Seven Things Pastors Would Like Church Members to Know about Their Children

I was serving a church in St. Petersburg, Florida, when it hit me hard. One of my young children had playfully fallen on the floor in the foyer after a worship service. A deacon in the church came up to me and spoke forcefully: “You need to tell your kid to get up. Pastors’ children aren’t supposed to act that way.”

My internal emotional reaction was carnal. I’m just glad I held my tongue. I was really mad. I can still remember my thoughts: “How dare this man hold my young son to a standard different than other kids! My boy really didn’t cause any harm. He was just being playful.

I recently conducted a Twitter poll of pastors and their spouses about this very issue. Though the poll was informal and not scientific, the responses were nevertheless fascinating. Here are the top seven responses in order of frequency. A representative comment or combined comments are given with each of the seven.

  1. Don’t expect more out of pastors’ kids (PKs) than any other kids. “My children need to have the same expectations as the other children in the church. They are not some kind of spiritual superstars because their dad’s a pastor.”
  2. Please offer encouragement to my children. “It’s not always easy to be a PK. The glass house thing is real. I am so thankful for the church members who go out of their way to encourage my children.”
  3. Realize that they are kids. “I know a few church members who seem to think my kids are miniature adults. They expect them to act like a 40 year old instead of a 4 year old.”
  4. Please don’t call them “PKs.” “Their identities should not be based on their father’s vocation. They have their own unique and special identities.”
  5. Please pray for my children. “I am blessed to have this one lady in my church who prays for my three children every day. She knows the special challenges of being a PK.”
  6. Our kids see and hear more than you may think. “After one particularly tough church business meeting, my seven-year-old boy asked me if I was going to get fired.”
  7. Don’t make me choose between my kids and the church. “Too many PKs have grown up bitter and disillusioned about the church. Dad gave more attention to church members than his own children.”

What do you think about these seven challenges? What would you add? What have your experiences been?

Posted on June 5, 2013

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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  • Great advice about children in the ministry family. I can say that creating a safe place for children to grow and develop with a healthy view of church life is important to their spiritual journey. I am a second generation pastor who grew up in the ministry. I can recall memories that have impacted my life in both positive and negative ways. My greatest memories are not the negative memories, but the positive. For instance, going with my dad on weekly visitation in the summer, being exposed to other pastors who were great men of the faith. In addition, my father demonstrating to me how to witness, pray, and trust God in good times and bad. Even though as a child, I saw and experienced bad business meetings, the ugliness of religious people, and many negative things that made me never want to serve in that capacity; God had other plans. Pastors and their families experience unique challenges and should be respected and protected. From my perspective, I had to be intentional and clear about expectations for my wife and children to the church. One danger is to place them in a bubble of exemption and another is to abandon the family for the sake of others in the church. One critical issue is balance and having supportive voices that can allow pastors and their families to serve without being held hostage to public opinion. Personally, I am thankful for what I experienced because it has made me the person I am today. Great article…

    Ronnie L. Murrill

    • Bonnie Foster says on

      “One critical issue is balance and having supportive voices that can allow pastors and their families to serve without being held hostage to public opinion.” — Excellent point.

  • Adam Estep says on

    The last one is more important than anything. At my first full-time ministry position, I served under a pastor who worked 80 hours/week and his children, especially the youngest, were reaping the repercussions. His daughter even developed an eating disorder. I only served for a year there, but i hold those lessons with me now 10 years later now that I am married with my third child coming soon.

    I’ve heard pastors say to prioritize family over he church, but those same pastors gave me a hard time when I did just that. I’m thankful for the pastor I serve now who lets me serve part-time mostly from home while I care for my kids as a stay-at-home dad while my wife works full time.

    The greatest sin in this issue may be perhaps those that are hired “part-time” but really expectations are full time. How we as pastors lie like this and setup poor mainly situations is as great a sin as ignoring our own families.

  • I am a pastor and a pastor’s kid. I think this helps me a lot. I see some of the things that happened when I was young, and things which I can then improve on. Unfortunately, I find sometimes that my kids can be expected to act differently than other kids, and that I am to correct them if I’m going to be a “good” pastor. Sometimes I fail in this, and fall prey to this temptation.

    One of the real blessings for me, though, is that in my church I have other preacher’s kids who are now adults, and have kids of their own. They are often the most encouraging people in the church. They encourage me, my wife, and often play the hardest with my kids. One of them often says “I know how preacher’s kids are!”, obviously in jest, but helping me and my wife to relax a lot when around him. People who encourage my kids to be kids will always by high on the list of people I appreciate the most.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      I totally agree Steve.

