Q&A with Pastor's Kids

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I shared on the previous post what life for me was like growing up as a Pastor’s Kid (PK). So, I reached out to eight different PKs and asked them a few questions about what it was like for them. Here are there answers:

Q: What’s been the best thing about being a PK?

A1: “The best thing about being a Pastor’s Kid has been the relationships built with people I’ve looked up to. My family has had various church leaders to our home over the years and I can’t imagine having the relationship I have with them if I wasn’t a Pastor’s Kid. Being exposed to them, I’ve been able to rely on their wisdom and insight throughout various seasons of my life and I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to build the foundations of those relationships to truly trust and value their input if I wasn’t a PK.”

A2: “The family dynamic was different then most of my friends’ houses. My father was around more, as he had an office at home to do all his studying. And, my mother didn’t work outside of the house, so I usually had both parents at home, which provided a very stable and nurturing environment.”

Q: Are you glad you had the lifestyle you grew up in or do you wish you had it differently? Why?

A1: “Being born into a family that ultimately lives for something greater than themselves is a life I wish more people could experience. Right from the moment I was brought into this world, my mom and dad dedicated my life to the Lord knowing that as earthly parents they would let me down, but He never would. My upbringing forced me to be outgoing and accepting, so I wouldn’t change that for the world.”

A2: “I’m glad to have been born into it! I’m fortunate my parents were healthy examples of what it was like to serve Jesus and do ministry as a family – they were the same people at home as they were in the spotlight, and they made sure to include us kids in whatever they could. We viewed our position not as a title, but as a lifestyle. Sometimes though I wonder what it would have been like to sleep in on a Sunday Morning like ‘normal people’. Ha!”

Q: What’s been the most difficult part about being a PK?

A1: “People’s preconceived ideas about Pastor’s Kids. That has definitely been the most difficult part of growing up with a Dad in ministry. At least for me, people have assumed I was either stuck up, judgmental, or that ‘goodie two shoes that doesn’t have fun’ type of kid. None of which is true. I’m a blast, but I also have a lot of issues which renders me from judging anyone else or their life styles.”

A2: “The self-deprecation. PKs don’t have much grace for themselves and often don’t feel like they can talk to their parents about their struggles. They end up feeling like they are unworthy and bad people because they can’t live up to a self-imposed expectation.”

Q: What was a common misconception people had regarding you as a PK?

A1: “Many people over the years have felt like they needed to apologize to me on behalf of the church for the fact that I’ve been serving every week for most of my life, like somehow that has been a massive burden for me. However the reality is quite the contrary. I don’t know what I’d do without serving in church every week, for me it is the thing that I base the rest of my life around. I was raised to fit my schedule around the church, not fit the church in my schedule.”

A2: “I think in general I observed many church members assuming that PKs would want to go into full time ministry and ‘become a preacher’ like their parents. This misconception seemed to make a distinction between spiritual work and secular work. However, everyone in the church is involved in ministry. Yes, some do it full time and receive a paycheck, but others do ministry within their families, social networks, church, workplace and schools.”

Q: What was the weirdest thing about being a PK?

A1: “People you don’t know coming up to you and saying, ‘Wow, I’ve known you since you were a little kid! You’ve grown so much! Do you remember me?’ ALL THE TIME.”

A2: “Probably moving from town to town as your parents took various pastoring opportunities. We lived in four completely different cities over the span of about four to five years, each time leaving a church, a school with friends and starting over.”

Q: What is one thing you want to make people aware of when it comes to PKs?

A1: “There is such a stigma around the words, ‘Pastor’s Kid,’ as if being one relegates you to a selfish, unproductive, and broken life. This is because Pastor’s Kids tend to normalize church, and for reason. But if there was one thing I would do to help lift that stigma, it would be to encourage other pastors and leaders, particularly youth pastors, to really lean in hard to building strong relationships with the pastor’s kids in your church and beyond. It was the leadership and guidance of a few key people in my teenage years that have completely changed the course of my life.”

A2: “If there was one thing I could encourage others to be aware of when it comes to Pastor’s Kids is that, while some may put expectations on them, they still have their own relationship with God they need to work on. The relationship their parent(s) has with them isn’t representative of where they are. We’re human too! We make mistakes. Treat them as you would any other member in the church.”

Valerie ParrishComment