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Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Hardcover – October 31, 2012
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“My friend Paul Tripp shines the spotlight of God’s Word into the heart of every pastor in this book, Dangerous Calling. If you have been in ministry for 20 minutes or 20 years, I commend it to you. Approach it prayerfully, passionately, and be prepared for the change God will make in your heart, life, and ministry.”
—James MacDonald, Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois; author, Vertical Church
“This book is ‘good’ in the same way that heart surgery is good. It's painful and scary and as you read it you'll be tempted to run away from the truth it contains. But it just might save your life. Pastors need this book. I know I really needed it. It challenged me and rebuked me even as it gave me hope and fresh faith in God for pastoral ministry.”
—Joshua Harris, Former Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland; author, Dug Down Deep
"Dangerous Calling is a dangerous book to read. It is also a book every person in ministry should read. It will cut you to the heart and bring massive conviction if you read it with a humility and ask God to expose sins deeply hidden in your soul. It cuts, but it also provides biblical remedies for healing. I would love to put this book in the hand of every seminarian who walks on my campus."
—Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Pastoral ministry is a dangerous calling, and this is a dangerous book. It will not leave you unchanged. Pastors need pastors, and by God’s grace, every page of this book will minister to your heart, your marriage, your family, and the people you serve—in ways you never thought you needed it. This book digs down into the inner recesses of our hearts to reveal our greatest idols and point to our greatest needs. It will make you joyfully uncomfortable and, by God’s grace, will bring you to your knees in tears of thankfulness only to help lift your weary head to fix your renewed gaze on Christ. This book is like a mirror that redirects our hearts’ reflection from ourselves to Christ. If this book were a sermon, it would be the most weighty and refreshing sermon you’ve ever needed to hear. My sincere hope is that this book would be translated into multiple languages, become required reading in seminaries, and be ¬distributed to Christians everywhere who know they’re called to serve God and others with the gifts the Holy Spirit has equipped them.”
—Burk Parsons, Copastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, Florida; Editor, Tabletalk magazine
“Our wives, children, and the members we serve will have a new husband, father, and pastor by Friday if we follow Tripp’s example and give a humble and honest reading of this book—one with our inner Pharisee and scribe turned off. We will see the need to save our selves from a very dark and destructive force working against pastors: undiagnosed pastoral self-righteousness. With much wisdom and conviction, Tripp’s Dangerous Calling preaches the gospel of grace to the men who are preaching the gospel Sunday after Sunday to everyone but themselves.”
—Eric C. Redmond, Assistant Professor of Bible, Moody Bible Institute; Pastor of Adult Ministries, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Illinois
“Few would regard a pastor’s role as a dangerous calling, but few people are as qualified and insightful as Paul Tripp to penetrate the snares and potential pitfalls associated with pastoral ministry. Fewer still would prescribe such gospel based and local church rooted remedies. This excellent volume should be read, re-read & applied.”
—Terry Virgo , founder, Newfrontiers
About the Author
Paul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is also the president of Paul Tripp Ministries. He has written a number of popular books on Christian living, including What Did You Expect?, Dangerous Calling, Parenting, and New Morning Mercies. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Luella and they have four grown children. For more information and resources, visit paultrippministries.org.
Top customer reviews
The second part of the book is just as needed and powerful. He addresses the sin of losing a sense of awe in ministry. We become so accustom to the holy, that we no longer consider it sacred. Because of this, preacher learn to life with sin too. We do not sit under our sermons, and can learn because of the system created in America, in churches to compartmentalize our lives. We also gain a unrealistic sense of self. Everyone praises preachers, and preachers believe this too much. We are set apart, and we do not know how to handle it.
The third part calls the preacher back to God. This speaks to the sense of self glory. You are living out of your skills, and not grace. Anytime this happens, you are being set up for a fall by Satan. You are in need of grace as much as everyone else. Claim this, and live out of this empowerment, not your skills or charm.
This is the best book on the heart of a preacher. It is a good or great heart check. It is a wonderful read, for those who need to be reminded, and learn about particular sins that preachers can be tempted by.
Tripp makes an air-tight case around the unique vulnerability of the pastoral calling from personal accounts and testimony gathered from the scattered shrapnel of years of professional and academic experiences quick to find collaboration within your own experience. The problematic underpinnings of pastoral culture are carefully explored and substantiated within the early days of seminary on into the pursuit of advanced degrees. The expected behavior adopted within the world of academia is purely theoretical and potentially offers the successful student a false sense of preparedness in ministry without having real-world experience.
The author then deals with the heart of the career pastor with surgical precision. Essentially, the diseased heart is removed from the chest cavity for proper diagnosis. The diseased areas are fully exposed and explored with painful microscopic detail in order to identify, bring about self-awareness, and prayerfully excise the unhealthy sections to prevent further damage. This sanctification process is recognized as a lifelong necessity in the life of the pastor. Tripp advises each pastor judiciously identify someone to come alongside him in ministry to offer candid spiritual assistance with this form of regular heart, or soul maintenance. This particular role is often described as a Spiritual Director of sorts.
In conclusion, Tripp speaks as a battle-tested survivor from the theatre of church war that each pastor engages on a weekly basis. Natural tension exists within a dichotomy of needed isolation and open public leadership required for the congregation. The inner struggle against self-glory, the sense of "arrival" and the propensity for functionally operating independent of God. The constant awareness of God and His awesomeness is highlighted as causal in maintaining a healthy disposition toward sustained fruitful ministry. This is purposely and painstakingly contrasted with the limited ability of the pastor and his mortality. And yet the dust is visible in the air from the daily theological tussle between the kingdom of self and the kingdom of God in which most pastors engage on a regular basis, often without their knowledge. Much of the inner battle raging is related to control.
Most importantly, I think everyone could get something out of the book, if it is read with an open mind. From start to finish the book touched on important issues faced by pastors, and the need to have someone you trust, so you can openly discuss your own problems and concerns.
I have a very close relationship with my Pastor, who is also a very good friend. While I share most things that trouble ked me, after completing the book, I was able to go to him about something that had been a real struggle. Once we discussed the situation, not only did I feel set free, I felt refreshed and ready to move further in ministry.
It's a must read...my pastor is now reading the book...I suggested he read the last 2 chapters first, and then start over from the beginning...Absolutely wonderful!