Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry
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Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,017 ratings  ·  77 reviews
"Pastor John Piper says, ""We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry. . . 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....more
Kindle Edition, 308 pages
Published (first published September 2002)
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Joseph Louthan
I know. Five stars. Five stars says : Crème de la crème. Why did I rate this so high? Because I believe the author accomplished what he sat out to do and did it in a fantastic way.

Imagine my perspective: Newly saved, called to be a pastor, has barely started on the path to becoming a pastor and by God's grace, I read this book.

This is clock-filled with not only practical after practical insight to undo the executive, CEO business mindset of the American Evangelical megachurch of the last 50 year...more
Preaching Magazine states that this is one of “10 best books every preacher should read.” I agree completely. The first chapter sets the stage for the book and reading it is worth the price of the book. In the first chapter he says: “We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry. . . . Professionalizm 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.”

Daniel Melvill
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is a book full of candid pastor-to-pastor challenges by John Piper. Each of the thirty short chapters addresses a different issue, but as the title suggests, the whole book is built on the premise that “pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry.” I really appreciated his open and heartfelt manner, and benefited especially in the sections on understanding that you are not serving God, fighting for a daily time of prayer and readi...more
Purchased the revised and updated version by Baker publishing.

This is essentially "Piper's Greatest Hits." There are 38 chapters that are all relatively short and each chapter covers an essential aspect of Piper's ministry, and specifically ordered to pastors. Want to read Piper but don't really know where to start? Read this book.

The only downer was that I caught some pretty glaring typos a few times. Maybe trying to make a deadline proved difficult? Regardless, it's a minor quibble that can...more
Excellent thoughts on a slew of subjects. John Piper's pastoral ministry might be seen with a new wholeness and fullness, now having seen what sort of heart and concerns drive his passion for the church. This is a must-read for all who would work in church environments (not just as pastors), and a probably-should-read for Christians who feel disconnected from their pastors.
Lindsay Kennedy
Excellent collection of essays. Not only for pastors or those in ministry. Many of the essays are very challenging and enlightening.
Richard Minor
Being a pastor is different than being in the professional world. Secularization of the pastorate has caused great damage.

The pastor has an impossible mission to accomplish because, as Piper notes well, the true goals of the ministry are only accomplished by the power of God. This makes being a pastor radically different.

This book contains short essays on many topics for a pastor to know and understand. These essays, for the most part are excellent and a much needed corrective in some cases.

Dennis Thurman
Excellent reminders! A prophetic word. Very challenging.
Jeff Elliott
Piper's thinking is clear and solid in his message to pastors. Some chapters are better than others (this is most likely because of my personal interest in them). I appreciated the earlier chapters better than the latter. He writes on a number of topics of value: preaching, prayer, worship, marriage, abortion, bible interpretation, etc;...

Some quotes:
The peace and satisfaction of our aching souls—and our hungry churches and the waiting nations—flow not from the perks of professional excellence b...more
John Piper lays out his encouragement out to pastors as to some of the most important things that he thinks a pastor should do and stand for. This book really made me think sometimes, and sometimes just felt boring and political.

First, the title of the book is where the book starts, but the book doesn't stay there. The premise of the book states that we are not just to do things the way that professionals do their jobs, but to live and work differently. The first few chapters challenged my think...more
Bendick Ong
Excellent book addressing many core issues in which a pastor must stand firm in today's world.

I love especially chapter 6 (makes me think what it means when we say we "serve. God" what it means then when we say a person is serving mammon?); 7(if one wants a 10 pages summary of Christian hedonism - this will be a concise one, identifying the roots and defending the notion); 10 (best write-up I have read on the need for Christians - and esp church leaders - to READ. And yes! No time is not an exc...more
Mark Ward
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is not a new book. It's been reviewed before. But the second edition is new, and six chapters in it are, too. So I will focus this review on those newchapters: 4, 6, 13, 18, 22, 27.

Those chapters were added for various reasons:
• Piperadded chapters 4 and 6 "for theological reasons where I felt I needed greater clarity or correction."
• He added chapters 13 and 18 "in pursuit of being a better preacher."
• He added chapter 22, he writes, "for family reasons relati...more
An updated exhortation toward those in ministry regarding various subjects.

The title is somewhat misleading: "Brothers, We Are Not Professionals" is only the first of 36 different subjects relating to the author's encouragement regarding proper ministry. The author does not envision ministers as amateurs or anything of that sort; his exhortation is to make sure that ministers do excellent work for the Lord rooted in what the Lord has said and not the "profession standards" of the world. The subt...more
Ryan Adair
I first read Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper in January of 2010 (yes, eight years after it had been published). And it was rich food for my soul and health to my bones. John Piper pleaded with pastors, who are constantly surrounded by leadership books and professional tips to better themselves, to stay true to the supernatural aspect of the ministry. We are not professionals in the sense of “education, a set of skills, and a set of guild-defined standards which are possible with...more
Every so often a book comes to me at the right time and place. When this happens, it can be life-changing or at a minimum, life enhancing.

Piper's "Brothers, We Are Not Professionals" is somewhere right between the life-changing/enhancing continuum. Piper focuses on 30 readings to recapture the passion of pastors for pastoral (as opposed to executive) ministry.

I wouldn't say there is much in the way of "new" insight, particularly for its intended audience. Rather, Piper offers a potent, refreshi...more
Ian Hammond
Fantastic and inspiring!

In this work, John Piper shares 30 short essays to powerfully exhort ministers to be radically biblical. Notably, these essays reflect principles that have marked Piper's preaching and writing ministry, such as: an explicit focus on the glory of God in a commitment to Christian hedonism, the sovereignty of God in suffering, and a passion for global missions.

