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The Pastor's Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity [Kindle Edition]

Barnabas Piper , John Piper
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Only One Facing As Much Pressure As the Pastor is ... The Pastor’s Kid
Dad may be following God’s call, but the Pastor’s kids (PKs) are just following mom and dad. Often to devastating results.
Barnabas Piper – son of Pastor and bestselling author John Piper – has experienced the challenges of being a PK first-hand. With empathy, humor, and personal stories, he addresses the pervasive assumptions, identity issues and accelerated scrutiny PKs face.
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) is to live in true freedom and wholeness.

Barnabas Piper is a PK, the son of well-known pastor John Piper. He writes for World Magazine at and blogs at He writes regularly for the popular blog, The Blazing Center. He and his wife live in the Nashville area with their two daughters.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Barnabas Piper is a PK, the son of well-known pastor John Piper. He writes for World Magazine at and blogs at He writes regularly for the popular blog, The Blazing Center. He and his wife live in the Nashville area with their two daughters.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very helpful book in many respects. It has some penetrating insights, it's frank, and well written over all. I've purchased copies for my older kids in the hopes that it will spawn some helpful conversations and help us correct or avoid some pitfalls. It's necessary for a book like this to have a bite to it (Piper is clear that he's hard on pastors and churches, and he's a bit hard on his parents). But I do think the book lacks sufficient balm. It has some balmy moments. But the bite to balm ratio seems disproportionate to me. I could almost wish that Piper had written this at age 45 rather than 31, after he had mostly raised his still young children. Maybe there will be a follow-up then, when time and more experience as a parent through the most tricky years has seasoned the still-needed insight with more graciousness.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very honest and valuable July 9, 2014
Format:Audio CD
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. More information can be found about this and other Christian audiobooks at
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I am a pastor’s kid. In fact, pastoring is a bit of a family business. My brother, father, and 3 uncles and an aunt are pastors, another uncle is not officially ordained but was the main interim pastor for a small church for several years. Also a grandfather, a great-grandfather, a great-great grandfather were pastors and a great-great-great grandmother was a traveling evangelist in the civil war era (if I have my history right.)

And I know a lot of pastor’s kids. When you go to Wheaton College, there are a lot of pastor’s kids (and Missionary Kids which has its own special set of issues.) I know pastor’s kids that have done well, and those that have not. So I picked up The Pastor’s Kids (a review copy) with interest.

This is a pretty short book (about 140 pages of content or 3 hours of audio). John Piper introduces it and acknowledges that at time the book was hard for him to read because it is being written by his son about the problems of being a pastor’s kid. But John Piper wants to assure the reader that anything critical is about wanting what’s best for the church as a whole and pastor’s families in particular.

The end really hits that tone by concluding with all of the good that can come of being a pastor’s kid. Personally, that is where I and most other pastor’s kids I know end up. All in all, we are glad we were pastor’s kids.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pastor's Kid by Barnabas Piper August 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
“They want the PK to dress like a grandparent and behave like Jesus. But they also seem to wait for the time when a pastor’s daughter makes out and the son drinks beer.” –Jeremy Noel, PK

“….change and progress does not remove me from the reality of being a PK. Once a PK, always a PK. It is an indelible mark.” –Barnabas Piper

Barnabas Piper lays it above, on, and underneath the line regarding the many misconceptions of pastor’s kids (PK’s) and the struggles, these children have with living up to their roles observed in the eyes of other people as Godly and holy because their fathers are pastors. He discusses how PK’s are normal kids and sinners like everyone else from the time of being born until reaching the decision to know Jesus on an individual basis that is not automatic because of the relationship status they have with their pastor dads.

“Beyond being well-mannered, all-star kids, PK’s aren’t allowed to not know the Bible….At eight years old, the course was set, the identity determined. John Piper’s son is a Bible answer man.” Barnabas Piper recalls in one of many instances when the Sunday school teacher called upon him to answer questions after the class fell silent asking, “Barnabas, you want to give it a guess?” The pressure placed on these children from such a young age is unfathomable to an outsider looking in who stands in judgment of the knowledge and behavior of the pastor’s family. Included in this straightforward personal insight to life as a pastor’s child are comments from other PK’s on the subject and an Appendix entitled, ‘SEVEN RULES FOR WHEN YOU MEET A P.K.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaks to PK's
One of the hardest things about being a PK is the solitude you feel. A lot of time people don't and can't understand why we feel alone when surrounded by a church. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Christin
5.0 out of 5 stars this book could have a wonderfully profound effect for pastors'...
As a PK and an active church member, I'd say that this book is helpful to people in either (or both) category. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Kay Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air
As a paid l pastor's kid, this was everything I have experienced. It was so full of grace, and encouraging to know that I am not the only one who has gone through this.
Published 1 day ago by Matt McAfee
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource, heavy handed
"This is who we are; this is how you should treat us." Very helpful, for all sorts (missionary kids, ministry kids, seminary professor kids.....). Read more
Published 2 days ago by Mrs. Neyhard
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read for anyone in the church.
This book should be required reading for anyone in the church but especially for those in leadership. Read more
Published 4 days ago by mel jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars Barnabus has done an excellent job of putting into words the issues...
I grew up as a PK in the era when Bible schools were actually teaching their pastorial students that, if they weren't willing to sacrifice their family for the ministry, they were... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Scott Steiner
4.0 out of 5 stars ... a PK or even a pastor but I really enjoyed the book because it...
I am not a PK or even a pastor but I really enjoyed the book because it broadened my perspective on church life in general and of course the struggles that pastor's children may be... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Sasa Jakovac
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
I was an Elder's kid. It's a few notches down on the pressure scale but everything I read here rang true. This book is not a "tell all" or a "tear down". Read more
Published 8 days ago by Mom of 4
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gentle Nudge and a Whack on the Side of the Head
Some write to entertain; some to educate. Others write to amuse or inspire. Barnabas Piper writes to encourage. He writes to encourage both pastors and their children. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Dr. David Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars we function like a church and so also have disfunctions like a ...
I'm not a PK (though I did marry one). But I wanted to read this book because I run a software company that uses business as a means of ministry (ala Business as Missions). Read more
Published 10 days ago by brianchandotcom
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More About the Author

Barnabas Piper a Christian writer exploring the connections between ideas, faith, and people. He writes weekly for and The Blazing Center Blog and has contributed to "Leadership Journal," "Tabletalk Magazine,", The Gospel Coalition blog, and He is an avid reader of all sorts of books, a learner, and he loves a good story.

Barnabas lives in the Nashville area with his wife and two daughters. Originally from Minnesota, he has never been able to (or wanted to) shake his allegiance to to the Vikings, Twins, and Timberwolves. No matter how much pain they cause him.

Follow Barnabas on twitter @BarnabasPiper, on Facebook ( and at his blog (


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