Book giveaway: Brothers We Are Not Professionals


“This book changed my ministry.”

That’s what one pastor friend of mine told me about Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper. I had with me at the time, intending to read it on the trip home, I never got around to it.

If I’d been wiser, I would have started that night. What I love about this book is the unashamed, unyielding commitment to a God-centered vision of ministry, one that seeks to make less of us so that we might make much of Jesus.

I really appreciate how Piper puts it here:

Let us declare boldly and powerfully what God loves most—the glory of God. Let us guard ourselves from the ocean of man-centeredness around us. “Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?” (Isa. 2:22). The foundation, the means, and the goal of God’s agape for sinners is His prior, deeper, and ultimate love for His own glory. Therefore, brothers, tell your people the great ground of the gospel: God loves His glory! (p. 9)

Today I’m giving away a copy of the updated and expanded edition of Brothers, We Are Not Professionals to one reader, courtesy of B&H Publishing and The A Group.

To enter, leave a comment with a quote from a book that’s shaped your thinking on Christian life and ministry.

The contest closes at 11:59:59 (ET). The winner will be contacted via email.

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  • ‘Guerite ~ BoldLion

    I would love to give this to my pastor to encourage him to continue to Preach the Word and be bold as a lion to witness to others. We can be who God made us for His Glory.

  • Timothy Harris

    “Right thinking about the gospel produces right living in the gospel.” (Michael P.V. Barrett, “Complete in Him”)

  • JR

    The preacher…is not a professional man
    his ministry is not a profession;
    it is a divine institution,
    a divine devotion.
    E.M. Bounds.

  • Byron Hand

    I read this book while on a Mission trip in Nigeria … in a world with no end of leadership books – this was for me a cool drink on a hot day …

    “Brothers, we must let the river run deep. This is a plea for passion in the pulpit, passion in prayer, passion in conversation. It is not a plea for thin, whipped-up emotionalism. (“Let’s all stand up and smile!”) It is a plea for deep feelings in worthy forms from God-besotted hearts and minds”

  • Willie Harris Jr

    “The church, like the SS United States, has been designed for battle. The purpose of the church is to mobilize a people to accomplish a mission. Yet we seem to have turned the church as troop carrier into the church as luxury liner. We seem to have organized ourselves, not to engage in battle for the souls of peoples around the world, but to indulge ourselves in the peaceful comforts of the world.” -Radical by David Platt

  • Matthew Kratz

    Showing how the scriptures inform and guide the God given passion for Christian life and ministry, I found this quote helpful:
    “The biblical pattern (of pastoral ministry) describes a Spirit-filled man who gives oversight, shepherds, guides, teaches, and warns-doing all with a heart of love, comfort, and compassion” (Rediscovering Pastoral Ministry by John MacArthur. p. 41)

  • M.K.

    “A thought occurs to me: do I possess a stamina for going unnoticed? Can I handle being overlooked? Do I have a spirituality that equips me to do an unknown thing for his glory?”
    –Zack Eswine, _Sensing Jesus: Life and Ministry as a Human Being_ (Crossway, 2013) p. 245

  • Dug Deep Ministries

    Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in Christian behavior may be. It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest. There is never anything that we are or have or do that can take His place, or that can take a place along with Him. We are always unworthy, and all that we have or do of good is always of pure grace. Though blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ, we are still in ourselves just “miserable sinners”: “miserable sinners” saved by grace to be sure, but “miserable sinners” still, deserving in ourselves nothing but everlasting wrath. That is the attitude which the Reformers took, and that is the attitude which the Protestant world has learned from the Reformers to take, toward the relation of believers to Christ.

    – B.B. Warfield
    The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield

    I have been particularly blessed by Warfields “Miserable sinner” Christianity

  • Katie D.

    From “Knowing God”:

    What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it—the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands [Isa. 49:16]. I am never out of his mind. All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.

    This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort—the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates—in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.

  • Josh Dear

    “His [Paul’s] responsibility extended, not only towards the gospel which he was charged to preach and preserve, but also towards the needy people to whom he was sent to impart it, and who were perishing without it.”

    – J. I. Packer, in “Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God”, p. 51 (1991 IVP edition)

  • Dan Brubacher

    “We are facilitators of transcendence. Our main job is to usher in the Almighty. . . . God Himself moving through the church in power and meeting with His people in manifest ways. When did we decide that relevant need-meeting was superior to awesome God-meeting? We have settled for the horizontal and become comfortable leading and attending churches that God does not.”
    – James MacDonald in “Vertical Church” (p. 46-47)

  • Phil

    Not to over spiritual-ize this but our thinking must begin with scripture in all areas…
    So the quote that influenced my thinking on ministry is: ” By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”

    (1 John 3:16 ESV)

  • Keith

    I Corinthians 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

  • Corey

    “The church is the mirror, that reflects the whole effulgence of the divine character. It is the grand scene, in which the perfections of Jehovah are displayed to the universe… Thus every step in the way of our salvation hath on it the print of infinite majesty, wisdom, and goodness; and this among the rest, that men, sinful, weak men, are made subservient in that great work, of bringing Christ and souls too meet; that by “the foolishness of preaching (or what appears so to carnal wisdom) the chosen of God are called, and come unto Jesus, and are made wise unto salvation; and that the life, which is conveyed to them by the word of life in the hands of poor men, is by the same means preserved and advanced.” -Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry

  • yaddamaster

    “…..that God loves us, sinners all, and that we know that
    because Holy Week, culminating in Easter, and Pentecost are not simply yearly
    moments in the church’s calendar, but are the fundamental realities of all
    human life.” – Listening to the Spirit in the Text, Gordon Fee.

    I highlighted the sentence over a decade ago when I was
    struggling with an intense spiritual dryness and despair in my ministry. I was
    going through the motions, from one calendar event to the next. Then I
    encountered Gordon Fee (among others) who encouraged and watered my soul again by
    emphasizing the role of the Holy Spirit in everyday life and ministry.

  • Andrew Wencl

    “The worship service is a support to the active believers; it is not the main evangelistic tool.” – Jim Putman, Real-Life Discipleship, p.88

  • Daniel Edwards

    God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him- John Piper. I know this isn’t specifically about ministry, but it’s central to my understanding of the Bible, Christian life and, also, ministry.

  • Dan Hardesty

    Having recently read Tripp’s Dangerous Calling, this one sticks out to me, “No one gives grace better than a person who is deeply persuaded that he needs it himself and is being given it in Christ.”

  • David Norman

    Honestly, I can’t imagine any quote affecting me as much as Piper’s anecdote about, “You must kiss me, but not that kind of must” from Desiring God.

  • Jovy

    A chapter that encourages me until now especially studying in a seminary is one on the importance of the study of Hebrew and Greek… and he’s a banker!