Nobody ever refers to the children of an engineer as EKs. Or the children of a Doctor as DKs. But I have often heard children of Pastor’s called PKs.
And I have the privilege of raising up three of them. My church has been a blessing to me on this front and I would like to pass along a few observations that I have made in the past 7 years as a lead pastor who is leading a congregation each week toward the worship of God while trying to keep a ‘healthy’ home life.
The expectations on my children have never been addressed and I have never had anyone come to me and point out either a shortcoming in my parenting nor a shortcoming in one of my children. I am confident that there are many things that could’ve been addressed over the years and yet I am grateful that I have not had any added pressure from the church to parent my children according to some church-culture standard.
I asked my kids recently if they feel added pressure from ReCAST to act in a certain way or to behave better than the other kids around them and they all agreed that they have not felt a different standard. I want to point out that my kids may need be corrected from time to time, just like any other children and teachers have helped guide one child in particular from talking to others and generally distracting during the ReCAST Kids lesson. I am grateful that my children have been treated just like the other kids in the church.
Having a son with special needs has also been a unique dynamic as the pastor of church, but Luke has been welcomed along at every stage of his growth and teachers and others have been very kind to work with him and accommodate for Him.
My personal experience has made me wonder if the stigma involved with Pastor’s kids is not more often caused by the pastor. I have not felt pressure from the outside of me for my kids to act a certain way as much as I have felt a pressure from the inside for my kids to act in a certain way. I want my kids to be kind, helpful, generous and courteous in general, but even moreso at church. If I run with the temptation to make my kids act a certain way at church, for MY sake, I imagine that they might not appreciate that over the long haul.
I am grateful for a church that has helped my children to continue to grow in the right direction with gospel based classes and creative and organized teachers! I am grateful that I have not experienced a higher expectation for my kids behavior from the church in general.
My experiences as a church planter and father have been great so far. I hope and pray that my kids look back and feel the same way. I hope they are glad to have been kids whose dad happened to be a pastor.