Wednesday, July 8, 2009


“No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.”

I think that what happens for many pastors is that the ministry does not flourish with as much power and joy as they had hoped and just to survive emotionally they start to give way to amusements and diversions and hobbies.

>The ministry becomes a 40-hour-a-week job that you do like any other, and then the evenings and days off are filled up with harmless, enjoyable diversions. And the whole feel changes. The radical urgency fades. The wartime mentality shifts to a peacetime mentality.The lifestyle starts to get cushy. The all-consuming singleness of vision evaporates.

Let me say it again. Our people need a God-besotted man. Even if they criticize the fact that you are not available at the dinner on Saturday night because you must be with God, they need at least one man in their life who is radically and totally focused on God and the pursuit of the knowledge of God, and the ministry of the word of God.

How many people in your churches do you know that are laboring to know God, who are striving earnestly in study and to enlarge their vision of God. Precious few. Well then, what will become of our churches if we the pastors, who are charged with knowing and unfolding the whole counsel of God, shift into neutral, quit reading and studying and writing, and take on more hobbies and watch more television?

—The Pastor as Theologian: Reflections on the Life and Ministry of Jonathan Edwards, a sermon delivered on April 15, 1988 by John Piper at the 1988 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors.

pulled off: