Paul David Trip is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life.”  He just wrote a fantastic book called, Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, where he confronts the unhealthy pastoral culture that is prevalent today.

This book is written by a pastor who has lived out the dysfunctions of a messed up pastoral culture.  Paul Tripp leads the reader to a place of self realization through his own stories.  I love the author’s honesty about his own failures as a pastor.  Paul David Tripp asks bold Gospel-Centered questions that have made this book a must read for any pastor.  The day after I finished this book, I was looking at places to purchase cases for friends, and family.  If you read one book this year, this is it!

The book is broken into three sections:

1. Examining Pastor Culture

2. The Danger of Losing your Awe (Forgetting Who God Is)

3. The Danger of Arrival (Forgetting Who You Are)

My favorite section (meaning the chapters that wrecked me the most) were The Danger of Losing Your Awe.  Here are some awesome quotes that stood out:

“Think of What your privilege is when your greatest ganger is that the great things of religion may become common to you.”

“Could there be a greater danger in ministry than that the one leading the ministry would lose his awe? “

“Awe of God should be the reason I do what I do with my thoughts.  It should be the reason I desire what I desire.  Awe of God should be the reason I treat my wife the way I do and parent in the manner I do…Awe of God is meant to rule every domain of my existence.”

“The youth ministry of the church must move beyond Bible entertainment and do all it and to help teens to see God’s glory and name it as the thing for which they live.  “

“My passion for ministry is not about how I am being received ; it flows out of the reality that i have been received by him. “

All it takes is a trip to a conference to see how messed up pastoral culture is.  I wonder how many youth pastors out there are in ministry for all the wrong reasons.  Paul Tripp leads us back to what our focus should be on, and that is God.  We shouldn’t be afraid of ourselves, or of other people.  We should fear God in our ministries and God alone.  We need to live in the Awe of God, and that will direct everything else.

If there was one book to recommend this year,  it would be, Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry.  My hope and prayer for you this year is that you would find the awe of God, and seek him in your ministry.

How do you see a messed up youth pastor culture?  Is it based on ego building more that discipleship?  

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