After traveling the world for many years and speaking at hundreds of churches of all kinds, Paul David Tripp is concerned about the state of pastoral culture. He is not only concerned about the spiritual life of the pastor, but with the very people who train him, call him, relate to him, and restore him if necessary. Dangerous Calling reveals the truth that the culture surrounding our pastors is spiritually unhealthy--an environment that actively undermines the wellbeing and efficacy of our church leaders and thus the entire church body. Here is a book that both diagnoses and offers cures for issues that impact every member and church leader, and gives solid strategies for fighting the war that rages not only in the momentous moments of ministry, but also in the mundane day-by-day life of every pastor.
- Dangerous Calling was Dangerous Reading!
Paul David Tripp
Book Summary: After traveling the globe and speaking to thousands of churches worldwide, Paul David Tripp has discovered a serious problem within pastoral culture. Dangerous Calling reveals the truth that the culture surrounding our pastors is spiritually unhealthy—an environment that actively undermines the well-being and effectiveness of our church leaders and thus the entire church body. Here is a book that both diagnoses and offers cures for issues that impact every member and church leader, and gives solid strategies for fighting the all-important war that rages in our churches today.
Review: Fantastic Book!!!! What a personal testimony, and a very relevant topic for today. Sadly I had to agree with many of his views. I think that never before has someone on the inside of the pastorate admitted that something is radically going wrong with our churches and it starts many times from the man in the pulpit or the leadership. I heard for years it is not the people in the pews that are destroying the church, it is the leadership. It also seemed so sad that pastors feel like they can not be real with the very people who are wishing them the most success. His stories that add depth to the call for pastors to become vulnerable and authentic with the leadership and congregants. I found this book to be more for every church goer so that everyone in the church can help those in need. Because being authentic with people in the church is the hardest thing to do, most people do not really know how to come alongside others and bare one another’s burdens.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Crossway for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
- A fantastic sounding board for pastors and ministry leaders to check themselves by.
It was a great book that gives insight, especially into some of the more challenging areas of pastoral ministry. Tripp shares a number of personal stories about how he worked through a number of issues and how to set yourself up to have health as a pastor and not fall into the traps that many have fallen into.
- Great for pastoral staff and other ministry teams
Wow! This book right here sums up ministry fears but provides real solutions. Through this our ministry team will grow and thrive because of the truths we have studied in this book.
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This book was helpful for me as a ministry leader. It reminded me, convicted me and encouraged me!!
- It reads you...
Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp is one of those difficult-to-read books. Not because it contains lofty language or difficult concepts, but because it feels like you’re being read as you read it. Your motivations called into question. Your long- and deeply-held wounds exposed. Your weak justifications for your wrong attitudes and actions smashed by the hammer of God’s truth.
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller have had similar effects on my outlook on life. However, Dangerous Calling is specifically addressed to pastors and deals directly with the challenges of vocational ministry. As I read it, I began to realize how easily I begin to believe the insidious lies of the devil, how quickly I begin to believe my own press, and how quickly I can forget my own need for gospel grace.
Every pastor should read this book. If for no other reason, we would all have a common reason to be honest with one another about our struggles. We would have permission to let our guard down, and then realize that we’re actually more effective when we minister from a place of grace dependence rather than pretending. Tripp’s own testimony that opens the book is Exhibit A that you can have a ministry that is outwardly successful while your family suffers and you rot from the inside out.
Every elder or church board member should read this book. Tripp makes the case that our most of churches are organized in such a way that the pastor(s) are allowed—even encouraged—to lead a double life that inevitably leads to destruction. This book is a call for change.
At times the book seemed a little repetitive. Then again, sometimes we need to be hit repeatedly with the same truth before it sinks in. “Preach the gospel to yourself first,” Tripp warns repeatedly; an unforgettable principle.
The narration is very well done and fits the pastoral tone of the book.
If you are in vocational ministry, this book is a must-read.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
- Don’t Lose Your Awe
“I am very concerned about the acceptance of Sunday morning mediocrity and I’m persuaded that it is not primarily a schedule or laziness problem. I am convinced it’s a theological problem. You see - the standards you set for yourself and your ministry are directly related to your view of God. If you’re feeding your soul everyday on the grace and glory of God, if you’re in a worshipful awe of His wisdom and power, if you’re spiritually stunned by His faithfulness and love, and if you’re daily motivated by His presence and promises then you want to do everything you can to capture and display that glory to the people God has placed in your care.”
