(David C. Cook, Available Now)
Barnabas Piper has experienced the challenges of being a PK first hand. In The Pastor’s Kid, he addresses the pervasive assumptions, identity issues, and accelerated scrutiny PK’s pastor/father and church body. But more than just stating the problems he shares the one thing a PK needs above all else (as do their pastor/father and church) to live in true freedom and wholeness. With empathy, humor and passion, this book courageously addresses one of the most under-the-radar issues affecting almost every church and pastor, and their children.
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I’m so pleased and thankful for this new resource from my friend Barnabas Piper on “The Pastor’s Kid.” As a PK, I found myself laughing, crying and empathizing chapter after chapter. While some might find some of the anecdotes far-fetched or over-wrought, let me assure you these experiences he writes about do truly happen. What I appreciated as a PK so much was Piper’s sincere honesty in not only addressing and unveiling so many of the issues PKs face, but also presenting helpful, practical and biblical wisdom in loving and interacting with the PK. Personally it has renewed my desire as a pastor to wisely love my children not as PKs but as precious children entrusted to my wife and I from the Lord.
- Jonathan Holmes, PK and pastor
I resonate with this book because not only am I a PK but I am also a pastor. The pastor is under pressure to have “well-behaved” kids – after all, it could cost him his job (cf. 1 Tim 3). Barnabas challenges me to be a grace-saturated parent who doesn’t raise Pharisees but instead points my children to identity in Jesus. I am thankful for a preacher father who modeled for me what this work is exhorting: prioritizing time with family over meetings, seeking forgiveness from children for sins against them, and much more. I pray that this work will challenge many toward this great goal!
- Jonathan Akin, PK and pastor
This book exposes a variety of issues related to the inner dynamics of the experience of a Pastor’s Kid (PK). I think the book could be helpful for PK’s, pastor’s families and church members, particularly lay leaders in understanding the implications of grace and gospel for a PK. So many of the heart level, dare I say, secret realities that PKs face are brought to light. I also appreciate the author’s honesty about his experiences and personal journey as a PK. The conversational style of the book also adds the element of shared journey for the reader. Although the book sometimes appears to come down hard on pastors, the final chapter is helpful in offering encouragement to pastors and PKs, particularly as the benefits of being a PK are discussed. As a PK who is now a young pastor and father of four, I’d love to see even more in that chapter (book 2 perhaps?) and I’m sure there are further examples out there of PK’s who feel like their parents did it well.
- J. Ryan Davidson, PK and pastor
The Pastor’s Kid poignantly conveys the struggles many PK’s face today. It is a call for pastors, families, and church families to carefully consider their relationships and extend God’s overwhelming grace to one another as they grow together in unity. As a PK myself, I resonated with much of what Barnabas wrote and encourage you to read this book and journey a mile in our shoes.
- Matthew Weathers, PK and missionary
As a PK, Pastor and new Father I am very thankful for Barnabas Piper’s book, The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith And Identity. The Pastor’s Kid is a brutally honest description of what it’s like growing up simultaneously in the shadow and the spotlight. There were many portions of the book where I felt as if Barnabas was retelling my own experiences as a PK and the countless frustrations that come from unrealistic demands and expectations. It accurately describes the many pressures that a PK faces while giving helpful tips for Pastors and their congregation as to how they can help to create a church culture where those pressures are appropriately recognized and removed.
If you’re a PK, a Pastor or someone who loves their pastor and his family you will appreciate the lessons this book has to offer.
- Daniel Balcombe, PK and pastor
Barnabas nailed the PK experience, or at least my experience as one. I am thankful for how he helped illuminate my background for me. I’m also thankful he wrote a book that isn’t the same as every other book. I’ve tried to think of other books aimed at PK’s, about PK’s, etc. and I can’t think of any. I hope it’s read well beyond Pastors’ families. It deserves it.
- Matthew Lee Anderson, PK and author
Pastor’s kids must wrestle with the internal pressure to become like dad, and the external pressure to live up to his standard of supposed perfection. Not to mention the others who expect the PK to rebel against it all. No question, the life of a PK is packed with potential for good and bad. Barnabas Piper writes as someone who can empathize with the pressure PKs feel. Pastors, PKs, and those who desire to help others navigate through this tension, now have a resource in this book to be more equipped in handling the past pains and the current struggles.
- Tyler Braun, PK and author
I enjoyed reading The Pastor’s Kid. I appreciate the writing style. It comes across as conversational. I think the reader will feel like he’s sitting across from Barnabas at Starbucks, enjoying some coffee while they discuss life as a PK. No one will ever understand PKs like another PK, but for those who are not, this book will give them helpful insights into the struggles and challenges PKs face. I especially appreciated Barnabas’s willingness to be vulnerable. Overall, I thought this book was balanced. I’m thankful it doesn’t let us PKs off the hook by reminding us to choose forgiveness and not be bitter about our God-ordained upbringing. I’m thankful it shows grace to Pastors in the end. My prayer for The Pastor’s Kid is that it will succeed in terms of restored, renewed, and strengthened relationships between pastors and their children. I also pray that church members will be more mindful of PKs and will want to genuinely invest themselves in the life of each PK.
- Chriselda Dirrim, PK
Being a PK (Preacher’s Kid), I’ve often joked that there should be a support group for our misunderstood little band. So when I learned that Barnabas Piper was writing a book about PKs that wasn’t critical, but purposed to give insight and helpful information to Pastors, their kids, and church members, I was elated. After reading The Preacher’s Kid, I believe Barnabas may have inadvertently written one of the most helpful and revealing books in recent years. I know that it has been therapeutic to me personally and has given my wife a better understanding of me and my unique family dynamic. I am certain that this book will be a valuable asset to the body of Christ as well… especially for PKs who often feel misunderstood and unloved.
- Rev. Dwight L. MacPherson, PK and Pastor