    • Preachers kids should not be placed to a higher standard than others…but the same standards should be applied to all. Loved..and …disciplined, and to be courteous, and respectful to others. I have been to services as an evangelist and have seen children ruin a service with their antics. Some of them Preachers kids. There is a difference in “allowing a kid to be a kid” and allowing chaos. We raised 4 children traveled all over the USA and all of them could set through a service without being disruptive. Generally if a child is not raised to behave, not like an adult, but as a well blessed, and loved, and disciplined child, the congregation will begin to wonder why.The bible says “If a man cannot rule over his family, how can he be expected to rule over a church?” (My paraphrase) Just had to give the other side!

  • Paul Batson says on

    They need you as their extended family. It’s likely that dad or mom is not serving in a church close to the kids’ grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. The kids, and the parents, need these relationships and you have the opportunity to help fill that role.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Excellent advice to church members Paul.

    • Sharon says on

      Amen, Amen and Amen! My children’s Christian grandparents died when they were very young. The other set of grandparents are not Christians. I cannot emphasize enough their need for other Godly adults/influences in their lives.

  • Donnie Brannen says on

    #6 is why my kids weren’t in business meetings until they were teenagers.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      That was a smart move Donnie.

    • Sharon says on

      Combine #1, #3, #6 and #7 and you have the reasons for our family rule: If a church event is not appropriate for their age, the children do not attend. This has caused some folks to questioned why I have not attended certain events with my husband. My explanation was simple, “I was at home being a mom.” I have been blessed that when phrased this way, most people have been understanding.

  • Donnie Brannen says on

    How about, “Don’t judge the pastor’s spirituality by the actions of his adult children.”

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Agreed Donnie. Thanks.

    • Connie McCormick says on

      The general consensus seems to be pastors are responsible for the actions of their adult children. Therefore, they are not spiritually fit to fullfill the role of pastor if the have a wayward adult child. That is so wrong, judgmental and reeks of hypocrisy.

    • I agree. They have their own will.

    • Amen! I am an adult PK. My Father is a awesome pastor and leader! It is my choices, my hang ups, and issues for not going to church.
      Oh, I would like to add to the list. Do NOT think that’s PK’s have the answers to adult problems. I can remember times as a teenager people would come to me seeking advice! Even now, when I have visited the church on special occasions, people come to me asking for advice and prayer!

  • Bryan Easin says on

    Do you have an article on advice for pastors raising kids in church ? I am a pastor.I know my kids sometimes see and hear things that can alter their view of ministry. How can I how can I be honest with them and protect them at the same time. I know my own children see my weaknesses as well.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Thanks Bryan. I hope to get to that article in two to three weeks.

    • Stacie Dudley says on

      I would love to read one on this as well.

    • I am an adult PK with PKs of my own. When I was in junior high, my parents were going through a rough time in the church we were in. My brothers and I were aware of some of what was going on. I clearly remember a family discussion during that time in which my dad clearly and humbly expressed concern that the situation would tarnish our view of ministry and turn us away from ministry. He clearly explained to us the sovereignty of God and our need to trust God even though it didn’t make sense. As it all turned out, we were in that church for five years and it was in the rural Midwest, far from where we were preceding and following those five years. Those were precious years, and all of us hold fond memories of that time in our lives. Now, 4 of the 5 of us are in vocational ministry raising a combined total of 12 PKs. It is a special calling.

    • Elizabeth says on

      Be honest with them always & allow them to see u as a human being who makes mistakes. Remind them that we have a counselor (Jesus) who is ready to forgive always when we repent of wrong doing. Teach them to look up to Jesus, & only Jesus, cuz we as humans will disappoint them from time to time, but only Jesus is faithful & true to the end.

    • Bryan-
      First- thank you for putting a priority on this. The fact that you are reading up and seeking wisdom speaks highly of you. If you’d allow me- I’d like to reply from my perspective as a pk.

      My dad did several things that impacted my life forever.

      1: Establish a Family Night.
      When dad began to see how much we missed him when he consistently came home late and was overwhelmed by the load of the ministry- he instituted Family Night. One evening a week that is completely off limits. No phones, no visits, no problem solving: just family. We could go out to eat, watch a movie, build an epic fort in the living room, etc. As we got older it became a sacred night. No dates, no sleepovers- nothing was allowed to interfere. It showed us that we were important. That Dad’s priorities were: God, Mom, Us, then the Church.

