Below are some highlights from my reading in Paul Tripp's Dangerous Calling (about the dangers of being in ministry, specifically pastoral)...
You are most loving, patient, kind, and gracious when you are aware that there is no truth that you could give to another that you don’t desperately need yourself. You are most humble and gentle when you think that the person you are ministering to is more like you than unlike you.
I had let my ministry become something that it should never be (my identity); I looked to it to give me what it never could (my inner sense of well-being).
There is a huge difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is an accurate understanding of truth. Wisdom is understanding and living in light of how that truth applies to the situations and relationships of your daily life. Knowledge is an exercise of your brain. Wisdom is the commitment of your heart that leads to transformation of your life.
Do you see yourself as a minister of grace in need of the same grace?
Pastor, you don’t have to be afraid of what is in your heart, and you don’t have to fear being known, because there is nothing in you that could ever be exposed that hasn’t already been covered by the precious blood of your Savior king, Jesus.
Because sin blinds, God has set up the body of Christ to function as an instrument of seeing in our lives, so that we can know ourselves with a depth and accuracy that would be impossible if left on our own.
Autonomous Christianity never works, because our spiritual life was designed by God to be a community project.
...it is only love for Christ that can defend the heart of the pastor against all the other loves that have the potential to kidnap his ministry.
It is simplistic to conclude that people in ministry have a natural and abiding love for people. It is dangerous to conclude that everyone in ministry is working for the furtherance of the big kingdom. It is important to recognize that many people in ministry have been seduced by self-glory and have lost sight of the glory of God.
For much of my Christian life and a portion of my ministry, I had no idea that my walk with God was a community project. I had no idea that the Christianity of the New Testament is distinctly relational, from beginning to end. I understood none of the dangers inherent in attempting to live the Christian life on my own. I had no awareness of the blinding power of remaining sin...
I need to commit myself to living in intentionally intrusive, Christ-centered, grace-driven, redemptive community.
I cannot allow myself to think that I am smarter than him [God]. I cannot allow myself to think that I am stronger than I am. I cannot assign to myself a level of maturity that I do not have. I cannot begin to believe that I am able to live outside of God’s normal means of spiritual growth and be okay.
All quotes above taken from Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, by Paul David Tripp.
Photo above is "View from the Pulpit," Old Meeting House (1773), Sandown, New Hampshire, (c) 2007, by Paul Wainwright.