7 Rules To Employ When Meeting A Pastor’s Kid

Pastor's Kid

I’m a pastor. I’ve been a pastor for almost 14 years serving in Kentucky, Florida, Indiana and now Arizona. I’m a husband and dad too. God has been most kind to my bride and me by giving us 3 kids and we just found out we’re pregnant with our fourth. To say we’re elated would be an understatement.

Increasingly though, I find myself worrying. Worrying about raising them in the church and hoping that they’ll grow up to love Jesus and His church (all by God’s grace of course); worrying about whether or not I’m preachy at home; worrying about the balance of expecting them to obey and enforcing disobedience with discipline, as well as giving grace and hopefully giving lots of it. I find myself worrying a lot these days. I know what you’re thinking. You’re a pastor and don’t you know what the Bible says?!? Worrying is actively not trusting in Jesus. It’s believing that God is not good and somehow He’ll not be good to you. You’re right and I’d appreciate you praying for me.

My kids are pastor’s kids. There’s a lot of good that comes with that and there’s some downsides that come with that too. My kids will grow up with a spotlight on their lives that “normal” kids won’t. Even now I’ve found myself wanting them to behave, or sing a song in “big church” or respond in a particular way because “hey, I’m the pastor” and I’ve got a reputation to uphold.  My kids are fairly young and at times I’ve already placed unhealthy expectations on them. To that end, I picked up a book months ago called The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity” to try to better understand what I can do to be a good, godly, caring dad (who also happens to be a pastor) to my kids. Here’s seven rules Barnabas Piper gives for when you meet a PK:

  1. Do not ask us, “What is it like to be the son or daughter of…?”
  2. Do not quote our dads to us.
  3. Do not ask us anything personal you would not ask of anyone else.
  4. Do not ask us anything about our dads’ position on anything.
  5. Do not assume you can gain an audience with the pastor through us.
  6. Do not assume that we agree with all the utterances of our fathers.
  7. Get to know us.

3 thoughts on “7 Rules To Employ When Meeting A Pastor’s Kid

  1. These are some great general rules. I love #6 because I’m a free thinker myself. I learned so much from my dad and part of that was to do my own research, dig into the word to search for myself, look to experts in those areas who are known for their passion for Jesus & God’s word.

    Regarding #2, personally, I love it when people point out to me how God used my dad or my mom to say something that really meant something to them or changed their perspective (sometimes life!). Just don’t use what my dad said in a sermon 3 years ago to tell me how I’m wrong about something or to criticize me.

    Biggest thing – we’re people. We’re kids, we’re adolescents, we’re college students, we’re adults on our own. Realize that we’re just as human as you and realize that we’re all facing challenges of our own. Encourage us when we’re following Jesus & encourage us to follow Jesus when we’re not. These are all my suggestions for church members.

    As a dad, I recommend never speaking about challenging church issues/members within earshot of your kids. No matter what age, ask them before you tell their stories in church and use that ask as a teachable moment to both share the lesson you want to draw from the story but also how God can use our stories to point others to him. Lastly, involve them in your ministry. If you see them light up about a ministry or event at church, give them a piece of it and let them do it. Train them to do ministry well and be passionate about it.

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