The Pastor's Family

Written By Rachel

It takes a lot for a book to get on my reading list. I have strict criteria that it must meet
before I’ll open the first page, and I'm excited to say this book did not disappoint! My only concern is that with a book so jam-packed with helpful guidance how am I going to do it justice in a short amount of time?!

The Pastor's Family is written by an American clergy couple who create an easy-to-read, personal, resource book for couples. It's a short read, which is great if if you can only pick
it up for ten minutes at a time! Each chapter has a focus on creating and managing a
balance between ministry and family life. They cover the roles you find yourself in in
ministry, the importance of your marriage relationship, and the importance of your calling - which includes being called to be a family separate to ministry.

The book is filled with personal stories, experiences, and advice relating to boundaries,
time management, spending time with your family away from ministry, and sharing the ministry journey together. At the end of each chapter there are some great, and often challenging questions for individuals, couples, and families.

I was not only encouraged the use of the bible, but also the encouraging and thorough research into the personal experiences of well-known clergy and missionaries throughout history, including Billy Graham, Jonathan Edwards, and John Wesley.

At times they take quite a hard line with pastors, talking about falling into the sin of
neglecting their families and focusing too much on ministry. However this is always done
in the hopeful context God's saving grace. Helpfully, they give a great list of warning signs that are worth looking through if you're concerned about your family's well-being.

It's worth taking their advice as suggestions; not everything will work for you or your family. Some advice for pastor's wives seems a little traditional, but it comes from a wife with over
ten years of experience who encourages women to create a role that suits who they are,
not to fit in with what others expect. Encouragingly, pastor's kids are given a lot of room in
this book, especially relating to the importance of nurturing their faith and helping them understand ministry. There are some great suggestions about involving clergy kids in
ministry (examples such as sermon writing!), and some wonderful ideas on spending time with them.

The message I take away from this book is the plea for clergy to not make the same
mistakes that others have in the past by neglecting their families. Their experience and expertise suggests that you while may have an effective and powerful ministry, Brian and Cara point out that if it's at the expense of your family, it’s often not worth it. 

The Pastor's Family is an excellent read not just for seasoned clergy but also those who
may want to understand more about clergy family life. I highly recommend adding it to your
library - or sharing it as an advice book with someone entering ministry.

If you're interested in purchasing a copy, click here.