Book Review: The Pastor’s Family

Jayson Byrd   -  

I wanted to recommend to fellow pastor’s an excellent book on the pastor’s home. A few years ago this work was timely for me personally and balanced a robust biblical theology and practical application with real-world honesty. I heartily commend Brian & Cara Croft’s book, The Pastor’s Family, to any ministry family.

The approach to this book is a husband & wife that “tag-team” their writing throughout the book. I found this style warm and inviting, like sitting at a forum discussion with them over coffee. They help change the target of ministry success and expose the false dichotomy between successful ministries and family involvement.

Part 1 exposes the demands on a pastor’s family. Many do not understand the unique stresses that come with the ministry, and it is not worth trying to explain it to them. But for those that do, Brian hits the nail on the head. He points out (while Cara interjects) the plethora of demands imposed from without and within and exposes some of the sinful heart motives from which they come. Some of these are the relational loneliness for the pastor’s family, the demands of appearance, the expectations of success, and ministry “results.”

Part 2 deals with the unique struggles of the pastor’s wife. Ladies, you’ll have to read it for yourself. I did, however, find chapter 4 “caring for your wife” very helpful and practical.

Part 3 concerns the pastor’s children. With biblical clarity and simplicity, the Crofts share practical insights to avoid neglect and shepherd the pastor’s “first flock’- his kids. I enjoyed the ideas for integrating family worship with the church and hoped to implement some into our family worship times. Some of the most valuable information is found in the two appendices in the first Cara shares her struggle with depression (something prevalent in ministry homes) with a graceful gospel-driven, hope-filled way without diminishing the sufficiency of the scriptures. In the second, Brian gives some wonderful advice for married men preparing for ministry.

Quite frankly, I wish I would have done some of these things before becoming a pastor. In the end, I felt as if I had been mentored in ministry by the Croft family. To my friends in ministry, I would commend The Pastor’s Family to you. It’s available from Amazon or Westminster Books.