      2: Acknowledge the Sacrifice.
      When you have been entrusted with loving and caring for the Bride of Christ- you will come under stress and trials. Don’t pretend its not there. Your children can feel the load you carry. And they begin to carry one for you. Invite them to pray with you about a problem. Ask them to pray that God gives you wisdom because you don’t know what to do. This will do two things: a) It shows them that you see them as a partner in your service to God and His people. b) It gives them a way to help- no matter what your age, it is horrible to feel there is no way to help someone you love.
      After a particularly trying or busy season- take them for ice cream and thank them for their patience with you. It will speak volumes. Trust me.

      3: Establish boundaries for your family.
      My dad used to ask me my last name. The rules had nothing to do with the church or his position there. We are going to follow these rules because they honor God. ‘I’m sorry that you were not allowed to do what sara is doing- she is not a Kennedy. Why don’t you invite her to come over tomorrow night?’ The rules remain the same no matter the job or church because they are not about that. They are there to serve God and grow us into responsible adults.

      4: Admit when you have made a mistake.
      I remember a specific time my dad lost his temper. He was under a huge load and was out of patience by the time he got home. He didn’t do anything huge or crazy- just very short and sent me to my room for almost no reason. I was very confused. Dad was always right- so why did this feel wrong? He came to me later and asked my forgiveness. He said “Daddy is human too. God is going to help me to see areas where I need to step up. I’m going to work on my patience baby. I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. Will you forgive me?” I was stunned. My hero wasn’t perfect. It made him more perfect that he was teachable. Of course I didn’t know that word at the time- but you get the idea.

      5: Be approachable:
      Allow your kids to discuss things with you that they don’t understand. My sister usually had to do this one for me. I was afraid early on to upset dad if I said something about the Bible or God didn’t make sense. But dad was always ready to hear anything and do his best to explain or answer. This made arguments in our house interesting. You were allowed to disagree with Mom and Dad- as long as it was without attitude. You did not yell or blow up. When you could calm down and discuss things ‘like a big girl’, they were ready to hear your objections.

      Be encouraged. It can be done right!
      My dad made me feel like I was worth his full attention. He showed me the love of my heavenly Father and opened my eyes to my worth. I was able to stand strong on my faith into adulthood. How often do you hear of a 27 year old virgin- by choice? My family is still very close- most people don’t get it. We understand priorities and have a deep love for one another. Have faith- You can do it!

      • Thank you for sharing your experience and advice, Staci. I want my 3 PK’s to experience those things too.

      • Wish it was that way with my family. Being a missionary’s kid is much harder. Its like you don’t belong anywhere.

      • Lydia Middlebrooks says on

        Lee, my parents have been missionaries for all but 2 years of my life. The field where they served became my home. Now God has called my husband and me to work with teens in the U.S. My closest family is about 1000 miles away. The church we are at has been a healing place in my life. God will help you to fit wherever He places you. It usually takes a while. Stay close to God. He never ever fails.

      • Elizabeth says on

        Staci, you are a rare breed & i say that as a compliment. Awesome comment & a good example of what all of us Christians should be like! I always said it,”it starts @ home.”

  • It’s impossible to go back and undo the damage that church conflicts do to the relationships between ministers and their spouses and children. The time to consider these is before they happen, not after. This calls, I suppose, for more prayerful discernment about the call to pastoral ministry from all sides: the congregations, the clergy, and the families. God bless and comfort the spouses and children of ministers!

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Excellent word John. I totally agree.

    • Barbie Waters says on

      That is the best observation I have read. 100% completely true. There is such a fine balance in ministry and to realize that not only are the Preacher’s kids just kids who see and hear more than other kids are, but to realize your minister (and his spouse) is also just a human (READ NOT super human) who has answered the call to speak truth to those he minister’s to and he is also subject to hurt and confusion when going through touchy, painful situations in the church. Of course the effects and consequences of difficult relationships will bleed over to children no matter how much you try to shield them from it or try to set an example of love and forgiveness and working through problems and conflict.

