Thom Rainer, the President of Lifeway Christian Resources, (my employer) posted a blog today called Seven Things We Learned from Pastor’s Kids.” I get nervous about such posts most of the time because so much of what is said is not from the PKs, but I was really, really glad to see this one. So much of what is posted about the pastor’s family is aimed at the pastor and drawn directly from pastors, so to give voice to PKs is unique and helpful. Here are the seven things Dr. Rainer observed from the hundreds of responses he received from PKs.
1. The glass house is a reality.
2. Some church members made a positive and lasting impression on PKs.
3. Some church members were jerks to the PKs
4. Many PKs resent the interrupted meals and vacations.
5. Some of the PKs have very positive memories when their parents included them in the ministry.
6. A key cry from the PKs was: “Let me be a regular kid.”
7. Some PKs left the church for good because of their negative experiences.
Dr. Rainer’s comments on each point reveal some pointed responses he heard from PKs and are well-worth reading. I resonate with each of these points. In writing The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and IdentityI encountered PKs who spoke to every one of these responses. It is a uniquely challenging upbringing whether the church is 40 people or 4,000 people. The challenges are not small (if they were PKs wouldn’t leave the church over them.) But the blessings of being a PK, while not always obvious, are significant too. That’s why so many PKs end up back in the ministry; they were formed by the upbringing.
I’d encourage you to read through Dr. Rainer’s post for more detailed insights. If you are a PK yourself, a pastor, or have a heart for the pastor’s family I’d love it if you pre-ordered my book.It releases on July 1, so it’s still a ways away, but it would be a great addition to a summer reading list.