The book, Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, is my first book that I read or listened that is written by Paul Tripp. This book is geared towards people in the ministry, especially pastors. I believe that this is the book that every pastor ought to read. Paul Tripp, being a successful pastor, is being very honest and transparent in sharing his own temptations, struggles, and failures in his personal life and ministry. He warns pastors that the biggest enemy in the ministry is their own ego and self-worship. He also gives powerful examples of some pastors who ruined their families because of wrong priorities in ministry. To avoid making such a mistakes, Paul Tripp emphasizes the necessity of preaching the Gospel to ourselves every day.
What have I learned from this book?
I learned that ministry can quickly become an idol in our lives. It’s very easy to shift our focus from God to ourselves. We can very quickly switch from building God’s kingdom to building our own little church kingdom. I learned that it’s very important not to think that you have arrived or that you are better than other Christians just because you are a minister. I need Christ just like everyone else in my church and I also need to preach the Gospel daily to myself just to others as well.
We have forgotten that pastoral ministry is war and that you will never live successfully in the pastorate if you live with the peacetime mentality. Permit me to explain. The fundamental battle of pastoral ministry is not with the shifting values of the surrounding culture. It is not the struggle with resistant people who don’t seem to esteem the Gospel. It is not the fight for the success of ministries of the church. And is not the constant struggle of resources and personnel to accomplish the mission. No, the war of the pastor is a deeply personal war. It is far on the ground of the pastor’s heart. It is a war values, allegiances, and motivations. It’s about the subtle desires and foundational dreams. This war is the greatest threat to every pastor. Yet it is a war that we often naïvely ignore or quickly forget in the busyness of local church ministry.