A plea for radical commitment to pastoral ministry
Through a series of essays informed by discussions with his fellow pastors, John Piper makes the case for abandoning the professionalization of pastoring and pursuing the Bible's prophetic call for radical engagement in ministry.
“The professionalization of pastoral ministry is killing the pastors that we are! The professional does not have the mentality of the prophet. Nor does he have that of the slave of Christ. Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and soul of Christian ministry. The more professional we aspire to be, the more spiritual deaths we will leave in our wake. It is not possible to professionally resemble a child (Mt 18:3). Neither is there a professional tender heart (Eph 4:32) nor a professional longing after God (Ps 42:2).
My brothers, we are not professionals! We are outcasts. We are strangers and exiles in the world (1 Pet 2:11). Our citizenship is in heaven, and we wait for the Lord with great impatience (Phil 3:20). It is impossible to professionalize the ardent love we feel for his return without destroying it. And it's about to be wiped out.
The world sets the timetable for the professional man; God establishes the timetable for the spiritual man. The new wine of Jesus Christ bursts the wineskins of professionalism. »
“It was by the grace of God that I came across this book during my first year of pastoral ministry. I vividly remember kneeling at the edge of my bed, in tears, feeling both so chastised and so encouraged. I really enjoyed this book then and I love it even more now. I hope every pastor will read it and listen to the sound, practical, and biblical advice it contains. »
– Kevin DeYoung , senior pastor, Christ Covenant Church, Matthews, North Carolina, United States
Author: John Piper