John Piper: What I had to learn the hard way

When John Piper was asked what he learned in ministry the hard way, this was his response:

Don’t assume that all fat people are gluttons. And don’t use the word fat. There is a principle here. Learn from logic and experience not to associate things—especially in preaching—that don’t necessarily go together. Another way to say it is: be hyper-vigilant to avoid and explode stereotypes. Not all single women want to be married. Not all boys like football. Not all homemakers like to cook. Not all messy people are lazy. And not all the obese are gluttons. There are glands and diabetes and a dozen conditions you never heard of that may account for things. Put your sermon through the counter-stereotype sieve.

via On stereotypes, risks, and Jesus: Driscoll interviews Piper | The Resurgence (link no longer available)

What is the ONE thing that YOU would say you had to learn the HARD way in ministry?

Please DO share!



  • PastorShane December 21, 2012 Reply

    took me forever to learn that NOT all broken people & broken relationships want my help — more often than not — they simply want me to listen and agree with whatever they are doing…..

  • Dave Gehrls December 21, 2012 Reply

    I can’t “FIX” anyone…

    God will use whom God will use…

    To be very sure of my theological absolutes when teaching.

    Effective team and unity does not require complete doctrinal conformity…Common Christ-like Core Values are usually more important.

    To never assume that I know someones heart and motives…or have, and correctly interpreted, all the facts.

    My Brother is my Brother,
    My Brother is not the enemy…
    Satan is the Enemy.

    Satan devours us by getting us to devour each other.

  • Chuck December 23, 2012 Reply

    Don’t make decisions or hire staff out of desperation. Better to live with the pain of going without or having extra work on my plate than living with the pain of regret.

  • John Rexford January 7, 2013 Reply

    People can love church, pastors and so called ministry, more than loving Jesus. When they do, the train might still run, but it loses power.

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