    • I think that it is crucial for parents in/married into the ministry to grasp they THEY alone are responsible for protecting their children from the potentially damaging effects that being a PK can have on their children. The pain that my brothers and I suffer to this day (at 56/55/55/53 years old) is incomprehensible to the professionals from whom we seek help. Our parents never spanked, drank, and were warm, loving, sincere people. Yet every aspect of our existence was filtered through the question of how our behavior might effect our father’s relationship to church and community. The rule was to please others at all time, even if that meant we had to accept emotional or physical harm; admonishment not to “rocking the boat,” “make someone’s life more difficult” or “I’m sure he/she wouldn’t do that” translated to us, developing human beings, as “you don’t matter. You are here on earth to meet the needs of others. You are not entitled to the same respect and fairness and kindness with which all other God’s creatures are. I was made to remain “friends” with a girl who constantly demeaned me and hit me, Teachers who had any issue with Dad or the church would cruelly bring this up i class, etc. We lost the will to survive that all children are born with as the years went on, as our parents refused to protect us, coach us in how to deal with others without being doormats, and even punished us for our weak attempts to stand up for ourselves. We eventually accepted that we were simply uniquely unworthy. None of our marriages were healthy (to say the least – we were all abused emotionally, I and my boys physically, as well. It’s not easy to stand up for yourself when youv’e been taught from birth that you are fundamentally unworthy) and (hope springs eternal) reaching out to our parents for some kind of support in these matters were met with the usual response that other people wouldn’t be unkind, etc., unless we were, basically, at fault for not being pleasing enough. Dad died a few years ago, and I’ve recently reached out to my mother to work this out, hoping that, as a mother, she would want to know what they had done and try to at least understand our hurt, isolation, self-destruction. I got more minimization and denial.Even worse, when I told her of being date-raped as a teen, her focus was not on my pain, but how, if it happened, I would have told her. What she did not get was that I know that I would have been blamed and told not to ruin the boy’s life. When she dies, I will grieve not for her loss, but what we never had in the name of the church and my father’s calling to serve God.

  • Don’t cover for my child just because he is a PK. Let me know when he misbehaves.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Another good one.

    • ABSOLUTELY! My sister’s and I got away with so much sin as kids b/c we were PK’s. Things, now that we’re adults, continue to keep my sister’s out of church 🙁

    • laloma seibert says on

      The problem is regular kids has 2 parents to spoil them on kids has the whole church spoiling them then smarting off when they do something wrong besides if they say anything every body thinks they father must of said that but they have a mind of their own give them a break a child is a child no matter who the parent is

  • Thom you’ve really offered some fantastic advice here. The role is filled with stress & sacrifice for all members of the family, and what you’ve mentioned in your post would be a tremendous service that any member can offer.

  • It’s like the 16 ur old version of myself wrote all 7 of these responses. I held onto a lot of bitterness as a preachers kid for a lot of years. Wish I could go back and make things easier on my folks. Being a pk is such a difficult task even in the best of circumstances.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      You are not alone Jon. But forgiveness for you and by you is totally liberating.

    • KR Taylor says on

      #7 really struck home for me. I too could have written ALL of this. I went off the rails for many years thanks to being a PK, and PK culture.

    • mark lafferty says on

      A pastor’s kid is not only judged by the congregation, but a lot of the time the .pk is being judged at home by the pastor.A lot of pressure is put on .pk, but they have to seek their own salvation just like the rest of us.People sometimes thinks .pk are automatically saved but that’s not the case.If we do like the bible says and train up a child(not just a .pk) in the way he should go , that is to follow Christ then when they are old they will not depart.

      • Trish Admire says on

        Mark, I totally agree with you. Not only did my brother and I have to “behave” ourselves at church, but anywhere outside of the church because if we didn’t, our parents would bear the brunt of what people would say in the community. As I got older and realized how hypocritical the church members were, it turned me off of church for a while. God really had to work on me about WHY I was going to church; was I there for myself or there because of Him? My husband has gotten frustrated about attending church because of the cliques in the church or the little squirmishes that go on between the “holier-than-thou” groups. I’ve realized that I can’t worry about that, that my purposed in going to church is to worship my Savior and not worry about all of the petty stuff that goes on in churches now days. I tried to raise my children with that same idea. Our children (whether they are pks, deacons kids or anybody else’s kids) learn their attitudes and feelings from us and if we show them a shallow existence in church, that’s what they will show in church. We should all show the children of our church why we should be there and stop trying to mold them into little “Christian soldiers” that act like little polite robots.
        Sorry about the rant 😉

      • Elizabeth says on

        Trish you’re right, but these petty things have been going on in churches since the beginning; it’s called being human & messing up. We all do it from time to time; that is why we look to the Lord & only the Lord. He’s the only perfect one who will never mess up. The problem here is that adults forget that they were once children themselves
        & God calls us to nurture & discipline our children with the same love & respect that we as adults want from other people. People stop labeling children (PK or not) as bad or trouble & be a part of the solution.

