on mission and the compelling idea of everyone being in ministry, whether or not they are behind the pulpit. I very much like the concept of marketplace ministry.”
General Brady has taught some courses at colleges along the way, and since his initial meeting with Dr. Perkins and Kurtis Kight, he was asked to teach a Leadership course at MACU, which he did in the spring of 2013. He was then asked if he would consider being a Trustee of the University, to which he agreed because he is so impressed with the MACU mission. He thinks that MACU is a very special place and that the University has a “keen sense of what the mission is here,” and it is reflected in students and staff. General Brady describes his affiliation with MACU as, “a great thing to be a part of and it’s been a great benefit to me.” He believes that it is important at a young age to develop an attitude of serving and marketplace ministry, which he sees MACU instilling in its students. General Brady says, “We have all been given so much because of the sacrifice of God’s Son, that we are compelled to serve and to be salt and light, and to reflect Him.” He believes that at MACU, he has an opportunity to be a part of that mission of teaching students to be that “salt and light” in all occupations and circumstances.
Leadership is a topic that General Brady is very passionate about, and he enjoyed teaching a class on leadership here at MACU because it gave him the opportunity to organize his thoughts to be able to present them to others. It gave him the opportunity to interact with MACU students, and to be a part of the “education of young people.” He was also able to coalesce in his own mind what he believes about leadership. After being in leadership positions for four decades, teaching really forced him to organize his thoughts, and never up until that point had he had to develop what his ideas as a whole were regarding leadership. Teaching also led him to writing and speaking, and he says, “I’m very grateful to MACU for providing me with that opportunity, and for introducing me to dedicated people; faculty, students, staff.”
In his time in the United States Air Force, General Brady had “tremendous experiences.” For the most part, he experienced really good leadership, but he also saw a few examples of really bad leadership as well. Through all of this time, he made some mistakes, and learned a lot along the way. He came away from his experience with many thoughts of leadership. He found that the higher he rose in the organization, the more he learned the importance of character, which was consistent with his upbringing as a Christian. He learned that most failures of leadership are “almost inevitably failures of character,” and are “very rarely lack of competence.” Typically, he noticed that leaders have a tendency to “shoot themselves in the foot.” He learned through his time in leadership and through observing others leadership roles that character is extremely important, and may be “more important than anything else you learn in your life.” He noted that in the Scripture, the story of God’s people is “all about character and our relationship with him and it’s dictated by our character and how we take on the attributes we take on from him.”
This passion for leadership is very closely tied to General Brady’s beliefs and continues to be. He is as excited about learning about it as he was when he was much younger. General Brady enjoy mentoring young people, and leaders, both in and out of the church. Most of the work he currently does is speaking to leaders about how to be more effective and how to be better servants to the people they lead so that everybody can be successful. General Brady is still continuing to develop his thinking on leadership and is currently writing a book called Loyalty, which he hopes to finish within the next year.