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Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry, Updated and Expanded Edition Paperback – February 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“It was the kindness of God which led me to stumble across this book in my first year of pastoral ministry.  I remember vividly kneeling at my bedside in tears, feeling so rebuked and so encouraged at the same time.  I loved this book then and, with several new chapters, I love it even more now.  I hope every pastor reads this book and listens to its sane, practical, biblical advice.”

Kevin DeYoung
Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church
East Lansing, Michigan
Author of The Hole in Our Holiness



John Piper makes me uncomfortable.  And I thank God for that.  He makes me uneasy with the worldliness that so easily creeps into my heart in my thinking about ministry.  He highlights temptations to compromise – temptations that I know personally.  He warns me of hidden traps.  He urges me against allowing the calling of God to be domesticated by the outlook of this passing age, or by my desire to be esteemed by it.  But he also reminds me of issues where my people need to be challenged and encouraged.  I read Brothers, We Are Not Professionals when it first came out a decade ago, and have returned to portions of it repeatedly, for examination, encouragement and exhortation.  I am delighted now to commend this new edition, with additional chapters addressing important topics.  This book is ultimately not only convicting, but comforting, and not only exhortational but devotional.  This is a faithful prophet’s call to the sons of the prophets.  May the Lord grant, by the power of his grace, that we would be able to join John is his prayer:  “Thank You for protecting me for all these years from the deadening effects of professionalization.”

Ligon Duncan
Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church
Jackson, MS




“John Piper is a pastor to pastors.  His love for them and his desire to see them faithfully fulfill their calling leaps from each chapter of this book.  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  



"Once again, Dr. Piper has provided a generation of pastors with a clear and profound statement on our calling, and his legacy of biblical faithfulness and commitment to God's glory is felt in every chapter."

 Matt Carter


This book has been a staple for our pastors-in-training for many years--one of the few books I consider to be an absolute must read for those wanting to pursue God's work in God's way.  God used the first edition of this book to profoundly shape my ministry philosophy, and 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.

JD Greear
Lead Pastor, the Summit Church
Author of Gospel and Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart
Twitter: @jdgreear @summitrdu


This is not a book for those who want a simple and easy life, it's a book for servants whom God has raised up to get down on the ground and selflessly serve by leading God's people, proclaiming God's truth, and earnestly contending for the faith.  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
Co-pastor of Saint Andrew's Chapel
Editor of Tabletalk magazine

 


From the Back Cover

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
Co-pastor of Saint Andrew's Chapel
Editor of Tabletalk magazine
 
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
Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan
Author of The Hole in Our Holiness
 
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
 
 
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
Lead Pastor, the Summit Church

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Books; Revised edition (February 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433678829
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433678820
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of more than 50 books, and more than 30 years of his preaching and teaching is available free of charge at desiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noël, have four sons, one daughter, and twelve grandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Adair on February 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
I first read Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper in January of 2010 (yes, eight years after it had been published). And it was rich food for my soul and health to my bones. John Piper pleaded with pastors, who are constantly surrounded by leadership books and professional tips to better themselves, to stay true to the supernatural aspect of the ministry. We are not professionals in the sense of "education, a set of skills, and a set of guild-defined standards which are possible without faith in Jesus," writes Piper (x). He was faithful to this endeavor in 2002, and he added to that faithfulness with this updated and expanded edition.

Adding six new chapters to the 30 already fantastic ones of the first edition, these are nothing new if you've followed Pastor John over the years. Two of them were added (chaps. 4 & 6) to further clarify theological points he had previously made, namely on the subjects of God making much of us and God being the gospel (of which Piper has written a book about, published in 2005).

Chapters 13 & 18, which are new additions as well, are focused on being a better preacher in our modern age. Being a Bible-oriented preacher, not an entertainment-oriented preacher, is one of the best exhortations to pastors about being faithful to the Word of God, not giving in to the current trends and flippancy of the day. Chapter 18, subsequently, challenges pastors to pursue the tone of the text. By that he means "the feel that it has. The spirit it emits. The emotional quality. The affectional tenor. The mood" of the text (121). These are invaluable for any pastor, but especially us younger ones.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jared Totten on February 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Just at the beginning of the month, I came on staff at my church full time. And let me tell you, the pressure in a mere two weeks (largely that I have placed on myself) to step up my game has surprised me. The drive to be professional, polished, prepared, proficient--the performance trap had swallowed me whole. So the arrival of John Piper's revised edition of Brothers, We Are Not Professionals could not have come at a better time. These were challenges and questions that I needed to consider as I evaluated the tendencies of my own heart. As Piper asks in his new preface:

Is there professional praying?
Is there professional trusting in God's promises?
Is there professional weeping over souls?
Is there professional musing on the depths of revelation?
Is there professional rejoicing over truth?
Is there professional treasuring the riches of Christ?
Is there professional walking by the Spirit?
Is there professional exercise of spiritual gifts?
Is there professional courage in the face of persecution?

The beauty in Piper's plea is that it relieves us of the burden of oppressive professionalism--and calls us to humble, Spirit-empowered ministry in one sweeping movement.

But this book isn't just a caution against the slick and skillful specialist/pastor ideal. Within this book lies the heartbeat of Piper's ministry and writing in seed-form. The themes and passions of John Piper's pastoral life are here as well. With chapter titles like "God Loves His Glory", "Live and Preach Justification by Faith", "Consider Christian Hedonism", "Give Them Passion for Missions", and "Sever the Root of Racism", I cannot help but think of books like Desiring God, Finally Alive, and Bloodlines.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Tibayan on March 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The updated and expanded edition of Brothers We are NOT Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry by John Piper is a blessing to all pastors who read it. It will inevitably and necessarily be a blessing to their local churches as well.

Piper writes in a straightforward and penetrating manner. Pastor John has said that books don't change people, sentences do. There are dozens of sentences here that have the potential to do just that. The tone is warm because in Christ we are adopted by our Father so we are all fundamentally "brothers." There is no authoritarian "I'm-the-expert" impression here.

He has six new chapters in this updated and expanded edition. Chapter 4, "Brothers, God does Make Much of Us" balances the statement that God is God-centered and primarily aims to enable us to make much of him by saying that God does indeed make much of us. Chapter 6 explains the gospel and gives the goal of the gospel that is often minimized, assumed, or forgotten in many gospel presentations, namely that God himself is the goodness of the gospel. His contrast between "Bible-oriented and entertainment-oriented preachers" in chapter 13 was helpful but I did think the bible-oriented preacher who still presses his church (and those he trains) to be "in the know about the ever-changing entertainment and media world" (p. ix) wasn't really confronted. Mark Driscoll is not entertainment-oriented but has exhorted others to be in the know. Perhaps this lack of confrontation was by intention, but the current temptations I face are a bit more nuanced and not commented on by the chapter. Chapter 18 exhorts us to pursue the tone of the text.
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