Supernatural does not mean stupid…

John Piper writes/expounds on ‘professionalism’ as it relates to church ministry. Some points from his post, which you can and should read in its entirety here-

  • If somebody reads my last blog, “Brothers, the Ministry Is Supernatural” (not professional), and says, “So, then, you think it doesn’t matter if we sing off key, preach incompetently, and don’t provide parking?” my answer is, “That’s just stupid.”
  •  If the only way you have for urging excellence in your church is to urge “professionalism,” I suggest you need a bigger vocabulary.
  • The baggage attached to the word “professionalism” is not helpful, if you are trying to be a supernatural people of God. And that is what we want to be: Body of Christ, chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, people of God’s own possession, temple of the Holy Spirit, household of God, saints, called, Way, bride of Christ, and more. It is not helpful to aim at being a professional bride.

So when I renounce the pursuit of professionalism, does that mean I don’t aspire to excellence? No. But I do start my quest for excellence with the quest for excellent forgiveness. Excellent mercy. Excellent patience. Excellent kindness. Excellent humility. Excellent self-control. Excellent gospel-walking (Galatians 2:14).

That’s what Paul had in mind when he told us to imitate the infinitely excellent God. “Be imitators of God . . . And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:1–2). I don’t know if Jesus could sing on key, or if his tunic was wrinkle-free, but I do know his capacities for returning good for evil were beautiful beyond words. The radical quest for that excellence is where we begin.

Piper concludes:

Undistracting excellence means that content, language, tone, gesture, and demeanor will all serve the spiritual aims of the message: the quickening of the dead and the building up of faith in the saints by the power of God. There is no professional raising of the dead. And no professional building of the temple of the soul.

Therefore, brothers, we are (still) not professionals. Our aims are supernatural. Therefore, our means are stirred and shaped by the Spirit of God. The excellence we seek serves a spiritual communion with God. It is undistracting. But spiritual does not mean shoddy. And supernatural does not mean stupid.

Read the post in its entirety here-

  • Is there professional praying?
  • Professional trusting in God’s promises?
  • Professional weeping over souls?
  • Professional musing on the depths of revelation?
  • Professional rejoicing in the truth?
  • Professional praising God’s name?
  • Professional treasuring the riches of Christ?
  • Professional walking by the Spirit?
  • Professional exercise of spiritual gifts?
  • Professional dealing with demons?
  • Professional pleading with backsliders?
  • Professional perseverance in a hard marriage?
  • Professional playing with children?
  • Professional courage in the face of persecution?
  • Professional patience with everyone?

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