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You Need to Hear the Real Story of Pastors’ Kids

It was not the response to a blog post I expected. Back in June of 2013, I wrote a post speaking on behalf of pastors for their kids.

I summarized seven major things pastors wanted you to know about their children. The article had a big response when it was first posted.

But, for reasons I have not completely fathomed, the post went viral a few weeks ago. Now almost 200,000 views and hundreds of comments later, we can see a pretty clear picture.

You see, the majority of those who responded were pastors’ kids.

So, instead of hearing from pastors about their children, we heard directly from the children themselves.

Some were teenagers still living with their parents. Others were adults who grew up as PKs. All of them had pretty strong opinions.

As I read again through the plethora of comments, I developed seven major themes from these PKs.

Not all of their comments were negative, but a majority did communicate some level of pain.

Here is what they said:

1. The glass house is a reality.

People are always looking at the PKs. They have trouble saying or doing anything without someone, usually a church member, making a comment. Most of these PKs (and former PKs) felt a great deal of discomfort living in the glass house. Some even expressed bitterness.

2. Some church members made a positive and lasting impression on PKs.

One of the more frequent positive comments we heard was about the church members who loved and cared for the PKs. Many of them took the children under their wings and made a positive difference in their lives.

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Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.