I received a copy of The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity, written by Barnabas Piper, from netgalley.com for the purpose of generating a review. Italicized quotes are from the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
- - - -
I also partnered with Family Christian Stores to offer one reader a copy of the book! See details at the end of this article.
I used to think I wanted to be famous. A rock star. A movie star. Just rich. Until I read a couple biographies about the Kennedy’s. That family never gets a break. Royalty. Royal pain in the you-know-what.
So, the older I get, I became quite content to just be me.
Some people aren’t born with such privilege. Take PKs (pastor’s kids) for example. They are considered well-known by every member of each congregation where their parent is called to minister.
And when your dad is John Piper, take the notoriety up a notch or twenty.
According to Barnabas Piper, he has a threefold purpose for writing his book.
- ... to speak for PKs, not as an expert observer or master researcher, but as one of them.
- ... to speak to pastors. Ministers of the gospel, your children are in an enormously challenging position.
- ... to write to the church, because the congregation has more responsibility than it knows to care for and ease the burden of the pastor and his family.
We expect so much of our pastors today. Take a moment to reflect on all the hats your pastor wears.
Now, say a prayer for them.
This book exhibited a good amount of grace. For pastors who are pulled in so many different directions. Who face constant tension between shepherding a congregation and being a good role model as the leader of the home.
“Accept that his family is more important to him than the church members. And more than accepting all of this, the church must make know to him that it is expected of him.”
Also grace for their children. Who live under a great deal of pressure to be “perfect angel, biblical superstar, and theologian extraordinaire.” When they just want to spend quality time with Mom and Dad.
“Even the sheer number of people who greet the PK by name is constricting. It all adds up to a feeling of being watched. And watched is what PKs so often do feel, all the time, in everything.”
Through personal example and by sharing the stories of other PKs he’s corresponded with over the years, Piper relates how hard it can be to develop a faith all their own. At some points in this book, I could easily slip my own circumstances into the equation. We all as strong Christians want our children to grow up mighty in the Lord.
But there can be a fine line between teaching them about relationship and issuing an impossible set of rules. By God’s great grace and mercy, our children can grow up to be strong in their own faith.
“It is only grace that has restored me. It was the awful power of God’s grace that peeled back layer after layer of hypocrisy, my onion self, to expose my heart to what I knew answers about but truly needed to believe.”
That is what Piper wants for all PKs. For that grace to embrace them. I think his book can go a long way in helping them, and us, find that faith.
“More than anything I want my breaking to be the freeing of others. "
Now, you can win a copy of this book! There are a couple ways to enter.
1) Like my blog’s Facebook page, Tracesoffaith, and comment on the page so I know you’re new. 2) Comment below.
The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run through midnight on Monday, September 1st, 2014. A winner is randomly selected. The winner will be contacted by email and will have forty-eight hours to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be selected.