Blog Posts on Pastoral Ministry

First-Day Thoughts on Not Being a Pastor Anymore

John Piper

I’ve been thinking about how much I love finishing things. I get great pleasure in finishing — a poem, a sermon, a book, or cutting the grass, or fixing the dripping faucet, or selling our car. It’s hard for me to walk away from something half done.

But, of course, anything that takes longer than a day, you have to walk away from unfinished. You have to sleep. So it…

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Faithfully Pursuing Fruitfulness

Adrian Warnock

One of several helpful discussions in the speaker panel at the recent Desiring God Conference for Pastors dealt with implications from Kent Hughes’s pastor-saving message on “Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome.” Two possible errors were discussed — taking our identity from how outwardly “successful” our ministries may appear, or never really trying our best for God in his work (but only passively waiting for him to act).

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Why Expand ‘Brothers, We Are Not Professionals’

David Mathis

The bread and butter of Christian ministry is supernatural.

It’s been a decade since John Piper made his plea to fellow pastors, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals. Ten years later, he stands by that message as much as ever, and has updated and expanded the book — which officially becomes available today.

Here’s how Piper puts it in the new preface:

Nothing has happened in the last ten…

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Where Is Your Identity?

Jonathan Parnell

Stop looking at yourself in carnival mirrors. This is one plea from Paul Tripp’s new book, Dangerous Calling. Carnival mirrors give us a distortion of who we really are, and they’re everywhere we look.

This is especially true of the pastor or ministry leader who is tempted to stay locked in on the horizontal level. The danger is to mistake our work to be what defines us — to…

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Still Not Professionals (Free eBook)

David Mathis

On February 4–6, 2013, we will gather, God willing, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the annual Desiring God Conference for Pastors. This time the theme is “Brothers, We Are Still Not Professionals: Reclaiming the Centrality of the Supernatural in Ministry.” Just days prior to the conference is the scheduled release of John Piper’s revised and expanded Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry.

This…

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Because God Leads: The Story of Jason Meyer

Jonathan Parnell

"There's something I want you to pray about, Jason," his grandfather said. Now this at least got his attention. Jason's grandfather was a successful farmer in rural South Dakota, and not to mention, a trusted elder in the local Reformed church. When he spoke, people listened — especially Jason standing beside him under a cold, overcast sky. "I've been noticing your life," his grandfather continued, "and I believe God is…

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Brothers, Praise Somebody Other Than God

Sam Crabtree

Brothers, praise somebody other than God.

I can hear blasphemy sirens going off in readers’ minds. If “praise somebody other than God” means “praise somebody instead of God,” or “more than God,” the concern is warranted indeed. But if “praise somebody other than God” means “do it because God is honored by it,” that’s another thing entirely.

Commending Whom God Commends

Is it possible that God actually receives more

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Enjoying the Trophies of God's Mighty Grace

David Mathis

This Advent is the 33rd John Piper has spent among the people of Bethlehem Baptist Church. And it is his last Advent as senior pastor.

God willing, Pastor John will serve as an associate in the first quarter of 2013 and officially finish his course as a local-church pastor on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013.

Here’s an except from his final Advent letter to the church. We thought this section…

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Brothers, Live a Visible, Exemplary, Everyday Life

Jeff Vanderstelt

As I mentor and coach leaders in North American churches, I find a common theme among many pastors: They live and lead in such a way so as to disqualify themselves as an elder in their own church.

Living “Among” the Flock

First of all, they are not living and leading “among.” First Peter 5:2–4 exhorts the elders to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you . .

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Brothers, Supernatural Does Not Mean Stupid

John Piper

If somebody reads my last blog, “Brothers, the Ministry Is Supernatural” (not professional), and says, “So, then, you think it doesn’t matter if we sing off key, preach incompetently, and don’t provide parking?” my answer is, “That’s just stupid.”

It matters whether you think the only alternative to tacky is “professional.” If the only way you have for urging excellence in your church is to urge “professionalism,” I suggest you…

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