This is a lengthy book to listen to – about 8.5 hours, but the subject matter really holds your attention. The reading is excellent too.
I am not a pastor – but every true believer is involved in ministry. I felt that much of what Mr. Tripp had to say was appropriate and applicable to every believer, but of course especially highlighted some of the unique dangers for pastors. Being raised in first the home of a very active layman who later responded to the call of God to pastor I have to say that the dangers raised in this book are very on target. I’ll mention a few just to give you an idea of what you will hear:
Dealing with people as “projects” or a “job” rather than souls to whom God has entrusted you.
Looking at the scripture to find a “message” rather than letting it speak to you.
Dangers in seminaries…(although a proper education is encouraged).
Isolation - Not allowing yourself/or being allowed to have close friendships with your people. This is often encouraged, and I’ve always thought wrongly…I was glad Mr.Tripp dealt with the subject.
Mediocrity – this one spoke to me the most. If you don’t read any other chapter in the book read this chapter!
Cons: I am Wesleyan-Armenian in doctrine and Mr. Tripp definitely is not. Looking at many of his illustrations through that viewpoint I could see the definite need for sanctification. It was very enlightening in that aspect as long as you were paying attention.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this audiobook as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work. For more information about this and other Christian audio books visit christianaudio.com.
- Outstanding Book
Dangerous Calling is the best book that I read in 2012. I didn’t’ expect that. Paul Tripp has done the ministry a great service by writing a book that should be read by pastors, those entering ministry, and those who care about pastors or those entering ministry.
To summarize this book would be to diminish the work it does. Chapter by chapter, Tripp is open, honest, real, hard-hitting, and gracious as he challenges those connected to ministry to guard their hearts and souls as they serve the Lord. Tripp’s advice is practical, his insights piercing, his stories relevant, his theology sound, his challenges strong, his humility clear, and his counsel solid.
I found this book to be so helpful that I immediately recommended that our church planting network purchase copies of Dangerous Calling for its planters and for the students being trained in church planting. Pastoral staffs could benefit by reading this together. Deacons could learn to better love and help their pastors by reading this book. As I recently said to a friend of mine about this book, “It’s just that good.”
I received a free audio copy of this book from christianaudio.com as part of their reviewers program. The book is clearly and well read by Maurice England.
- A Challenging Book Perfect for Audio Consumption
Someone at WTS Books praised this book so highly that I felt it was worth the time. I still feel that way. These are the thoughts that stuck with me after reading the book:
• There is a crisis in American pastoral culture.
• Every pastor is in the process of sanctification just like his people and needs the ministry of the body just like his people.
• Don’t prep to preach on Saturday. Let the text marinate for several weeks instead.
• A pastor who says yes to too much is guilty of simple pride: you think you are necessary; you think you can do it all.
• A pastor is meant to be a glory advertiser calling others to the glories of Christ, not to his own glories.
• Pastors are ambassadors for the king, not kings themselves setting up their own kingdoms.
• A lot of pastors are blind to the failure of their own spiritual growth. (Their wives probably aren’t.)
• We all have to be desperate for grace, even and especially as pastors.
• Don’t pick up the Bible in order to prepare good meals for others without picking it up to nourish your own soul.
• Don’t be driven by a desire for theological expertise and biblical knowledge more than a desire for the God of the Word.
• Don’t pastor as one who has “arrived,” but as one who still personally needs grace.
• Listen to your wife, you idiot. (Tripp didn’t use the word “idiot” that I can recall; that was my gloss.)
Tripp made the best case I know of for two things I’ve commonly heard older pastors deliver advice on:
1. A pastor’s sermon preparation and his personal devotions must be kept separate.
2. A pastor and his people must not be kept separate.
The first of these is stated a bit more baldly than Tripp ever stated it. His argument is really more that preaching ought to flow out of personal feeding on the words of God. So I perhaps should have added the word “conceptually” at the end.
But the second statement is, I think, accurate. A pastor needs the ministry of the body and should seek and develop friendships among that body (perhaps especially among the leaders?). I’ve definitely heard pastors say the opposite on this. And perhaps there are other ways to have close friendships with Christian men who can provoke you to love and good works. But I lean toward Tripp on this and plan to do what he recommends.
