John Piper’s Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is simultaneously a challenging and encouraging read. Pastoral ministry is serious work. It is not to be taken casually or viewed as a less strenuous alternative to a other professions. It is a glorious, demanding, painful, thrilling, satisfying endeavor with eternal ramifications. Pastors are charged with the accurate handling of God’s Word and responsible for the souls of men. It is no wonder why Paul cried out, “Who is sufficient for these things” (2 Cor. 2:16)? Continue reading “Two Lessons Learned from John Piper's 'Brothers, We are Not Professionals'”
A quote has been firmly wedged in my mind since I finished John Piper’s Brothers we are not Professionals that I thought I would share with you. It has been tremendously helpful to me as I have let it simmer in my heart over the past few days.
In the chapter, Brothers, Read Christian Biography, Piper reflects on the lives of some of the most fruitful and, in terms of sheer output, most productive men in church history. One man in particular was Karl Barth. Although Barth was massively productive during much of his life, when he retired from his professorship in 1962, T.H.L Parker tells us he “lost the stimulus provided by the need to give lectures.” Exactly what this means in regards to Barth’s actual output after he retired I am not sure, but Piper seems to interpret it negatively: on the flap of the book, Piper wrote in response,”Has greatness emerged from anything but pressure? If greatness is to be servant of all, must we not be under authority, under demand, pushed, pressed?” In other words, when the pressure stops, so does the productivity.