John Piper wrote Brothers, We Are Not Professionals over a decade ago. Recently an updated and expanded version of the book was released but the message to pastors is the same…that pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry. Here are some quotes from the book that explain his point.

“What is God looking for in the world? Assistants? No. The gospel is not a help-wanted ad. It is a help-available ad. Nor is the call to Christian service a help-wanted ad. God is not looking for people to work for Him but people who let Him work mightily in and through them: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chron. 16:9). God is not a scout looking for the first draft choices to help Him win. He is an unstoppable fullback ready to take the ball and run touchdowns for anyone who trusts Him to win the game.”

“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.”

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think professionalism is killing pastoral ministry? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

2 thoughts on “That’s Quotable – John Piper

  1. That was very good Eric. Over the centuries there have been many misconceptions about the call to be a pastor and what that looks like unwrapped. It does seem that there are trends. Professionalism is just one of these. Judging, secularism, racism, etc. All in their own time were and still are trends in certain parts of the world and nation. Like trendy music, it is found to be fowl, two words prove this “Boy Band”. Keeping the passion for those that offer nothing in return would be the hardest to maintain I suppose. My mentor was a pastor for 47 years and dean of my college. Our talks about the inner workings of a pastor’s heart stay with me always. I enjoy your wisdom and choice of topics.


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