In my local church context we are passionate about church planting and raising up leaders. With that vision we tend to attract and raise up many men who desire to become preaching and teaching pastors who lead the church. While this calling is a noble one (1 Tim 3:1), I feel like we run the danger today of sensationalizing the pastorate. The Bible declares this calling a burden, tells us to count the cost, and commands that leaders will have a greater responsibility for those he shepherds. I, myself, am guilty of this sensationalization and I am thankful that a book like Dangerous Calling has made it out onto bookshelves.
Now to the review:
In this book, Paul Tripp takes a turn from his focuses on marriage and family to pastoral leadership, and I am thankful he wrote on this topic. Through reading this book I get a sense that each one of these chapters could be expanded into much larger sections, even books, perhaps, but I deeply respect the fact that Tripp handled them in the way he did. I believe this book is meant to be crawled through and reflected upon personally, not just used for informational attainment.
With such a high calling, much is on the line, and the church needs leaders who can step up and step out, knowing their calling and the temptations and struggles that come with it, and become equipped and surround themselves with leaders who can provide insight and wisdom through the growing pains that are certain to come.
I believe Dangerous Calling sets the stage for just that. Taking an excerpt from his introduction, I believe Tripp lays out a book that provides a sobering look at the complications and joy available at the pastorate, and I certainly was left better understanding the weight of what it means to pastor others. May we not shy away from such a calling, but more fully understand it as we pursue God’s kingdom advancement.
This is a book of warning that calls you to humble self-reflection and change. It is written to make you uncomfortable, to motivate you towards change. At points it may make you angry, but I am convinced that the content of this book is a reflection of what God has called me to do. Perhaps we have become too comfortable. Perhaps we have quite examining ourselves and the culture that surrounds those of us who have been called to ministry in the local church… [May we] break the silence, walk out into the light [be exposed], and face the things that God is calling us to face. [Page 12]
I strongly recommend this book for those interested in stepping into the pastorate and leading a congregation–in any capacity.