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The Pastor's Kid

Finding Your Own Faith and Identity

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A must read for everyone in the church
This book was very well written. It is a quick read that is engaging and gets to the heart of the matter. Truth be told, I don't write reviews of books. This is my first one and I am only doing it because I believe whole heartedly that this message needs to be shared. The perspective given is invaluable. I did not grow up a PK or even in the church but find myself now raising four PKs and see much of what was shared being placed on my children. My husband and I pray for wisdom in raising our children but having this "hindsight" perspective is, as they say, 20/20. So, thank you, from my children and me, for taking the time to write this book.
Review by / (Posted on 8/6/2017)
must reading for churches, pastors and of course, pastor’s kids
This is part memoir, and part self-help. And it isn’t all Piper’s memoir, as he shares stories from countless pastor’s kids he interviewed in preparation for the book. Some of them are not in the faith anymore, and it does us good to wonder why. Barnabus’ prescription calls for grace and care for children, and a proper set of expectations. He also gives hope to those who have been burned, or are wondering what they can possibly due at this stage in the game.

I particularly appreciated his emphasis on legalism. This excerpt resonates well with me:

"Not everything is right or wrong, true or false, yes or no. The PK needs some maybes and sort ofs. If every question is answered in black and white and every decision judged as right or wrong, the PK never learns to make value decisions. In fact, he never learns values at all. He just learns to dance the morality two-step and avoid getting out of step with what’s ‘good’ or ‘true.’ If every question is given a concrete answer and no room is left for exploration or doubt, the PK is forced to either acquiesce or bury his doubts where they can fester and rot his faith." (p. 83)

I listened to the Christianaudio version of the book. This was extra special in that Barnabus Piper himself was the one reading his book. This made listening to the book more poignant as his passion for his book’s message was evident.

This book is well-written and preaches an important message. I don’t know of any other similar book that is designed to both help those who have been hurt, and equip those in the ministry now who are raising another generation of children. Cautions are raised and challenges issued, but grace and hope pervade the book. This is must reading for churches, pastors and of course, pastor’s kids.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by Christianaudio. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a positive review.
Review by / (Posted on 1/28/2015)
Helpful Insight Into The Struggles Of PKs
The Pastor's Kid by Barnabas Piper is a fascinating book written by the son of well known theologian, John Piper, about the struggles and trials of being a pastor's kid and in his case a very famous pastor's kid. He discusses the unrealistic expectations that congregation members have toward pastor's kids because of their parent's occupation and calling. He explains that they are just normal people like the congregation members and are bound to make mistakes, take wrong directions and struggle at times with who God has called them to be.

At first I thought this book was a bit of a whinge about having a difficult life because of having a famous dad that put a lot of pressure on him and other pastor's kids but I think there is a lot more to this book. I learnt a lot about helping make pastor's kids journey easier by giving them grace and allowing them room to find God for themselves rather than just questioning everything they do and pointing out all the places they have missed the mark.

I have known quite a few pastor's kids and I was good friends with a couple of them, some of them could handle the pressure better than others. Most are still committed members of church and I think the whole situation is handled better than it was 20 years ago but books like this should help improve the situation even further.

The narrator was quite well done as it was the author reading the book and it is a very personal book, so it was good to hear his emotion coming out through the reading. He also read at a good pace and spoke clearly making it easy listening.

This book would be great for anyone involved in church, in particular for pastor's kids to help them cope with the added pressure they are under but also for church members to understand what the pastor's kids are encountering and trying to help them rather than hinder them.

This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at
Review by / (Posted on 7/20/2014)
Very honest and valuable
I was really interested to hear what Barnabas Piper, son of famous Baptist preacher John Piper, had to say in his new book, The Pastor’s Kid. I’m not a “PK,” but my four sons are. I want to understand the unique challenges they face, and I was hoping this book would give me some valuable insight.

For the most part, I wasn’t disappointed. Piper narrates his own book, which I love because you can really hear his heart as he relates this very personal, yet practical book. There are expressions of pain, confessions, impassioned pleas, and, yes, even indictments of his famous father all throughout the work. This must have been a tough book to write. John Piper admits in his touching forward to the book that it was a painful book for him to read as a father.

Barnabas Piper is about my age, and I appreciated his pop culture references and dry humor. He’s a straightforward, plain writer, and I mean that in a good way. His message lands hard and true: Pastors, be mindful of what your unique public role means for the way your child will view the church and the world around them. Church, be sensitive to the family of your pastor. Topics include a description what it’s like to live in “the fishbowl” of public ministry along with a pastor father, and tips for pastor fathers who are trying to relate to their PK. Very valuable information!

I recommend this book for grown PKs who may need some help and healing after a difficult upbringing. I especially recommend this book for pastors with kids for some equipping in understanding and supporting their own PKs.

Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
Review by / (Posted on 7/9/2014)
Must read for Pastor's kids and church leaders
I’m a pastor’s kid but I’m more than that, I’m the father of five pastor’s kids and that’s exactly why I was so intrigued by this book written by Pastor John Piper’s son Barnabas Piper called “Pastor’s Kid”!

My wife and I had a bit of driving to do over the weekend so we plugged the iPod and spent the trip listening to this book!

The first thing I noticed about the book is that John Piper wrote the foreword. As the father of the pastor’s kid who wrote this book it must have been a bit hard for him to read and it was!

We listened to the audio version which is narrated by the author, Barnabas Piper, which is both good and bad. You could certainly hear some of the passion coming through in a few sections of the book that detail some painful times for Barnabas. However, there were other times when his reading was a bit dry but that’s understandable since he’s not really a professional reader.

The book is written with Pastor’s families and churches in mind. It takes pastors and their churches to task for the often double standard that is held for the pastor’s kids.

As I listened to the book there were times when I could hear a bit of cynicism coming through. It was obvious that Barnabas had been through a lot growing up as the son of a mega-church pastor! Most of the book deals with Barnabas’ personal experience but he does often quote other pastor’s kids as he comments on the problems of growing up in the pastor’s home.

Despite Barnabas’ cynicism and taking churches to task for having one standard for the pastor’s kid and another standard for everyone else’s kids in the church, he strikes a theme of grace in chapter eight. I found this refreshing. He also offers some helpful advice on how pastors and churches should relate to pastor’s kids.

Personally I found the book helpful for me to understand some of what I went through growing up and even more helpful as it gave me pause to stop and think about what my children might be going through right now and how I can graciously help them see Jesus in the midst of it all.
Review by / (Posted on 7/1/2014)
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