Being a pastor’s kid probably brings up all sorts of jokes and stereotypes. Many of them, unfortunately, have some truth to them. There’s a lot of pressure being a pastor. The workload never ends. The task list is always growing. You hold the weight of others on your shoulders. You are burdened for those who don’t know Jesus around you. You’re a conflict mediator, a shepherd, a team builder, a husband, and a father. Often times, the last two are the easiest neglected. You take for granted your family when they should be your biggest priorities. I think that’s why many kids get the PK label. I hope and pray that won’t be my kids. I hope they see me as a father that loves them and wants to see them love Jesus. But, if I’m honest I have legitimate fears that I have to give to God daily about my kids being pastor’s kids. Here are some.
1. Thinking I love the church more than them.
One of the biggest issues kids feel when it comes to their pastor dad is that their dad loves the church more than them. Think about it. If a pastor spends five to seven nights a week at the church in meetings, teaching classes, etc, along with time spent in the office each day, how much time can he reasonably have towards his family?
I hope my kids will never have to question whether or not I love them more than the church.
2. Living under impossible expectations.
People expect pastor’s kids to be better behaved, never get into trouble, or never have issues. Biblically, there is a requirement for pastors to lead their families well, but that doesn’t mean their kids will be perfect. My kids will never be perfect. They struggle with the same sin nature that you and I were born with. My hope and prayer is that people would not place that same expectation on my kids.
3. Not being able to be a kids.
Along with number 2, I want my kids to be able to be kids. Kids play and have a good time with their friends. They are energetic, talkative, and adventurous. Those are all good things. I want them to be able to play with toys, make friends, play pretend, and do other kid things. Pastors often come home with burdens bigger than themselves on their shoulders. Kids are incredibly intuitive and know when things are wrong. They don’t need to have the worries of the world in their lives. They just need to be kids.
4. Not having a love for Jesus.
This is probably my biggest fear. Even though I teach my kids the Bible and hope to teach them a love for Jesus, that doesn’t mean they’ll have a love for Jesus. I want them to one day be a follower of Jesus, but I can’t force it to happen. I hope that I never do anything that causes my kids to stumble in the area of being a follower of Christ. Thankfully, I know that God works beyond me, and they’re in His hands. But, I desperately pray that they’ll have a love for Him.
5. Not being able to be themselves.
This kind of goes with the territory of religion. People think they have to hide their personalities and their struggles when they go to church. They hide their imperfections and failures because they’re afraid of what other people think of them. I don’t ever want my kids to feel like they can’t be themselves. I hope they can be transparent and be themselves. They need to grow in their faith just like any other church member. And, they also need to have the same fear of God that anyone else should have.
6. Seeing the church as an obligation instead of a benefit.
It would be easy to see the church as something they always have to go to since mom and dad are always at the church. But, I hope they love the church and they love coming to church. I hope they love serving and being members. I hope they love the church in spite of all its imperfections and problems.