Preacher’s Kids

24 Oct

I was talking to a friend yesterday and he told me a tale that is very common . . . He has a friend (an ADULT friend) whose dad is a pastor who is very cynical and not thrilled with the modern church. He knows the Bible well but really struggles with “religion.” How do preacher’s kids get there?

Actually, I have seen and heard that story over and over again. A pastor’s children have a horrible road to navigate in their childhood. People in the church AND in the community put such unreal expectations on them. Everyone forgets that they are NOT pastor’s children, THEY ARE CHILDREN period. They WILL make mistakes. They WILL do wrong at times. But, when they do, tongues wag all over the place.

The biggest obstacle they face is also the biggest one their parents face: People generally have an unrealistic expectation on pastors to be perfect. Well, that ain’t gonna happen here. But that does not change the expectation. And when pastors show their humanity, even in simple ways, people get mad, hurt, disappointed, and the cycle of unhappiness begins. That is unfair to pastors, and the same expectation and cycle happens with their kids.

Pastor’s kids are expected to behave perfectly; attend EVERY function; always say and do the perfect things; make straight As in school and NEVER have behavior problems; The list goes on and on, but it is stuff just like that.

Show me a kid that can do all of that all of the time and I will show you a ROBOT. Then, several adult children of pastors tell me they have watched how churches have handled their parents and THAT is another reason they are cynical. They are anti-church. MANY of them still cling to their salvation and will freely confess that, they have just been so burned by churches that they do not care for being a part of a church.

HOW can we minister to them?? Just do what my friend is doing and care about them. That is it. And always remember that your pastor’s children are just that: Children. Kids who WILL make mistakes. But, in their defense, their parents are just as imperfect. And in our defense, so are you . . . Right?

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