A small note: I appreciate it that Tripp did not tell any stories (I can recall) of adulterous moral failure. We all know that happens among pastors, too. But it was nice to read stories in which the pastor realizes his error, repents, and by God’s grace changes. That, in fact, is Tripp’s own story.
A few relatively minor criticisms: I'm afraid Tripp kept saying the same thing over and over. That thing was a good thing. A very good thing. But I got a little tired of it… I also couldn’t help but wonder how this book will sound when “gospel-centeredness” marks books for their early 2010′s origin as suredly as “The New Age” marks books for their 80s (was it? I can’t remember) origin. I’m gospel-centered, sure, but it has become the new auto-pilot for Christian writing. Let’s all just agree to stop.
I was, however, stirred, challenged, and convicted by this book. Tripp is a wise and experienced man. May God give me grace to obey the scriptural truths expounded in his work.
Thanks to Crossway Publishing, and christianaudio for a complementary copy of this book for reviewing purposes. I wasn’t required to praise the book.
- A Book for Every Pastor
Not long ago Paul Tripp’s newly-released book, Dangerous Calling, was on sale for 80% off for pastors and seminary students. Why such a large discount on a brand new book? Because someone believes this book belongs on every pastor’s shelf. After listening to the audio book, I wish I had jumped on the sale at the time.
Paul Tripp’s book is divided into three sections: Examining Pastoral Culture; The Danger of Losing Your Awe (Forgetting Who God Is); and The Danger of Arrival (Forgetting Who You Are). It’s hard to say which chapter or section was most valuable to me personally. Perhaps it was the emphasis on a pastor’s need of community. Trip speaks again and again on the concept that what’s good for church members is good for the pastor, especially involvement in and support from a gospel community. There’s a lot in there for anyone serving in ministry.
Tripp speaks from experience as a pastor and brings years of ministry to pastors themselves to this book. He doesn’t write as someone who used to have conflicts and personal struggles in ministry a long time ago, but as someone who has to wrestle daily with temptations and the urge to settle into mediocrity.
Add to this a superb narration from Maurice England, and the audio book version is a resource I’ll turn to again and again. Highly recommended.
I received this audiobook from christianaudio for purposes of review.
- Dangerous Calling calls you out...
I remember when God began to draw me to Himself, and there are many ‘turning points’ that I now look back upon as God’s providential hand in my life. I remember too the ‘dangerous call’ in my own life…
The year was 1999, “Nothing you could ever do would ever make me love you any less… I forgive you.” Brokenness. Men’s groups, and a friend who taught me the ministry of Investing. That later ‘investment’ was confirmation on a call to ‘leadership’. I started seminary in 2001. I changed my major from Christian Counseling to an M.Div. with an emphasis in Pastoral Counseling. I finished my NANC certification in 2004 during my last trek toward seminary graduation in 2005. Connie and I were on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ with the Military Ministry while I was finishing out internships at local churches. Part of graduation was an acceptance of a fulltime position at a local PCA church as Tech Director, Small Groups Pastor, and Biblical Counselor. In Oct 2007, I resigned from the fulltime position and Connie and I spent time in fasting and prayer and started an Organic Reformed Church in our home. I also went to work for an system integration company (technology). Oasis with elders, deacons, and a good trek with 32 participants at its height, lasted three years and it dissolved. We are in our second year with a Sovereign Grace Church church plant.
I could have used a resource like Dangerous Calling at ALL points of this short paragraph above. The introduction introduces this work as Diagnostic Manual for the heart and in Paul’s words;
This is a diagnostic book. It is written to help you take an honest look at yourself in the heart- and life-exposing mirror of the Word of God—to see things that are wrong and need correcting and to help you place yourself once again under the healing and transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This book is a gentle but firm conversation between pastors, discipler, counselors, followers, ministry leaders and the gospel of Christ Jesus. From the uncensored personal testimonies of how God had people participating in Paul’s life, to turning points in thinking, this work is now a permanent part of my library of reference materials that warrant revisiting. Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry is best summarized as YOU getting out of the way so Christ can work.
