Perplexed, But Not Despairing (6)








Source: John Piper, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals


“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 the 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.”

Comment: Piper’s book struck me as saying something necessary, especially to some parts of an American constituency, when it was released in the early 2000s. Piper was targeting the drift towards seeing pastoral ministry as a job, entailing a list of tasks, which aims for the goals of popularity and appreciation. As many of the tasks of pastoral ministry have been stripped away from us during this crisis, we are reduced to core elements once again. It is an opportunity to be children of God, men of prayer, lovers of people, preachers unchained. As our ‘job’ now looks so different, let us dispense with the idea of a job altogether. It was never a job, but a calling. A call to be God’s son, and a call to serve his children in the word and prayer.

1 thought on “Perplexed, But Not Despairing (6)

  1. Very true – the ‘job’ of the pastor is to be a true shepherd , like Jesus – caring for his own flock , protecting from danger , ensuring that the sheep are not scattered .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *