John Piper has been senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis since 1980 and has authored many books. This one is directed especially to those who are engaged in Christian ministry, in particular to pastors. However, that should not limit its readership. Most thinking Christians are becoming aware that the church and its ministers are becoming secularized and this is steadily weakening the churches.
This book is a challenge to pastors to move back into their prophetic calling as true ministers of God. The chapters are each quite short and some of the titles suggest the burden of the book. “Brothers, let us pray”. “Brothers, beware of Sacred Substitutes”. “Brothers, read Christian Biography”. “Brothers, God Loves His Glory”. The churches and the pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the ministry. The mentality of the pastor of today is not that of the prophet. The expectation of the flock has become eroded and is at an all time low, being content with superficial sermons which merely entertain and do nothing to deliver the congregations either from their biblical illiteracy nor bring them to a knowledge of God and His full salvation.
This book is a challenge to the pastors and ministers of today to look carefully to their calling and examine whether they are living and ministering faithfully according to God’s agenda or that of the world dressed up in a pseudo Christian guise. Ministers are called to be men of the Spirit of God and of His Word, this is God’s agenda for them. Their citizenship is in heaven and they are to speak as those who come from God, His spokesmen and women who embrace the life of those who are aliens and exiles in this world. This is a book which pastors would do well to read regularly, perhaps a chapter each week, perhaps on a Sunday morning before they begin their ministry of the day. It would help them to be refreshed with the wonder and the responsibility of being God’s servants charged with bringing His word in the power of His Spirit to the people.