Still Not Professionals

Reflections on: “Still Not Professionals: ten pleas for today’s pastor’s”. Chapter 1: Brothers, the Ministry Is Supernatural, John Piper (

This is not the overstated professionalism of the three-piece suit and the power offices of the upper floors, but the understated professionalism of torn blue jeans and the savvy inner ring. This professionalism is not learned in pursuing an MBA, but by being in the know about the ever-changing entertainment and media world. This is the professionalization of ambience, and tone, and idiom, and timing, and banter. It is more intuitive and less taught. More style and less technique. More feel and less force.

I think every young (if I still fall into that category) church planter feels this professional push, especially in Southern California. The need for a certain look and the push for a certain style is magnified by the fact that the internet provides an instant comparison chart on what is hip and working in evangelical circles. I would be lying to say that I don’t feel those waves hitting the shores of my heart.

These words brings perspective to my heart:

There is a professional way to crucify. But there is no professional way to be crucified. There were professionals on Golgotha. They were experts in torture. But Jesus was not one of them.

The rawness of the cross is good for me to think about and works in my heart as an antidote for the poison of professionalism and the idolatry of “hipness”.

The chapter ends with these words:

This is a plea for pastors to put the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the power of Christ-exalting truth, and the purity of holy living, above the pragmatic considerations of organization, and above our concerns with compelling style.

Praying for growth in dependency on the Holy Spirit.

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