Sunday, January 16, 2011

A New Season of Ministry


Proverbs 16:9 says, " A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." We all have experienced the fact that the plans you make don't always turn out as you envisioned. Such has been my experience in my ministry at Tenth Presbyterian Church. In 2006 I was given the honor of serving on the pastoral staff at Tenth, leading its ministry to Center City Philadelphia, where Tenth is located, and preaching in the Sunday evening service. The plan was that I would split my time between Tenth and Paul Tripp Ministries, my writing and speaking ministry. Over the last four years my ministry outside of Tenth has greatly expanded. I am very aware and humbled by the fact that God has given me a worldwide platform that few get and I feel a strong calling to be a good steward of that platform.

I have increasing seen the inadequacy of being a "drop in" pastor. Ministry in the local church is about building relationships with the congregation, with leadership and with the staff. Being away as much as I have been has made this very difficult. Over the last several months I have become more and more persuaded that I cannot pursue the wider opportunities that God has given me and at the same time fulfill my responsibilities at Tenth. So I have stepped down from my position on the pastoral staff. My last official responsibility will be preaching on Sunday morning, March 20.

Luella and I are not leaving Tenth. We love Tenth and want to use our gifts there. We are also very encouraged with Tenth's newly-called Senior Minister, Liam Goligher, and want to do all that we can to support and encourage his ministry.

Finally, I was encouraged by the Paul Tripp Ministries Advisory Board that there needed to be a place in my busy schedule where my soul would be nurtured. I heard this as very sound and needed advice. So, I am looking forward to having Sundays off and basking in the nourishment of good gospel preaching.

Please continue to pray for me and the ministry to which God has called me. Pray that we in the ministry would make wise decisions, pray that I would have strength to maintain a busy travel and ministry schedule and pray that I would be a living example of the things I teach.

I have included below a statement from Marion Clark, the Executive Pastor of Tenth Church and Scott Anderson, the Executive Director of Desiring God Ministries and a member of the Advisory Board of Paul Tripp Ministries.

Though we regret losing Dr. Paul Tripp as our regular evening preacher, we fully support his decision to devote himself full-time to Paul Tripp Ministries. It became evident, as the demands on his time grew from both Tenth Church and his wider ministry, that he needed to focus his work on that wider church ministry, which God is clearly blessing. Both Paul and his wife Luella remain committed members of the church family and continue to serve the church with their gifts. Tenth Church will continue to support Paul's ministry, especially in being his church home where he is spiritually fed and renewed. (Marion Clark, Executive Pastor, Tenth Presbyterian Church)

The Lord has gifted Paul Tripp in wonderful ways, blessing him with a unique calling that few receive, namely, to serve the broader church through the strategic platform of speaking and writing. Evidence of this blessing is seen in the significant expansion of Paul Tripp Ministries over the past four years. In light of this, the Advisory Board of Paul Tripp Ministries counseled Paul to give prayerful consideration to the stewardship of his calling, specifically advising that he consider pulling-back from vocational responsibilities at Tenth Church in order to more fully focus on his wider ministry. Our recommendation is grounded in the conviction that this would greatly help Paul steward his unique calling and would promote the flourishing of his own soul as he and Luella enjoy a more normal, fruitful participation within the Body of Christ. (Scott Anderson, Executive Director, Desiritng God Ministries and Member of the Advisory Board of Paul Tripp Ministries)


At 11:09 AM, Blogger bill said...

Blessesd by your study in Mark,Books,and Twitter wisdom!May God continue to bless ministry!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Pastor Ben Koech said...

Be blessed man of God!

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

Paul, you have touched my life and thousands of others through your ministry of books and speaking -- for me in particular through NANC...continue to follow that call and stay on fire!

At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Lou Nowasielski said...


I wondered why you are leaving Tenth Preaching, and now I know?

Will be praying for your and family as you continually minister.

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous D Ray said...

Paul, continue to teach and write well, but by God's grace I pray you rest well. We will continue to pray for your family and for an ever growing love in your marriage. Thank you for all of your life changing resources. My marriage, ministry and community have been greatly influenced by your work. I look forward to what is coming.

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Jared Moore said...


I just took my church through your's and Powlison's "Changing Hearts, Changing Lives" DVD and work book on Sunday nights (13 weeks). Towards the end of the series, you argue that in counseling one another, we're to initially "treat the person, not the problem." I agree with you; however, should this mentality be presupposed in our preaching as well? In other words, should I seek to "treat the people, not the problems" from the pulpit as well? Should I seek to show them the "love of Christ that they desparately need; that they are trying to get from some idol?" This seems to argue against expository preaching; and seems to place too much power in the pastor's hands concerning his assumption of his audience's "needs." But, how does one separate counseling from the pulpit and counseling from the pew if the same source is Scripture? If the Scriptures are to treat the person, then the problem in private counseling, then shouldn't they treat the persons, then the problems, in public counseling (preaching) as well?

I enjoy your ministry; and my church has benefited.

Jared Moore: Pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY.

At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So grateful for you and Luella, Paul. Have you written (or considered writing) anything that our sons and daughters can read during their teen years; I'm thinking something that would help them understand the same things you've been teaching us as parents, but for them...whether a Bible study format, or simply conversations you would have with those who come to you for help; not so much the "big" problems (though that would be helpful), but the every day "mundane" life issues that are opportunities for them to grasp. This would be to "come alongside" of us parents as we seek to apply what we're learning in Age of Opportunity, etc.
Just a thought amidst your already wonderfully full life. Thanks for considering! Grateful.

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul, I've been so blessed by your ministry-- your books, the blog, and your ministry through and with NANC.

May God continue to bless you and nourish you with more of what truly satisfies-- Himself.

John in Tennessee

At 1:26 PM, Blogger J David Jordan said...

I've been encouraged by your thoughts and Godly wisdom over the past couple of years. My prayers for you to be filled and refreshed in this next season and that God will continue to have His hand on you and your ministry for years to come. Guys like me need to hear God speak through men like you.

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Christ City Church - Birmingham AL

At 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have benefited greatly from your lectures on cultivating a culture of grace in christian schools. Mainly in dealing with my own heart. Please please please don't become an arrogant male diva. As your ministry grows, find ways to stay humble and grounded. I will pray that you will model your teachings.

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Hammond McEver said...

I am a new Redeemer student and am excited to continue the learning process through your counseling ministry. A friend and I are starting school together in the fall and are doing some inner city ministry together.
We both read this today and it provided for an extremely needed and timely conversation on some difficulties we have been experiencing.
Thank you for articulating these important truths

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Thanks a lot for not only sharing this post but your story and thoughts. My cousin wants to get ordained online and I admit at first I honestly didn't understand his reason in wanting to do it and I didn't take him seriously. I never pictured him living his life as a minister. But one thing he did say to me which makes sense to me is that he doesn't want to look back on his life and think "What if." He knows right now what he wants to do and wants to follow that path and see where it leads. He's always been a very giving and caring person - I always turn to him for any and all advice. So, I gave him my blessing. Thanks again for sharing your story. Take care!

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