One of the pivotal reads in my pastoral calling has been Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper. This book has been an ongoing comfort and sharpening to me when I’ve become pastorally dull-minded, which all pastors experience.
In 2013 B&H Publishers released an updated and expanded edition of this present-day classic. This new edition includes six additional chapters: 4, 6, 13, 18, 22, and 27. These are welcomed additions to this book.
If you’ve never read Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, I heartily commend it to you. John Piper’s passion for the pastorate and the building of heathy churches brims throughout this book.
1. “We Pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry” (1).
2. “Many people are willing to be God-centered as long as they feel that God is man-centered” (6).
3. “An appeal to God’s righteousness is at root an appeal to His unswerving allegiance to the value of His own holy name” (13).
4. “The aim has been to help people relocate that bottom of their joy — the decisive foundation of their joy — from self to God” (17).
5. “The ultimate end of the gospel is coming home to God” (48).
6. “God is not looking for people to work for Him but people who let Him work mightily in and through them” (56).
7. “God was the workman in our justification and he will be the workman in our sanctification” (58).
8. “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him…My life is devoted to helping people make God their God, by wakening in them the greatest pleasures in Him” (61).
9. “A cry for help form the heart of a childlike pastor is a sweet praise in the ears of God” (70).
10. “The importance of prayer rises in proportion to the importance of the things we should give up in order to pray” (77).
11. “Brothers, beware of sacred substitutes. Devote yourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word” (78).
12. “The domestication of God is a curse on preaching in our day” (87).
13. “The difference between an entertainment-oriented preacher and a Bible-oriented preacher is whether there is a manifest connection between the preacher’s words and the Bible as what authorizes what he says” (90).
14. “One of the greatest tragedies in the church today is the depreciation of the pastoral office” (101).
15. “If you feel dependent on God to help you see the meaning of a text, then you will cry to Him for help” (115).
16. “Pursue the tone of the text. But let it be informed, not muted, by the tonal balance of Jesus and the apostles and by the gospel of grace” (121).
17. “The eternal life of the elect hangs on the effectiveness of pastoral labors” (127).
18. “When the heart no longer feels the truth of hell, the gospel passes from good news to simply news” (134).
19. “The first spiritual step on the Calvary road of radical obedience to Jesus is repentance” (138).
20. “So preaching that aims to produce true evangelical remorse and contrition must devote itself to making God and His holiness look alluring attractive and satisfying, so that, by the grace of regeneration and illumination, people will come to love it so much that they feel intense remorse over falling short of it” (143).