We've all heard it before – the pastor’s kids, the elder’s kids, and the deacon’s kids are all the worst. They are the behind the scenes disasters waiting to happen. They are the worst behaved, the most manipulative, and the sneakiest troublemakers of all the kids in the church. Watch out for the pastor’s kids.
Urban legends die hard. As my kids got older, and were, well, good kids, people would seem delightfully impressed by the reality that they were not skulks. They sometimes acted surprised by the fact. Many would say, just wait, until they start walking, or talking, or get into the terrible twos, or threes, or go to school, or make the wrong friends, or hit junior high, or become teenagers, or get into high school, or get a boyfriend or girlfriend, or… something! Just wait.
I’m still waiting. The truth is, I don’t know if being a pastor’s kid has much to do with it. In fact, I never told my kids they were pastor’s kids. I’m not sure they would know the difference. They’re just my kids. I would actually go out of my way on occasion, when giving them a specific directive, and say, “This is not because I am a pastor, it’s because we’re Christians. We would do this if I were a truck driver or insurance salesman” (no offense to truck drivers or insurance salesmen!).
Sometimes there were situations, although I can’t think of a single instance, I know there were a couple, where I would say, “we are the pastor’s family, and we need to do this, and it’s OK.” But ninety nine percent of the time, the fact that I was a pastor never affected the things we did or did not do as a family.
This week we are going to talk about pastor’s kids on the podcast. Jonny grew up in a pastor’s home, and at least one of my adult kids will join us, to talk about what it’s like to be a pastor’s kid. We will discuss the pros and the cons, the blessings and the challenges. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, because we haven’t recorded it yet – so we might all be surprised!
I have a feeling that the experience a kid has in a pastor’s family has much more to do with the parents than it does with ministry, or even any specific church. This is true with most any family though, and a pastor’s family is no different. The parents set the tone for the family, they determine the direction of the kids’ hearts. I mean, don’t they? I think we’ll talk about that on Wednesday’s episode.
One of my kids recently told me that a positive to being a PK was that church people were nice to him. I think this has as much to do with his attitude as it has to do with the people themselves. He has a positive attitude, and he perceives people positively. However, we have some really good people in our church, and they certainly have treated him well.
We want to encourage you that your kids in ministry can have a phenomenal experience and truly be blessed to be in a ministry home. That’s our goal. But for today, know this: your heart, your attitude, and your integrity as a parent will have everything to do with how your children turn out. If you are the real deal, it is highly likely they will be too!
What questions might you have about raising kids in a pastor’s home? Put them in the comments below and we will try to answer them in the podcast this week!
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