A few nights ago I had a conversation with my wife because our son was in a play that had some language in it (he didn’t have any lines). There were also a few suggestive ideas in the play. My wife asked me “should this be a play that a Pastor’s Kid is in?” My response was there is no such thing as a pastor’s kid.
Being a pastor’s kid is challenging. The expectations are more than most people realize. Some people are waiting for you to mess up so they can say “See, told you so” others see you make a mistake and they act as if this is a total shock that this should ever happen. What doesn’t help is your peers tend to view you with suspicion or with the expectation that you should know every answer to every Sunday school question. There are some benefits to being a pastor’s kid, but in general, the crushing burden that you feel from most people can be overwhelming. In my experience with being a pastor’s kid and knowing lots of them the reaction to these expectations tends to create either rebels or Pharisees.
I was a Pharisee. This is still something I struggle with, I was a good kid that goodness led to pride until I failed to live up to the expectations that others had for me, then my failures were both public and crushing. I strove so hard to be a good kid and not to embarrass my parents or the church that I ended up being a professional people pleaser. I don’t want that for my kids. I don’t want that for any pastor’s kids.
How as a church community do we help the children of our leaders not become rebels or Pharisees? How do I as a pastor raise my kids to love the church and cherish Christ? Here are a few things I have learned the hard way.