“Ohhh, you’re a PK huh? Gotta keep our eye on you.”
These were the remarks from adults, not kids. The kids would ask:
“Do you have the Bible memorized?”
“Are you perfect?”
Being a pastor’s kid can be something of a fish tank life—all eyes on the PK. Because what they’re waiting to find out is, will you be the darling or the devil?
The questions presented to PK’s are innocent enough. In fact, they’re mostly meant in good humor. But the real question behind the humor is, “are you good?” with the implication, “you better be good.”
So how should you regard a pastor’s kid? How should you treat them and what should you expect of them?
Of course, all children should be expected and encouraged to be obedient. But not because we’re pastors kids. These should be the expectations placed on every kid from a Christian home. What is the standard of obedience placed on us? Is it our dad’s title or our Christian title?
Ask yourself this: Do you shake your head when the pastor’s kid throws a fit in the middle of church? Or maybe you secretly delight to see it? If you’ve placed your pastor’s kid up on a pedestal because of who their dad is, chances are they’ll fall trying to stay balanced up there. Or they’ll become so good at the balancing act they become unreachable in their “godliness.”
And when I say “fall trying to stay up there” I don’t just mean that you’ll actually see them sin. What I mean is, they’ll have such an aversion to your misplaced expectations, they run away from the church. Can you think of a greater way to grieve your pastor than to run his child apostate?
Whether the expectation is failure or perfection, the message they’re getting is that they’d better protect their father’s title. If they fail to be good, not only are they failing themselves, but they’re failing their father, their mother, and the church.
Here’s the thing: pastors kids are sinners. And just in case this is a secret, so are pastors. The title PKs and every other kid who grows up in a Christian home should be expected to protect is the name Christian. Respect your father, no question. But the objective of a PK should not be to protect their earthly father’s image, but rather their Heavenly Father’s Name.
Nobody is staying up on a pedestal. If it appears your PK is balancing pretty well, they may just be in a worse place than the one who went apostate, and a greater danger to the church. PK’s need Christ and His forgiveness as much as any other kid in the church, and they need to know it!
One way to help the children of the church grow in love for God is to give them space to confess their sins. Confess your sins and demonstrate repentance and they’ll see the fear of God and His honor as priority. In this, you open the doors for them to do the same, and to know the joy of forgiveness.
Let the PKs in your church fail, but then help them up so they learn to love Christ and His church.