I’ve just finished reading Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp. It has been an encouraging (in its focus on the gospel of grace) and at the same time immensely challenging (in its exposure of so many of my weaknesses and the temptations I face in ministry) read. I know it is an over-used phrase, but I think this should be compulsory reading for pastors – and probably for those who support them (either spouses or other leaders in the church).
Here’s a quote from the final chapter which shows the root sin of ministry is the same as the root of all sin:
This is the great internal war of ministry. You are called to be a public and influential ambassador of a gorious King, but you must resist the desire to be a king. You are called to trumpet God’s glory, but you must never take that glory for yourself. You are called to a position of leadership, influence, and prominence, but in that position you are called to “humble yourself under the mighty hand of God” (1 Pet 5:6) Perhaps there is nothing more important in ministry than knowing your place. Perhaps all the fear of man, the pride of knowing, the seduction of acclaim, the quest for control, the depression in the face of hardship, the envy of the ministry of others, the bitterness against detractors, and the anxiety of failure are all about the same thing. Each of these things is about the temptation to make your ministry about you. From that first dark moment in the garden, this has been the struggle – to make it all about us.”
Buy and read this book if you are a pastor or if you want to understand and support your pastor better.
And if you want to hear a short overview on the Biblical teaching on the role of a pastor we were thinking about this last week in Wrecclesham and you can listen to the talk here.