The chapters of this book are so insightful and yet very practical. He deals with hot-button issues in the reforme...more
Jeremy Zilkie
This books is a collection of chapters/exhortations regarding pastoral ministry. Just as pastoral ministry is super multifaceted, so this book addresses many different issues and topics related to pastoral ministry. The book is written for "pastors" but it has great insight for any and all who are serving in leadership positions in the church. Also, Piper preaches a complimentarian view of pastoral ministry, hence the title "Brothers".

I enjoyed the book on a whole, and especially loved certain c...more
Josh Crews
Thesis: I see the American pastorate trying to maximize their efficiency, focus on numbers, please customers, and follow the maxims of business. But how can God's calling be to be "professional". How does one professionally pant after God? How can you professionally weep over your sins?

"Brothers We Are Not Professionals" is actually one essay pleading with pastors in the book. There are many more pleadings in the other chapters. One of my favorites is called "Bilder was a Banker" and it's about...more
I am not a pastor, but I did attend a Bible College. When I picked up this book, I almost didn't bother reading it because I am not a pastor. I was afraid it would be written in language that was way over my head about topics that I could not relate to. However, Piper writes with such gentle humility and compassion, I was immediately absorbed. The premise being that pastoring is not a profession but a calling creates a lack of jargon and other language that would make the book unapproachable to...more
This is the updated version by the same title piper wrote several years ago. It is about 20-25 pages longer (newer material, actually 6 new chapters). In pastoral ministry, it is far too easy to believe that we must be the heroes, but our ultimate calling is to simply make much of the true hero, Jesus. He is our strength, our wisdom, our prize, our motivation, our everything.

Bottom line, we in ministry need to run from the CEO model, we need to stop trying to impress the world, we must stop stri...more
Nathan Shaver
Wonderful book! A great companion for new and seasoned pastors.
Nov 23, 2008 Kris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: pastors
Recommended to Kris by: Bill Bray/Jerry Howard
Shelves: spirituality
I read this book with a couple of other young pastors who were struggling with the business and corporate side of pastoring in churches. Piper encouraged us and challenged us to keep our shepherding roles in sight without taking a "worldly" attitude toward church polity. Too often we address issues and church life as though we're a corporation. This certainly doesn't fit the descriptions Scripture gives for the church. John Piper really affirmed us as we met every couple weeks and discussed thes...more
Nick Hsieh
This is one of those books I have the leaders that I'm working with read with me. It is a great encapsulation of Piper's thoughts on a series of issues, which he presents as a call to God-centered (rather than human-centered) ministry. It happens that while I would not state things in exactly the way that Piper does, nor do I claim to live up to the ideals in this book (I see it more as a call to myself as well as others), I find this book helps to communicate my own philosophy of ministry.
Piper again doing what he does best -- passionately proclaiming the radical message of the Bible as he understands it. Any one or two chapters would be challenging enough, let alone all 30! I started marking the contents page, because I really didn't want to forget what I'd read in some of the early chapters -- but by the time I finished the book about two thirds of the chapters were highlighted. A book for pastors and church leaders to keep close at hand.
This book is written from a pastor to pastors as a warning against the trap of "professionalism" that so many find themselves stumbling into today. He argues that Christlike traits such as childlikeness, tenderheartedness, and dedication to prayer clash are what we should be seeking emulate in our lives and in ministry.

Even though I'm not a pastor, this book was a good read and gave me insight into the need for Christlike character over professionalism.
Luis Branco
It is a must read book to all pastors and seminary students. A beautiful description of what ministry is all about. Loved it!
Ben Titsworth
When asked what is your favorite book other than the bible? I will say, "Brothers, We Are Not Professionals".
If you make this book the basis of how you walk out your pastoral ministry, be sure that you will coincidentally find that the word of God and life of Jesus Christ become everything to you, and can speak into every inch of life.
John Piper, I honor you for deepening my joy in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Peter N.
A very good book on what pastoral ministry should be about. Numerous chapters challenged my priorities. A worthwhile read for any man going in the ministry or any lay person who wants to pray effectively for their pastor. I agree with another reviewer that his chapter on worship was most frustrating. I also didn't like how he quoted himself at the beginning of each chapter. That seemed odd.
Levi Booth
Though provoking and inspiring.

My only beef with this book is that some of the later chapters don't really fit the topic or tone of the book. It feels as if they were thrown in to up the page count and/or allow Piper to vent a bit. But hey, it's his book!
Received from First Reads. An instructional book for pastors and better ministry in the modern world. Not being a pastor or a Baptist, I am probably not the right person to be reading this book, but I did think that Piper had good insights and used the Biblical texts well for his argument. Really grounded what he was saying in Scripture. Will be recommending it to some of my friends.
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John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.), and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethe...more
More about John Piper...
Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist Don't Waste Your Life The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God The Passion of Jesus Christ Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions

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“Banish professionalism from our midst, Oh God, an din its place put passionate prayer, poverty of spirit, hunger for God, rigorous study of holy things, white-hot devotion to Jesus Christ, utter indifference to all material gain, and unremitting labor to rescue the perishing, perfect the saints, and glorify our sovreign Lord.

Humble us, O God, under your mighty hand, and let us rise, not as professionals, but as witnesses and partakers of the sufferings of Christ.”
“Emotions are like a river flowing out of one’s heart. Form is like the riverbanks. Without them the river runs shallow and dissipates on the plain. But banks make the river run deep. Why else have humans for centuries reached for poetry when we have deep affections to express? The creation of a form happens because someone feels a passion. How ironic, then, that we often fault form when the real evil is a dry spring.” 0 likes
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