Brothers we are not professionals - Part 2

The life-giving preacher is a man of God, whose heart is

ever athirst for God, whose soul is ever following hard after

God, whose eye is single to God, and in whom by the power

of God’s Spirit the flesh and the world have been crucified

and his ministry is like the generous flood of a life-giving

river.1

We are most emphatically not part of a social team sharing goals

with other professionals. Our goals are an offense; they are foolishness

(1 Cor. 1:23). The professionalization of the ministry is a constant

threat to the offense of the gospel. It is a threat to the profoundly

spiritual nature of our work. I have seen it often: the love of professionalism

(parity among the world’s professionals) kills a man’s belief

that he is sent by God to save people from hell and to make them

Christ-exalting, spiritual aliens in the world.

The world sets the agenda of the professional man; God sets the

agenda of the spiritual man. The strong wine of Jesus Christ explodes

the wineskins of professionalism. There is an infinite difference

between the pastor whose heart is set on being a professional and the

pastor whose heart is set on being the aroma of Christ, the fragrance

of death to some and eternal life to others (2 Cor. 2:15–16).

God, deliver us from the professionalizers! Deliver us

from the “low, managing, contriving, maneuvering temper

of mind among us.”2 God, give us tears for our sins. Forgive

us for being so shallow in prayer, so thin in our grasp of holy

verities, so content amid perishing neighbors, so empty of

passion and earnestness in all our conversation. Restore to us

the childlike joy of our salvation. Frighten us with the awesome

holiness and power of Him who can cast both soul and

body into hell (Matt. 10:28). Cause us to hold to the cross

with fear and trembling as our hope-filled and offensive tree

of life. Grant us nothing, absolutely nothing, the way the

world views it. May Christ be all in all (Col. 3:11).

Banish professionalism from our midst, Oh God, and in

its place put passionate prayer, poverty of spirit, hunger for

God, rigorous study of holy things, white-hot devotion to

Jesus Christ, utter indifference to all material gain, and unremitting

labor to rescue the perishing, perfect the saints, and

glorify our sovereign Lord.