Part 1: Examining Pastoral Culture could have also been called, “let’s level the playing field and get a few things straight…” I easily identified with almost every illustration, story, and testimony of pride with my story painted all over it. Part 2: The Danger of losing your awe and forgetting who God is, was a pivotal chapter for me. The exposition of Psalm 145 was much needed and I drank deeply. Part 3: The danger of arrival and forgetting who you are, reminds that despite all the knowledge, wisdom and experience, there is still room for improvement and that the Father still loves you despite your sin because His Son took your place.
This worked reminded me that I have a very limited view of God’s holiness and of my sin. Paul reminds that the more I grow in my Christian life, the more I grow in my awareness of God’s holiness and of my flesh and sinfulness. Reinforcing consistent Bible reading, experiencing the Holy Spirit’s conviction, and living in community with other people, the extent of God’s greatness and the extent of my sin become increasingly clear and vivid. I was reminded that I will only rest in Christ when I am increasingly seeing God as He actually is (Isaiah 55:8-9) and myself as I actually am (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
This audio was interesting, challenging, inspiring, and redemptive for me. Paul’s end of chapter heart questions were quite helpful, convicting, and great prayer topics. The Father and I had some good discussions and you will too. As per usual, Paul Tripp holds your attention, presents the topic in a cohesive appealing and sitting right next to you, personable manner. Saturated in Biblical truth I found this to be a quite refreshing fountain much needed for my bitter heart. My pastor and I are meeting this week, so I we can discuss the implications of this work in our lives (yes, I got copies for my pastors and you should too). Over breakfast next week, he and I will continue the conversation of the Dangerous Calling. I recommend that cases of this book appear at the end of the graduation stage of every bible college and seminary and be handed to each graduate, it may just touch a few lives. In my story, I still have not arrived, but this work was right on time, on the stage of what I call my life and I cannot recommend it more highly…to everyone.
- Dangerous Book Dangerous Calling
In Dangerous Calling you have Paul Tripp at his pastoral best. In this book you find a pastor who has made his mistakes, and been humbled by them. A man calling others to see the image of the glorious God he loves. Paul Tripp, the pastor is writing to fellow pastors on the dangerous calling they’ve been given. Exploring the unique challenges of the pastorate, and encouraging his audience to endure as the Bibles calls them to. Although not a pastor this book had two moments that profoundly impacted me. First, Tripp reminded me to read devotionally. It may sound obvious, but I get caught up reading my Bible culturally, looking to apply it to culture, or society, or others. Tripp reminded me all Bible reading is to be primarily devotional, I needed that. Secondly, he challenged me to be humble. I’m not even a pastor and my pride was on full display in his searching questions.
As a layman this book has me praying for my elders and pastors like never before. It has humbled me and challenged me, and I’m sure it would do the same for you, or your pastor. I’d have preferred Tripp reading the book himself as he speaks so expressively, but England’s narration was smooth and thoughtful. His narration seemed to ease me into thoughtfulness, while not distracting me with any funny intonations. Both the reading and the book get a high recommendation from me. I don’t suspect everyone will find it as helpful, but if you read with an open mind and heart, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be.
I was given a copy of this title by christianaudio for review. Find the book here: http://echristian.com/dangerous-calling-paul-david-tripppurposes. They just ask for my honest opinion. Visit their website here: http://echristian.com
- Pastors read for your benefit, members read to help your pastor!
Gleaned from his speaking at hundreds of churches, the author not only reveals issues surrounding pastoral ministry, but offers strategies to guard one’s heart and fight to honor God as a pastor.
This book exposes many of the issues surrounding the pastoral culture. From their seminary training to their preaching to their day to day life, it shows the many things we get wrong and what we need to do to fix it.
This book is very thorough in its examination and just as thorough in offering help and hope.
I can’t see how this would be helpful for those in the ministry or those thinking about going into the ministry. BUT, I also believe that if a layman read this it would give them more compassion and patience with their pastor at it reveals a lot of the daily struggles they go through. Thus, I can’t see how this book wouldn’t benefit any church member.
The narrator has a slower, deeper, “grandpa” style voice. It is very comforting and sounds like he would be best reading children’s books. Perhaps this is just because I have heard the author speak and they are just so different. Either way, he is clear and articulate and if the speed is TOO slow for you (like it was for me) I just used software to make his voice @ 1.6x speed.