Listen to the Pastor’s Kid(s)~ Way 30
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.
1 Thessalonians 5:12,13
I must confess that I have struggled with this post. I don’t really want to write. But I have committed to 31 days- and I know that it is exactly in these moments when I don’t want to write that I need to write.
I posed the question to friends on Facebook- what should I write about? One friend who has faithfully supported me throughout this series and who also happens to be a pastor’s wife, suggested a post from my kid’s perspective. I liked this idea. I have talked a lot in this series about how a pastor’s family can feel like they live in a fishbowl. And so, the pastor’s kids perspective can be eye opening in knowing how to appreciate their Dad.
I wondered if my kids would like this idea.
Turns out, they did! Of course, their acquiescence may have had something to do with the fact that they were supposed to be doing homework…
I proceeded to interview my kids. Lindsay is 11, Ethan is 9, Gibson is 5 and Ainsley is 18 months. Here are their answers!
Question 1: Do you like being a pastor’s kid?
Emphatic YES! (even from the baby!)
Question 2: Why?
Gibson: We love him!
Ethan: A big area to ride bikes! (We live in a parsonage on the other side of our church parking lot. We all love it!)
Lindsay: We have a father who is strong in his Christianity and it is cool to watch him lead others while he leads us.
Ethan: Kindle night in the nursery! (When my husband and I do counseling sessions or meetings in our home, we let the kids watch a movie on my Kindle in the baby’s room. They love this. Obviously!)
Gibson: He is kind and cute. (Um, okay. But I have to admit, I agree!)
Question 3: Is there anything you don’t like about being a pastor’s kid?
Lindsay: Sometimes it feels like the church expects us to be the perfect examples.
Ethan: It’s hard to be the last ones to leave the church.
Gibson: I don’t like when church is over and we don’t have any toys to play with.
Question 4: What do you like about Sundays?
Lindsay: I get to see my friends and I love snack time afterwards.
Gibson: I like listening to Jesus music.
Ethan: I like that we don’t have school. It’s nice seeing my Daddy.
Question 5: What do you not like about Sundays?
Ethan: I love everything.
Lindsay: I need something to do in order to listen to the sermon.
Question 6: Do you feel like Mommy and Daddy spend enough time with you?
Ethan: Sometimes, sometimes not. Sometimes I don’t see Daddy all day and I really miss him. And on Sundays, he is really tired. But I do really like that Sundays are a Sabbath.
Ainsley: NO! 🙂
Question 7: Do you like our vacations?
All 4: YES!
Other thoughts from Lindsay: Daddy has a high responsibility and we respect that. It’s kind of hard to be a pastor’s kid in a public school environment. You see kids make bad decisions and you want to point them in the right direction. But you can’t.
As a pastor’s kid myself, I would agree with the whole expectation aspect, but as I have grown older, I have realized two things:
1. What I thought was pressure from our congregation was really pressure that I put on myself. They didn’t expect me to be perfect. I did.
2. We serve a Holy God. High expectations for how we represent him in this world seem appropriate.
Being a pastor’s kid has the potential to push you away from God or make you run hard after him. In that sense, it is pretty much like being any other kid. Our responsibility as parents needs to be the same whether we are a pastor’s family or not. We should be seeking to bring glory to God in all that we do.
The pressure that pastor’s kids feel is not nearly as great as the pressure the pastor Dad feels. From what I hear, this pressure grows as the children get older and become young adults, making their own choices and decisions. A way to appreciate your pastor is to listen to his kids. They might say they need more time with their Dad. They might say that they feel pressure from the church. They might even say that they don’t want anything to do with the church. Encourage, love and support your pastor through this.
Being a pastor does not suddenly make you a perfect Dad. He needs you!
Way 30: Appreciate your pastor by listening to his kids.