Brothers, We Are Not Professionals

A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry

by John Piper

John Piper pleads with fellow pastors to abandon the secularization of the pastorate and pursue the prophetic call of the Bible for radical ministry.

We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry. The mentality of the professional is not the mentality of the prophet. It is not the mentality of the slave of Christ. Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and the 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, there is no professional panting after God.

Brothers, we are not professionals. We are outcasts. We are aliens and exiles in the world. Our citizenship is in Heaven, and we wait with eager expectation for the Lord (Phil. 3:20). You cannot professionalize the love for His appearing without killing it. And it is being killed. The world sets the agenda of the professional man; God sets the agenda of the spiritual man. The strong wine of Jesus Christ explodes the wineskins of professionalism.

Named among the “10 Best Books Every Preacher Should Read” in the January/February issue of Preaching Magazine.

First Edition 2002; Updated and Expanded Edition 2013
Broadman & Holman Publishers (Nashville, Tennessee)

“May the Holy Spirit use this book to help ignite the next generation with a passion to deny themselves and take up their crosses to serve Christ and his sheep from every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
Burk Parsons, pastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Lake Mary, Florida

“Piper has provided a generation of pastors with a clear and profound statement on our calling.”
Matt Carter, pastor, The Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, Texas

“I hope every pastor reads this book and listens to its sane, practical, biblical advice.”
Kevin DeYoung, pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan

“It will challenge you. It will instruct you. And most of all, it will encourage you as you shepherd God’s flock which he has entrusted to your care.”
Daniel L. Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“I am honored to be able to recommend this 2nd edition of Brothers, We Are Not Professionals. I cannot commend it highly enough. Read it. Re-read it. And then teach it to others.”
J.D. Greear, pastor, Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina