True Confessions of a Pastor’s Kid

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I love the expression on people’s faces when I reveal that I’m a pastor’s kid.

They don’t expect it because I’m not into drugs and raves. They expect me to have tats and some illegitimate children. No doubt, PKs have a bad reputation, but I don’t think that’s the norm. 

Most PKs are good people, at least in my experience.

Take, for instance, the staff at my church. Our pastor is a pastor’s kid. I (the worship director) am also a pastor’s kid. If you look at my dad’s family (my grandfather was a pastor), not only are most of my aunts and uncles pastors (or pastors’ wives), but the majority of their children are either becoming pastors or are actively involved in their church’s leadership. 

That isn’t to say that our parents didn’t have some interesting issues to handle when we were growing up, but that’s what I want to talk about. 

What makes pastors’ kids go bad?

I have some theories, and my theories are based on what my parents and my PK friends’ parents did right more than how other kids went wrong. 

1. Pushing too hard.

One thing that needs to be understood is that PKs aren’t born Christians. We are born into Christian culture, but any believer knows that Christian culture is just as messed up as non-Christian culture. If you don’t think so, spend a few days at a Christian school. On the surface, everyone seems very “holy,” but underneath, there’s always an underground of kids doing what most other kids do, it’s just that everyone is wearing a uniform and attending chapel during the week. 

Personally, I was born into a conservative version of Christian culture that focused more on morality than the state of the heart. Also, the music was terrible on Sunday morning and some of the church ladies were mean. Mostly, it was boring, and I wanted little to do with it. I went to church because I was expected to. 

I had to find God on my own, and my parents gave me that opportunity. I met Jesus at an Acquire the Fire rally when I was 13. It was the first time I realized that God was a person who wanted to be my friend and help me make my life into something. 

I think parents make a big mistake when they try to force their children to believe in God. All we as parents can do is make the introduction and tell our children about the good God we have come to know, then live out a life that exemplifies Christ.

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Joey Cottle
Joey Cottle is a student and a worship leader from west Michigan where he lives with his daughter and parents. He likes to write things like songs, poems, or blog posts. He also contributes to a religion column in his local newspaper.

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