7 Things Your Pastor's Kid Needs From You
1. People Not Parents
People function simultaneously as one of the greatest advantages and disadvantages to the ministry. Without them, there is no ministry. With them, there will always be problems. Growing up in a ministry home provides for connecting with new people, and lots of them, almost weekly. Often because of their parent’s vocation, PK’s are held to a higher standard. People expect them to perform at a certain level, not even expected of their own children. And when the Pastor’s kid slips, there is always a committee waiting to let them know. Dear church member, your PK has a set of parents who do not need your help. Your PK needs to know that you are a person just like anyone else, and not their parent.
2. Investment Not Interrogation
While there are some pastors who excel at balancing church and home life, many struggle with discipling their own kids while discipling all the other church leaders. What if you decided to invest a little time into your pastor’s kid just for their benefit and personal growth? The PK will be leery at first, because the typical church member only gives when they expect something in return. If the only time you talk to your pastor’s kid is when you want information, or you want to fast track something to the pastor’s ear, it’s better you not talk to them at all.
3. Flexibility To Function
You know how your kids sometimes miss that youth group activity because of a sports game, or other exciting opportunity? Yeah, your Pastor’s kid would like to be afforded that same flexibility. While PK’s do love the ministry, they would like to have friends and fun outside of church too. Yes, even PK’s can have hobbies.
4. Security In What You Say
For most people, after they clock out at 5pm, they wouldn’t dare answer a phone call for a work related issue. But those same people expect the pastor to pick up at 9pm while he is enjoying a movie and time with his family. I remember at 12 years old being almost to the resort where we would vacation and getting the “my wife is in the hospital call” where we then turned around to head back home. Unfortunately, living on call is a vocational hazard for pastors. They cannot always live up to what they promise their kids. If not carefully handled, PK’s can become cynical creatures who analyze promises. So if you throw a guarantee the way of your pastor’s kids, don’t take it lightly. They don’t.
5. Your Attention and Intrigue
PK”s become experts at the 10AM handshaking small talk game. They expect that people will ask shallow questions and return shallow answers. Then, when dad gets home from a day filled with counseling, he’s probably used his words up and isn’t looking to talk a whole lot more. So if your pastor’s kid happens to be sharing something with you, pause and give them your undivided attention. To them this information is important, and you are the first friend they’ve found to share it with.
6. Consistency, Not Double Standards
We have touched on this slightly; and while the name says it all, it is good that we expound here. The life of a PK is that of a fishbowl. There are people in your church who believe it is their job to legislate righteousness into the life of your pastor’s family. Don’t believe me? Ask. - If what your pastor preaches is good enough for his kids, it is good enough for yours. And if you aren’t going to expect a certain level of responsibility from your children (or yourself) don’t expect it from them either.
7. Freedom to Fail
PK’s are human, and therefore prone to sin. I know that preacher’s families are supposed to always smile, act right, read their Bible recreationally for hours each day, and always speak in church words. But since that would require an insane amount of hypocrisy, just give your PK some freedom to fail. When they fall, help them back up without a lecture. This freedom will enable them to live openly around you, and ultimately minister more effectively.