I am not a pastor's kid. I didn't even grow up in the church. But in the 15 years I've spent in the pews, I've always taken notice of the pastor's kid. Most of us do. And in the process, we often develop unfair ideas of what a pastor's kid is—or should be. To many a pastor's kid is a spiritual prodigy, a prayer warrior, scriptural concordance, and Christ-like service machine all rolled into one.

I am exaggerating, but, as Barnabas Piper (son of well-known pastor, John Piper) points out in The Pastor's Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity (Cook, 2014), the expectations placed on pastors' kids are often unfair and downright dangerous. And Barnabas seeks to show that. "My aim is to raise awareness of the struggles of PKs and give a voice to a group of people who are often well recognized but little known."

In pursuing this goal, Barnabas provides a frank, gutsy look at the faith and identity of the children of spiritual leaders. Barnabas writes in a memoir style, tying together research and his personal experiences. He provides real-life stories and numerous quotations from interviews with fellow PKs. Along the way Barnabas addresses popular stereotypes of PKs, the "rollercoaster" of PK expectations, and identity issues among PKs.

In the first four chapters, Barnabas invites readers into his personal experiences as he seeks to redefine the stereotypes many hold about PKs. In Chapter 5, "What a PK Needs More Than Anything," Barnabas provides advice for helping give what any and every PK needs—a rich understanding and application of grace. The children of pastors need to know and experience Christ for themselves. He stresses that it is not safe to assume faith is simply inherited. Barnabas writes poignantly about ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a Leadership Journal subscriber?
or for full digital access.
Read These Next
See Our Latest