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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

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,712 ratings  ·  157 reviews
A senior pastor pleads with his colleagues to abandon the secularization of the pastorate and return to the primitive call of the Bible for radical ministry.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 15th 2002 by B Books (first published September 2002)
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4.29  · 
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 ·  2,712 ratings  ·  157 reviews

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Joseph Louthan
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
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
Luke Miller
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ministry
This book is a collection of essays on a variety of ministry and theology topics. Solid, biblical perspective, filled with excellent quotes and illustrations. Very concise, so it pays well for your reading time.

Years ago, this was the first Piper book that I read (right before I read "Desiring God"). Now that I've read many of his other books, I can see the basic ideas for many of them in this one book. It's like a theological seed packet. Empty it in the fertile mind of John Piper and you get 3
Philip Mcduffie
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Piper does a great job at dealing with subjects that need to be dealt with. His focus on Christ when it comes to the great things of pastoral ministry and some of the lesser things of pastoral ministry made this a delight to read.
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.”

Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
David Kakish
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
The quintessential Piper pu pu platter. Feast on a smattering of Piperic gems on a wide variety of topics. One of my profs recently quipped, "John Piper is 90% Jonathan Edwards, 8% C.S. Lewis, and 2% raging fundamentalist." I find that statement hysterically accurate.
Lindsay Kennedy
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Excellent collection of essays. Not only for pastors or those in ministry. Many of the essays are very challenging and enlightening.
Ryan Hawkins
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ministry
I read this before I was in full-time ministry. But now that I’ve been in it for a couple years, I read it again. And this time, it was even more helpful. And, Lord willing, when I become a senior pastor in the future, I know it’ll be one of the first books I go to (again), because I’m sure it’ll have the stirring effect later on, too.

Almost every chapter in this book is packed with wisdom, clarity, and stirring advice. On one hand, I could argue that this isn’t one of Piper’s best because it do
Jeff Emery
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm in the middle of reading this for the 2nd time, and it is nothing short of incredible. This is my favorite Piper book that he has written. As a oneness Apostolic, I do not agree with all of his soteriology, but I don't read his books for doctrine anyway. He gives a passionate plea in the pages of this book for us to remember that we are not professional's. The preface of the book alone is worth the purchase. Piper declares in the Preface: "Oh for radically Bible-saturated, God-centered, Chri ...more
Daniel Melvill
Oct 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jon Huff
3 chapters in this book shattered some paradigms in my perspective.
Rick Davis
As this was a collection of short essays, it's a bit of a mixed bag. If Goodreads would ever get around to letting people give half-stars, I'd rate this at 3 1/2. Some of the essays here are incredibly valuable and inspirational. Some were less so. Good overall, though, and certainly worth the read.
Liam Chilton
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very John Piper. Punchy chapters on issues of ministry. Reminded me of my utter dependence on God in my future ministry (and everything!)
Rob Sumrall
I have a confession to make. I don't really get all the fuss over John Piper's books.

I've read quite a few of them. Every time I finish one, I think, "What was all the fuss about?" I think the issue, at least for me, is mostly stylistic. His writing style just doesn't appeal to me. There is something about the cadence and the droning lists that just irk me. Having said that, I'm deeply appreciative of his biblical insights and his passion (that often overwhelms me and irks me even more).

In Brot
David Eagen
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
I agree with the review from Scott that this is essentially Piper's Greatest Hits. The title of the book is merely taken from the first chapter and is slightly misleading. The entire book does not talk about the professionalism trap. Rather the book is Piper reaching out to pastors and passing on the wisdom he has gained through a lifetime of labor.

