CNLP 050: Growing Up As the Pastor’s Kid—An Honest Conversation with Barnabas Piper

What’s it like to grow up as the pastor’s kid?

Better yet, what’s it like to grow up as John Piper’s son?

Barnabas Piper talks openly and honestly about the pressures of being a PK and how it messed with  his faith before he found the grace of Jesus Christ.

Welcome to Episode 50 of the Podcast.

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Guest Links: Barnabas Piper

Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt Is Not the Enemy of Faith

The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity

Barnabas on Twitter

The Happy Rant Podcast

The Blazing Center

Links Mentioned in this Episode

John Piper

The Activate Conference

Josh Gagnon

Playback Sermon Series

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Barnabas Piper speaks candidly about the struggles of being a pastor’s son and how the experiences helped him distinguish the difference between theology and having a relationship with Christ. Here’s his advice to those who have relationships with the pastor’s kid:

  1. Be a parent, not the preacher. Being a dad doesn’t come naturally. (Does it ever?) But when your child asks you a question, remember they’re not sitting in your office asking for counseling. They’re not looking for you to be a pastor, they’re looking to you to be a dad. Have a hobby that you can invite your kids into, and generously share that with them. Your children just want to be part of your life that doesn’t necessarily involve your ministry, so define a boundary that differentiates your responsibilities as a pastor and as a father.  Have those heart-to-heart talks.
  2. If you’re the kid, be honest. As a PK, you may feel as if you’re living in a fish bowl. ­The difficulty comes from the observation that everyone knows something about you that you didn’t tell them. It’s not a self-consciousness issue; they ask questions about things they don’t have business knowing, and it builds a sense that people are watching you. You have a sense that you don’t question dad’s calling, so if you say something that disagrees with the church, you’re demeaning their ministry. So, when you talk to them, focus on the relationship as you’re trying to sort through things. Get over the fear and be bold with your parents. They may not know how to start the conversation because they don’t understand how you’re feeling.
  3. If you’re a church member, show genuine love. Most church members love their pastor’s family, although, truthfully, there are few jerks. Your love for the pastor’s family has to be shown the right way. You can’t just barge into their kid’s life. If you have the opportunity as a Youth Leader or Sunday School teacher, be the person who says, “I’m here because I care about you, and I want you to express yourself freely.” That kind of friend is a powerful thing. Pastors’ kids often don’t find that friendship. For most people, it’s going to be more of a sense of awareness of the pressures on the pastor’s family, so you lead with prayer to support them, and try to remember they’re not any different than you are and crave deep love and acceptance like anyone.

Quotes from Barnabas

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Next Episode: Chris Dunagan

Almost everyone has a social media presence these days, but how do you make it awesome? NewSpring Church’s Social Media Director Chris Dunagan explains, in super helpful detail, their approach to social media and how to truly connect with the people you’re trying to impact.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 51.

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CNLP 050: Growing Up As the Pastor’s Kid—An Honest Conversation with Barnabas Piper

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  1. […] on Episode 050 and Bonus Episode […]

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