I grew up as a PK (pastor’s kid). There were good things and bad things about that.
I attended the Christian school at my church. One week at chapel, the speaker was listing off the different types of people in youth groups.
“You got the jocks, the nerds, etc.”
He ended the list with PKs, saying that they are all a bunch of hypocrites.
I was hurt and annoyed. I couldn’t believe that someone was judging me simply because of the job that my dad held.
Are some PKs hypocrites? Maybe. Certainly, not every single PK is.
There are three ways that people treat PKs differently than they would treat other children in their class.
Some leaders let PKs get away with everything.
This was annoying to watch.
I didn’t really experience this very much, mainly because I like to follow the rules. But I have seen other pastors’ kids take advantage of the teacher who was in charge.
The teacher who was in charge would let the PK do whatever they wanted simply because they do not want to correct them. I think it is out of fear, they are afraid of what the pastor will say, so they don’t do anything. You see this a lot in larger churches.
This is frustrating to everyone else in your class, and you lose credibility with the PK.
If there is a pastor’s kid in your class that is causing a disruption, tell them to stop, just like you would any other child. If they persist, pull them aside—discipline should not be done in front of everyone. If it still persists, have a meeting with the child and the parent.
Trust me, there is nothing more annoying as a kid than to have an adult tattle on you to your parents.
Leaders who are harder on PKs than others.
This is what the chapel speaker was doing.
My dad was the children’s pastor at a large church that also had a private Christian school. So, all of my school mates and teachers knew who my dad was.
One day out of frustration, I said, “This sucks.” Granted, this is a gray-area word, not an actual swear word, but close. I got chewed out by my teacher. She said, “You’re a pastor’s kid, you should know better.”
I think the thing that people forget is that PKs are still kids. They did not sign up to be a PK or to be held a higher standard.
Should they know better? Maybe. But they are still kids! They need God’s grace just like everyone else in your class. Let’s give them a break!
Leaders who actually pastor PKs.
As a parent, I find it hard to pastor my own child. (I might write a whole blog about this later.) I think that most pastors find it hard to both pastor and parent their children.
The job of the parent and the job of a pastor are similar, but oh so different.
They both: love, encourage, challenge.
But I think the main difference is that the pastor sees things in the child’s life that the parent might not.
I have had many people in my life who pastored me but never held the position of pastor in my local church. They encouraged me, challenged me and never let me coast through life, but most importantly, they let me be a kid.
Krista B. started as my babysitter and later became my puppet team leader. She was gentle with me when I was scared of thunder storms. Yet, she still pushed me and challenged me to do things I was afraid to.
Brother John Tasch encouraged me to go on a missions trip—without my parents. I was so scared flying of Ireland to meet Brother John and his team there. But I learned so much! That trip gave me a heart for lost people.
Pastor Kelly Shirley, my preteen youth pastor. Kelly could see that I had skills. She would have me help her with things before church service because I was always at church. But she also let me be a normal teen.
If you are teaching kids, some of the kids in your class are PKs. Don’t be scared to confront and give correction when needed. Give grace to these children that are put into a very difficult and lonely position at a young age. And mentor these young kids that need guidance.
You can do it!
Another thing that you can do to help the PKs in your class is to give them a heart for the lost.
That was the main goal we had when writing Super Church 2.0 Finding God.
Finding God will do three things:
- It is guaranteed to give your kids a heart for the lost.
- Teach your kids what to do when God seems far away.
- Teach your kids to hear from God and make wise choices for themselves instead of always depending on Mom and Dad.
This article originally appeared here.