  • Don’t think my kids are “goodie two shoes” just because they are well behaved and don’t like it when other children are disruptive and impolite.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Good one Phil.

      • I think each pastor should pass this out quarterly report so everyone so they will remember that a child is a matter how well they know they are to act and behave they are still children whether they are 1 or 18.

      • Agree wholeheartedly!

      • I was a preachers son !!! My little brother and I were worse than some kids that were not PK’s no doubt. Dad was by-vocational, and when he got home from work he spend a lot of time at the hospital, visiting both lost and saved folks, members and non members of the church he pastored. Lots of people expected no doubt more out of us as PK’s, but were human also even has the preacher is. Just as Dad didn’t always get treated fairly for telling the truth, preaching GOD’s Word that is. He still soldiered on for JESUS our LORD !!! I expected more of myself at times because of this thought by others for a long time. Until I realized that GOD said come just as I am !!! I can not walk on water no more than Dad could, but I know the one who could. Now I am a Preacher and my children are human also !!!

      • Dr. K.D. Cicchetti says on

        Amen…come just as you are! How often we forget.

      • Russell Pierce says on

        Amen my brother, amen…

      • This is excellent! I say a huge AMEN to you!

      • Amen David Law!!!

      • David Law….you said the truth, agree with you completely. Deborah Overton…thank you for posting the truth you are so right. God Bless you for truth!

      • I am 60 yrs. old & have been a Preachers Daughter everyday of my life & proud to be one. My Daddy is one of Gods most special Preachers. And has lived at home what he preaches from the pulpit everyday of his life. He’s 84, still pasturing & has been preaching this August will be 65 yrs. Through the years many members have felt the need to correct, speak harshly, spank etc.. I had to always be respectful, respect in earned, there is a difference in the two. My comment was JUDGE LESS YE BE JUDGED. But as I got older there were people who really got out of line. Preachers – Christians, just because some claims to be a Christian DON’T let them be with your children. Know who, what. when & where with your children. Don’t let them out of you site. I was never molested in any way but only because I stood my ground. There were times it could have been a lot different outcome had I not been so strong willed. My advise for PK’s don’t trust anyone just because they say they are Christians & always tell Daddy & Mommy everything. If somebody says something or does something in your presents that doesn’t seem right go to Daddy or Mommy. Preachers & your wife listen your Childs version of any problem they bring to you no matter how small it seems. Let them know they matter & what they have to say matters whether your dealing with other children or adults. Adults WILL lie
        right in the church house on your child especially if their children are involved. Don’t be quick to judge. There is always two sides to the story & believe it or not they can sometimes both be right or both be wrong. What I’m trying to say is no child should have to always give in to others just because they are a PK. Being a PK is one of Gods special honors in life. I knew a Preacher that was called to the bedside of a member that was dieing & he told the family I will pray for your family but I’m holding my little girl in my arms with a 105 temperature & I can’t leave my baby. I Love that man so for putting his family 1st. I tell my Preachers, Don’t come see me please, because every minute your with me your away from your Family. All I need is your prayers. I’ve vented a lot & thank you for listening BUT all I ask is pray for our Preachers & their families & remember they are mere humans just like you.

      • This way said very well! Kids are just that kids. The Demons can be in the Church, Thank you!

      • Dear Deborah, I couldn’t help but chuckle at “He’s 84, still pasturing”… is it to his flock in the pastures? God bless him, you and your family for doing God’s work. In friendship, ilona.

      • Nina Carnine says on

        You just preached a great message Deborah, to the church, to the pastors and the PK’s. Amen!! God bless you for speaking the truth.

      • I agree with Deborah. Sometimes we have tendency to trust ‘churchy people ” too much. We don’t know most of them well, yet we trust our children to them in the name of God. Just be parents and keep an eye on them regardless who these people. Don’t be blindsided because someone goes to church every day. You don’t know what they do outside of church. Remember the catholic priests accused of molesting these innocent altar boys. Quit trusting too much when it comes to our children.

      • Charlotte says on

        I was the granddaughter of a preacher, the daughter of a preacher…..Would not trade with anyone the experience it was for me. Yes,….do keep track of your children. There are still people out there that attend church that would cause problems for your child. Most of my experience was good. I felt privileged to live in the parsonage and to be “the Pastor’s daughter”! I miss the “after church” gatherings. at my parents home. There were always funny stories of things that happened at church and just good fellowship.

      • This is really good. My son is 57 years old, but there was times when he wasn’t happy being a PK.

