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
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
Pastoral Transition After a 32-Year Ministry: Strategy and the Supernatural
Sovereign Grace, Spiritual Gifts, and the Pastor: How Should a Reformed Pastor Be Charismatic?
The Pastor-Shepherd as Poet and Prophet: Thoughts from the Life and Poetry of George Herbert
Do the Work of An Evangelist: Evangelism, As Though Conversion Were Supernatural
Supernatural World Missions: “With Man This Is Impossible”
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.