Shortly after John Piper concluded his 33-year pastorate at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, FakeJohnPiper tweeted his week one retirement to-do list: “Catch up on ‘Little House on the Prairie’ reruns. Arc Leviticus. See if Savers is hiring. Write three books.”
During The Gospel Coalition 2013 National Conference, I asked the real John Piper what’s left for week two of retirement. But we also discussed what he won’t miss about being a pastor. He explained what young Christians who look up to him for his writing and conference speaking need to know about the day-to-day pastoral care that shaped this broader influence. He also shared why he regrets so much about his time at Bethlehem.
Our interview also ranged beyond his time at Bethlehem to discuss next steps. One of Piper’s role models, Jonathan Edwards, died before he finished his History of the Work of Redemption. What would Piper want to finish writing before he dies? And does he agree with his many critics that the Reformed resurgence would die with him if Jesus called him home tomorrow? We closed the interview by discussing why he’s more encouraged or discouraged today compared to when he started at Bethlehem, whether we should blame the divided and ineffective church for worrisome cultural trends, and what one fruit of the Spirit he prays God would give us Christians in this era. Watch, stream, or download audio of the full 30-minute interview to hear his surprising responses.
Download audio: Piper on Regrets and Retirement