Featuring insights from the perspective of both a pastor and his wife---The Pastor’s Family identifies the complicated burdens and expectations ministry brings to the life of a family. Brian and Cara Croft identify the unique challenges that pastors face as husbands and fathers. They also discuss the difficulties and joys of being a pastor’s wife and offer practical advice on raising children in a ministry family. In addition to addressing the challenges of marriage and raising children, they also highlight the joys of serving together as a family and the unique opportunities pastors have to train their children and lead their families.
With discussion questions for use by couples and pastoral reading groups, this book is ideal for pastors and their spouses, pastoral ministry students and their wives, as well as elders, deacons, and others who wish to remain faithful to the care of their families while diligently fulfilling their calling in ministry. The Pastor’s Family equips pastors with time-tested wisdom to address the tension of family and congregational dynamics while persevering in their calling.
Table of Contents:
Foreword by Thabiti and Kristie Anyabwile
Part 1: The Pastor's Heart: "It's Not You - It's Me"
1. The Problem (Brian)
2. The Solution (Brian)
Reflection: Signs of Grace in Ministry (Jim Savastio)
Part 2: The Pastor's Wife: "I Don't Recall Saying 'I Do' to This!"
3. The Struggle (Cara)
4. Caring for Your Wife (Brian)
Reflection: Keeping Your Marriage Strong (Cathi Johnson)
Part 3: The Pastor's Children: "Daddy, Can't You Stay Home Tonight?"
5. Shepherding Individually (Brian)
6. Shepherding Together (Brian)
7. Shepherding Looking Forward (Brian)
Reflection: Thoughts from a PK ("Pastor's Kid")
Conclusion: Faithful to Family, Fruitful in Ministry (Brian)
Afterword: Confessions of a Pastor's Wife (Cara)
Appendix 1: My Battle with Depression (Cara)
Appendix 2: Before Becoming a Pastor (Brian)
Brian Croft is Senior Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Brian is the founder of Practical Shepherding, a non-profit organization committed to equipping pastors all over the world in the practical matters of pastoral ministry.
Cara Croft is a wife to Brian and a homeschooling mother of their four children. She did her undergraduate work at Asbury College and serves in a number of ways teaching and discipling the ladies of Auburndale Baptist Church. She enjoys serving her husband and family and looks forward to when she will have more time to pursue her love of speaking, teaching, writing and photography.
"Pastors and their families need a book like this - a kind of field manual - that speaks to the various demands and expectations they face and provides gospel-centered, family-focused guidance. This book delves into the hearts of each member of the pastor's household and offers helpful counsel in shepherding each one according to God's Word, so that the family can serve together joyfully in the work of the ministry." - Thabiti & Kristie Anyabwile, from the foreword
"Realistic. Honest. Transparent. Spiritual. Practical. These are the word that sprang to my mind as I read this unique book that will refresh many pastors' souls, rescue many pastors' marriages, transform many pastors' families, and revive many pastors' ministries." - David P. Murray, professor of Old Testament and practical theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
"All throughout the history of the church there have been pastors, so may pastors, who have sacrificed their families on the altar of ministry. Too many neglected wives and forsaken children can testify to men who time and time again chose ministry in place of family. Every pastor can testify to the power of this temptation, which is exactly why Brian and Cara Croft's book is urgently needed. The Pastor's Family challenges pastors to care first and best for their wives and children, and it carefully draws on biblical wisdom to allow them to do that very thing. It is a book I will read with my wife, and one I hearily recommend to every pastor. - Tim Challies, pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario