Brothers, we are not Professionals

John Piper, Mentor, 2003

Bolty gave me this book to review for something else. This post is not the review, though perhaps the germ of one. I’ve just finished reading it and need to get some things down.

Firstly, the book is not about professionalism per se. The sub-title is really the heart of what the book is about: ‘A plea to pastors for radical ministry’. The first chapter feels like a rant about not being professionals, without any sort of good definition of what being professional actually is. However, as you read through the book, you get the feeling that what Piper is actually asking pastors to do is to love God and feed the flock. That is, the professionalism that Piper rails against may be the kind wherein one simply ‘does the job’ rather than sees their work as a pastor as being a shepherd of God. This seems to be what is going on here.

The book carries the classic Piper emphases, and is written in his typical style. It’s easy to read, with most chapters being short. This is the kind of book that should be read to fire someone up for ministry as ministry, service, worship, rather than ministry as job. For me, this was a timely reminder amidst the barrage of conversations that involve the question, ‘What are you doing next year?’ I pray that where I am, I would serve, whether it’s my job or not.

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