I found the following chapters particular interesting:

Chapter 5: "Brothers, Beware of the Debtor's Ethic"
Chapter 6: "Brothers, Tell Them Not to Serv
David Haron
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book an a must read for anyone working in full time Christian ministry. This book covers such a widespread variety of topics and offers Biblical, practical, but very challenging perspectives to issues that have a profound impact on our spiritual well being as well as those we minister to. John Piper, and this book in particular, challenges me to grow in my admiration for God, my longing for and knowledge of scripture and my hatred for sin. Phenomenal book for any Christ follower to read!
Elijah Fry
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it
If every pastor had the focus on God that Piper has, America would be in good hands. He’s brave in the ways he handles certain things, he’s willing to question tradition for traditions sake and instead focus on God to lead. A few times I wish he took it a bit further but I honesty can’t complain at all looking back over all of it. Great essays for young pastors.
May 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, theology
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.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a great read. Lots of great encouragement and a number of well placed warnings. Piper obviously has great pastoral instincts. While his chapter on baptism is defending his view of believer's baptism, it was his chapter on worship that was the most frustrating. But otherwise lots of helpful stuff.
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every Pastor should consider reading this. Why? Because Piper covers a myriad of things every pastor will consider in his time serving the church. There will be something that every pastor will say, "Yes!" I agree.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Piper book.
Dennis Thurman
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent reminders! A prophetic word. Very challenging.
Mark Jr.
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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 new chapters: 4, 6, 13, 18, 22, 27.

Those chapters were added for various reasons:
• Piper added 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 rela
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
Brandon H.
I can see why this book is getting high marks. Some have said it's Piper's best work. I haven't read all of his stuff yet so I'm not sure if that is an accurate assessment but those in the ministry and especially those called to the pastorate will benefit from this book.

Piper advises fellow pastors and ministers on 36 different topics that they often face or will need to face in the ministry. He covers everything from what to emphasize in preaching to the importance of prayer to what to read in
Dana Gisser
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pastors/clergy
Shelves: christian
This is the first book that made me wish you could do 1/2 stars on Goodreads to be honest. This would be a 3.5, it's not really deserving of a 4 but I am giving it one.

My friend Nate recommended this book to me after I asked for theological books, and while the book was interesting it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

This book is subtitled "a plea to pastors for radical ministry" and two things became abundantly clear to me very quickly 1) I am not a pastor and this book was not written f
John Brackbill
I listened to the audiobook. Full of Scripture and faithful to a biblical philosophy of ministry. The strength of this book is that there is so much covered. But I found that also to be the weakness in terms of overall momentum. There are not too many pastoral ministry books that are are going to give a biblical assault on racism. I especially appreciated his focus on being Bible-oriented rather than entertainment-oriented. There are also some very typical and helpful Piper themes (e.g. God is m ...more
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A call against professionalism and plenty of other stuff.

I really was enjoying the premise of this book and have heard many recommendations. After say, less than half the book, I found the book got really disorganized and turned into many different Piper ramblings. Additional topics like (of course) Christian hedonism, missions, suffering, racism, abortion, marriage, seminaries, etc. It was sort of all over the place. Maybe because this is the expanded version?

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy P
Connor Curtis
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is clearly written for pastors to help encourage them and their churches. Every chapter covers a different issue about either the life of the pastor or the health of the church. Was very challenged by many portions of the book, especially by giving, the mission field, and the best way to use my time. Really enjoyed learning about Christian Hedonism and how it permeates through most of the topics the book discusses. Overall a great read for any Christian because of how Piper uses so muc ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing

What is this book about?

Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by Pastor John Piper is a 286 pages long 'plea' to Pastors for radical ministry. As is often the case with Piper's books, this book has floods of wisdom trapped in it.

Its general argument is that the professionalization of the pastoral ministry is ruthlessly enslaving modern pastors. However, a 'professional' ministry is not our calling.  Christ bids us to an 'unprofessional' ministry. He has called us to be heralds, prophets and his sla
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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
“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.”
“Legalism is a more dangerous disease than alcoholism because it doesn’t look like one. Alcoholism makes men fail; legalism helps them succeed in the world. Alcoholism makes men depend on the bottle; legalism makes them self-sufficient, depending on no one. Alcoholism destroys moral resolve; legalism gives it strength. Alcoholics don’t feel welcome in the church; legalists love to hear their morality extolled in church.” 4 likes
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