Hello Pastor’s Kid. I think you have probably figured who you are. If you have not …I will help you . You are the a daughter or son of a pastor. Although you may think you are something very special ( and you are ) you are just a normal person. You are not unique, unfortunate, outstanding ,below average, average, above average, misleading , provocative, stuck up , uptight, dangerous or Bad. You are a son or a daughter…period. Unfortunately your only super power will be the power to meet a lot of people in your lifetime and lose those same people and the ability to meet more and more and more without skipping a beat.
By now you have realized that church has become your second home and the first thing your parents mention every morning , the last thing you hear about before bed. But it doesn’t mean that you don’t exist or that you aren’t important . This is your parents responsibility as servants . It is very important to understand that this position as a servant is never ending . You may feel like you can help but be wise when taking on any responsibility in the church . Responsibility for the church should only come when you are an adult or mature enough to handle the talk that comes along with it . Although you may feel a little responsibility to defend church or your position as the pastors child …you are not obligated to do such . No amount of defense helps in your position you can play it down it or you can take pride in it whatever you chose you cannot ignore it . I have tried and failed at that one . Never ever think you have to fight to be heard. And if you decided to take on any task in church remember three words, nepotism , favoritism and confidence. Two of these words you will hear often and one word is needed (confidence) to handle those first two words.
Your parents decided to take a job as a pastor. This job is no different than any other profession . Instead there are some exceptions , this is a life long job, no vacations, no paid days off, probably no 401K benefits, health insurance is rare and there are usually no significant retirement plans . Yet its a job. There are some perks, you may get dinner every now and then , some churches provide homes , cars and multi million dollar salaries. The average pastor doesn’t live that way for an example my father isn’t just a Pastor , he also had another job . I was the bosses daughter and the Pastor’s daughter. Imagine it if you will . Your parents will talk about you at their job , your parents will discuss your misfortunes and your accomplishments .
All parents talk about their children but some of you are fortunate not to have it discussed over the pulpit in the midst of 50-1000 people. When I was younger I did something and I got into so terrible trouble a few weeks later it was a part of my Dad’s sermon. I could have died a million deaths . My little 14 year old mind could not understand why I was included in his sermon and then I watched as half of the church just looked at me and laughed while he was giving the details of my misfortune. This was the time before the church was blacked out with low lights during the sermon . So yes I sat and watched as everyone looked and laughed. I was mortified. And then something magical happened, someone said you know that message that your dad preached really helped me . I didn’t know that I could help someone . It gave me a different perspective about things and even though I still may cringe when my parents mention us during any portion of their message I realize that there is always a message in the lessons that we learn .
It took several years to understand my place in church . For a while I only wanted to dress nice and smell good. Then there was a time that I wanted to participate with all the other children and there were times where I just had too much and just needed to go to get breakfast before church started (LOL). But overall it took a while for me to acknowledge my role and to exercise my true emotions when it came to being a Pastors kids. This always comes at very different times for all individuals . Its okay not to know where you belong . It is okay to talk about it with your parents. Its a must to get an understanding of your role. It is never okay to justify anything that you do that is in anyway outside the lines of what the conventional church desires for you to be . Pastor’s kids make mistakes , we cry , we have feelings . It is okay to acknowledge them in your home but I have realized that even though you may acknowledge them its perfectly fine if no one else cares and they probably will not care. You are responsible for your own feelings and not what others feel in return . No one ever has to care about how you feel.
Your parents have an assignment . If you have not already learned your assignment in ministry you will in time . Don’t feel like you have to be a pastor just because your parents are there are many other roles you can play in ministry . My very first thing I did in church was a Sunday School teacher …taught me a lot of discipline and hurt all at the same time . If you have not found your place , give it time you will . In the meantime you are there to help and not there to hurt. This is especially true when you see your parents hurt. It is a natural desire to get someone told when your parents hurt but its never the answer. Let me tell you this took some time and a great deal of work . In my natural self I am not a very confrontational person but when it comes down to people I love I found myself between a rock and a hard place. I didn’t say anything much I just learned how to be sweet mean . You know how you don’t outwardly say anything to a person but you also never speak or acknowledge them when they are around . I was very good at this , like sometimes too good. It was a coldness about me and I brought it on every time I didn’t want to be bothered. It was an on demand emotion and more of a reaction rather than a desired attitude . I will say that it was a defense mechanism that I had learned over the years but it is not at all healthy for me and those who were in the line of receiving this coldness. It took a few years in my adulthood to understand my role in conjunction to my parents position . I was more affective to be a help than to hurt what they had built. Learn to be a help and a hurt to your parents .
I have heard a lot of Pastor kids reference sharing their parents with the church . I don’t necessarily understand this . I have not had to share my parents with anyone . I have shared a lot of time , a lot of energy and a lot of days with people who needed the time but I have never had to share my parents with others. My parents learned how to balance the time . There is not a handbook on what or how pastors should react to the church family and with their immediate family. Every family has to find what works best for their family . But I would encourage all pastors to make sure that their family know that they are important. Our family day has always been Monday and now we have added Friday to the mix. On this day we take the time just for ourselves. We try not to take phone calls , we try not to talk about church and we just have fun time . All the other days of the week are devoted to church but those two days we take the time to experience our life.
Pastors kids are important to their parents ministry . They have the power to help it grow or hinder its growth…