Have you ever read something that stepped on your toes so severely you never wanted to put it down?
Until I read Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp. This just-over-200-pages book calls us to confront issues that plague those in ministry wrecked me and my perception of being ‘in ministry.’ It pulled me in, made me confront sin, willfulness, pride, and much more. It ripped off the band aid of complacency that had allowed me to wallow in self-pity and made me face my inadequacies, faults, and struggles. It propelled me to more deeply pursue The Only Solution to these failings, Christ and the Gospel.
As leaders, we focus on the program, the tasks needed to minister to others, on so many other things. One of my most impactful quotes from Tripp says, “Forgetting to preach to himself the gospel he sought to give to others kicked in a downward spiral in his heart, which he was unaware of until it was so burdensome, all he wanted to do was quit.”
My heart wants to quit lots of times, and I have lots of band-aids that still need ripped off. I have returned to the book time and again to peel off another band-aid and face another layer of sin.
A Personal War
Tripp says, “The war of the pastorate is a deeply personal war. It is fought on the ground of the pastor’s heart. This war is a war of values, allegiances, and motivations. It is about subtle desires and foundational dreams. This war is the greatest threat to every pastor. Yet it is a war that we often naively ignore or quickly forget in the busyness of local-church ministry.”
What battle is your heart in right now? What desires and dreams are you chasing? Are you consumed with busyness in ministry, feeling stuck, questioning your calling? If so, I encourage you to pick up a copy and let the examination of this Dangerous Calling as ministers of the Gospel drive you to the hope in Jesus Christ alone.