2. You are indeed on display.
Sorry about that, but it’s just one of those facts of life. Your dad is going to use the story of something funny you said in a sermon, whether you find it embarrassing or not; it’s a preacher thing. The adults will think it’s cute and they will turn in your direction and smile. Your friends will be embarrassed for you and will tease you.
It’s been this way since year one.
People are watching you. But that’s not all bad. Remember the line from 2 Chronicles 16:9 that goes, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is completely His.” So, He’s watching too, but not with an evil intent. He’s looking around to see whom to bless.
Likewise, church members who keep an eye on you almost all want you to do well. They are pulling for you. (And the ones who are not, well—they don’t count.)
3. You have an incredible team of supporters.
Now, I’m not naïve about these things. Not every church is healthy and not every congregation treats the pastor’s family honorably. But most really do want to get this right.
My three children had a host of adult leaders and encouragers to bless them, starting with the other staff ministers and including Sunday School teachers and choir leaders and chaperons. And they didn’t charge a dime for their services! Just like everyone else in church, they were there to bless in the name of Jesus.
4. You are a sinner and will make mistakes, some more serious than others.
Romans 3:10 and 3:23 apply to you as well as the rest of us. No one (to my knowledge) expects you to be perfect. (OK. Even if they do, they’re unrealistic and you should smile at them and go on. They’ll grow up.)
So, cut yourself some slack, and don’t beat up on yourself. Just go on to Number 5.
5. You must come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. You must be born again.
Beware of having a second-hand religion. That is, trying to get to Heaven by the faith of your parents. You must be born again.
God has no grandchildren, and no one is “grandfathered” into the Kingdom. You must be born again.
Just as dad and mom cannot chew your food and think your thoughts, they cannot believe on the Lord Jesus for you. You must do this yourself. You must be born again.
6. As a Christian, you must cultivate a daily relationship with Christ.
This means reading the Word daily and praying, confessing your sins, and bringing every area of your life under His Lordship.
The emphasis is on “daily.” Carve out a definite time and a specific place where you can pull aside and read the Word and pray quietly. And don’t be in too big a hurry. Learn to read and pray, then sit quietly for a bit. Have something to write on in case the Lord calls something to mind. Then read some more and pray more.
7. Pray for your parents and expect them to be unreasonable sometimes.
Your friends find their parents to be exasperating at times, and there’s no reason to expect yours will be different. But the great test of your faithfulness is whether you will submit to them (read Ephesians 5:21) when you disagree.
It’s tough being a parent at any time. But for the pastor and his wife, the complexity and expectations are much higher. So, pray the Lord will give them wisdom and courage.