Still Not Professionals: 2013 Conference for Pastors

Still Not Professionals: 2013 Conference for Pastors

Brothers, we are not professionals.

That was John Piper’s plea to pastors for radical ministry a decade ago in the publication of the 2002 book of the same title. Since then, it’s become one of our most often quoted lines, along with “don’t waste your life,” “missions exists because worship doesn’t,” and “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

But as central as Brothers, We Are Not Professionals is to Piper’s vision of the nature of Christian ministry, we’ve never taken up this theme at our annual pastors conference — until now.

On February 4–6, 2013, we will gather at the Minneapolis Convention Center, God willing, under the banner

Brothers, We Are Still Not Professionals:
Reclaiming the Centrality of the Supernatural in Ministry

We hope you’ll find the lineup of topics and speakers as unusually refreshing as we do (including a special Monday afternoon seminar with Mark Dever).

Success and the Supernatural: Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome — 26 Years Later
Kent Hughes

Pastoral Transition After a 32-Year Ministry: Strategy and the Supernatural
Jason Meyer

Sovereign Grace, Spiritual Gifts, and the Pastor: How Should a Reformed Pastor Be Charismatic?
Tope Koleoso

The Pastor-Shepherd as Poet and Prophet: Thoughts from the Life and Poetry of George Herbert
John Piper

Do the Work of An Evangelist: Evangelism, As Though Conversion Were Supernatural
Darrin Patrick

Supernatural World Missions: “With Man This Is Impossible”
Mack Stiles

Visit the event page to learn more and to register.

To give you the flavor for where we're headed in the conference, here’s a short sample from Piper’s new preface to the revised version of Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, due out in January 2013 (with six new chapters and available now for pre-order):

Is there professional praying? Professional trusting in God’s promises? Professional weeping over souls? Professional musing on the depths of revelation? Professional rejoicing in the truth? Professional praising God’s name? Professional treasuring the riches of Christ? Professional walking by the Spirit? Professional exercise of spiritual gifts? Professional dealing with demons? Professional pleading with backsliders? Professional perseverance in a hard marriage? Professional playing with children? Professional courage in the face of persecution? Professional patience with everyone?

These are not marginal activities in the pastoral life. They are central. They are the essence. Why do we choke on the word “professional” in those connections? Because professionalization carries the connotation of an education, a set of skills, and a set of guild-defined standards which are possible without faith in Jesus. Professionalism is not supernatural. The heart of ministry is.

Here’s more from Piper on the conference theme:

We hope you'll join us in the Twin Cities February 4–6 as we celebrate the heart of Christian ministry as essentially supernatural.

David Mathis (@davidcmathis) is executive editor at, pastor at Cities Church (Minneapolis), and adjunct professor for Bethlehem College & Seminary. He has edited several books, including Thinking. Loving. Doing., Finish the Mission, and Acting the Miracle, and is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.