There seems to be a stereotype out there about Pastor’s kids. I’m not denying that there isn’t some truth to it, but is it really as bad as people make it out to be? This article on Katy Perry is a good example of what happens to a majority of pastor’s kids. But let’s look at some of the things that cause this initial reaction from PKs.
We’ve all been here… But it’s difficult to live up to multiple expectations at once. Family, friends, church members, classmates… the list goes on. From the church-goers perspective, these expectations have to be met in order for the church to not be full of hypocrites. But isn’t the original expectation the root of hypocrisy, holding someone to a standard when you yourself may not meet the standard?
This can range from a rub with one of the deacons/elders to physically threatening your dad to a fist fight in the church parking lot (which has happened, sadly). Negative experiences can also be emotional. When your family goes through traumatic events like losing jobs, moving, finding a new community, and not being certain of the future, who do you turn to? That’s when negative events become your living nightmare.
(Whether it’s in the church or at home)
This is a big one because we are always so quick to say “the H word” in the Church subculture. Hypocrisy originally means ‘to play a part’ and ‘pretend’. So in a sense, there is a lot of hypocrisy going on; can we control if we’re being hypocrites? Absolutely. Can we be honest about our hypocrisy, repent, and pursue holiness? Absolutely!
Living in a Glass House
Everyone sees everything that you do. That’s true for a lot of people, but especially for pastor’s kids. I know for a fact that there are some people who are more concerned with juicy gossip in the Pauley than my family’s progress in our spiritual walk.
The life of a PK is anything but stable. Speaking from personal experience, I have lived in 6 cities 3 different states over 16 years. Oh, I forgot to mention… I’ve lived in at least 10 houses in those 6 cities. Talk about unstable. To some degree, it feels like a military family.
This type of heart break could be with friends from the unstable lifestyle, family going through any number of these issues, or your own see-through love life. Since you’re in the spotlight, heart break is the gossip of the church… So either way, you’re done for.
I do have one disclaimer: These reasons alone are not excuses to walk out of the Church. Not by a long shot. I don’t believe any pastor’s kid should make the conscious decision to walk out. Learn. Study. Be Seriously Discipled. Grow. And Make your Faith Your Own! God’s plan and purpose for anyone in ministry WILL include difficulty. That’s part of life.
Where the Rubber meets the Road
1 Timothy 3 has a lot to say about the relationship between pastors and their children. In its context, the passage is talking about the qualifications and expectations for pastors active in vocational ministry. Most of these are on the individual man in the role; some of them are inadvertently placed on the shoulders of the man’s family.
“[A qualified pastor] must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” 1 Timothy 3:4, 5
As I said, this command is two fold. But the point I want to make is that it’s the PK’s job to obey habitually. Isn’t that what all children should do anyway? Obey their parents? If you look at the entire chapter of 1 Timothy 3, you may notice that this command is given to overseers, deacons, and others. It’s a repeated command (which means it’s important). God highly values the family. So that leads me to ask: Do you value your own family no matter how messed up they are? Do you want to love and respect them even when you’re wrong about something?