Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry
In Brothers, We are Not Professionals, author and pastor John Piper pleads with fellow pastors to abandon the secularization of the pastorate and pursue the prophetic call of the Bible for radical ministry.
We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry. The mentality of the professional is not the mentality of the prophet. It is not the mentality of the slave of Christ. Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and heart of the Christian ministry. The more professional we long to be, the more spiritual death we will leave in our wake. For there is no professional childlikeness, there is no professional tenderheartedness, there is no professional panting after God.
Brothers, we are not professionals. We are outcasts. We are aliens and exiles in the world. Our citizenship is in Heaven, and we wait with eager expectation for the Lord (Phil. 3:20). You cannot professionalize the love for His appearing without killing it. And it is being killed.
The world sets the agenda of the professional man; God sets the agenda of the spiritual man. The strong wine of Jesus Christ explodes the wineskins of professionalism.
Published September 2002
About the Author
John Piper is pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, where he first sensed God’s call to enter the ministry. He went on to earn degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary (BD) and the University of Munich (DTheol). For six years he taught biblical studies at Bethel College in Minnesota, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at Bethlehem. John is the author of more than 30 books including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, and Spectacular Sins, and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available for download at DesiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one daughter, and an increasing number of grandchildren.