      • I am a pastor’s kid. I grew up loving everyday of it. And then, around 20, I realized my parents are flawed and our family isn’t perfect and much of who we were in the community was a lie. I struggled and wrestled with my faith and I haven’t been back to church since. Be careful when your children grow up, can understand the complexities of life, and can see through much of the bull in the church. Because of our upbringing, our faith in God may not be too far off from our faith in our parents.

      • Ruth Miracle says on

        I am a Deacons wife. We have 3 kids. The same is said for a Deacon’s kid. People would say things like, you can tell that is a Deacon’s kid. My Husband worked hard, He was a Deacon, He was a Treasure. I taught SS. I was a mother of young children, We worked with Teens. And some of the older people would say things like, would I Join the ladies ball team, I said I was to busy. the remark was made that we should never be too busy to join the other Ladies. Iwas ask to join the choir I said my baby was to young to let the kids carry him a round while we had choir practice, a lady then remarked… The same God that gave you that baby could just as easy take it. I joined the choir. Needless to say after 27 yr. in that church I was worn out. I will never stop serving God to the best of my ability. My kids grew up just like other people. The would never take on the jobs in the church for long because the church people expect to much from you!! Encourage one another, don’t say things so hurtful it lastes a life time!!

      • Sorry Ruth, being the preachers kid and being the deacons kid are not the same, not even close! Deacons kids may go through some of this but NOTHING compared to being the PK

      • I hate to disagree with you Ruth, but deacons’ kids are NOT held to the same standard as Preacher’s kids… Not now, not 20 years ago, not 50 years ago! My father has been pastoring ALL 49 years of my life, plus some. We see not only the loving side of church members but also the hateful side. It hurts when your dad is talked about in front of you like you’re not even there! This happened to me in a Sunday School class when I was in high school.

      • Sherri Pifer says on

        I hate to disagree with you Ruth. I’m sure there may be those unspoken strict guidelines for Deacon kids, it still doesn’t compare by far to Preachers Kids. My husband & I plus our family was part of a church for a year before it was decided he would be the full time pastor there. One Sunday my children were just part of the congregation, the very next Sunday when my husband stepped into the full time Pastoral position, our daughter who was 14 at time was called on and told now that her father was the pastor of the church she’d better learn to read scripture and pray, so today was a fine time to start and she called up in front of the whole church! This did not go over well for any of us! Many times PK’s hear things from “good christian leaders” of their own church criticizing the pastors family and most of those time these people don’t even know the children are in ear shot! It’s sad how people treat their pastors and families.

      • Rev. Richard Daniels says on

        I don’t understand why sometimes church members think pastors children just dropped from Heaven and they expect them to behave like angels, I maen it looks like if u are called your children are authomatically called. But it’s never like that.
        Rev. Richard Daniels.

      • As a childcare giver I feel church children should have boundries set , regardles of their ages or if they are PK ‘ or not .. there are places within churches that must be respected
        , the church is a place of worship not a playhouse .Leaders are put there to lead that is what they do .I f it is done in love & explained I see no reason our children of the church cannot be corrected .
        A rebellious child during a move of God , can suck the helly

      • I understand “children of the church” should be disciplined. I don’t know if you are talking about PKs or not, but what I do know is no matter what child you are, if you are at church, you should be made to mind… PKs or not. As a 28 year old mother of two and a pastors daughter i know exactly what it is like to be judged just for being a “kid” or “child of the church” as you would call it. For some reason people feel the need, especially adults, to be judgy of the pastors children. And why is that? My dad is just as much human as the next and raised us to the best of his ability. The difference is he has the calling of God on HIS life. At our church now we have kids coming from all walks of life and our focal point is giving them the scripture to have as a backbone, not to constantly reprimand them bc they may be loud or rowdy. They love our church bc it is a fun place! And I dare anyone to be rude to them, bc of the fact that I am a PK, I have leadership qualities that will scare the you know what out of people. Let’s love the children. God bless!

      • As long time youth workers, we were a part of many young peoples lives. We were teachers as well as counselor. When the pastors children were in youth group We took the same care and guidance with them that we did with hundreds of teens over many years. Until the pastors wife hammered me for correcting (in private) the daughter for some inappropriate PDA with her boyfriend in the sanctuary. A visiting friend had even commented to us that church was no place for that kind of groping. From then on these teens were off limit for anyone to even think about correcting …..

      • Thank you for saying this, Nikki. Being a PK is hard and can be just as draining as being a pastor. keeping up a front so that your dad doesn’t look bad in front of the congregation. I am so glad someone cared enough to ask about this topic, bc it is a huge one in my family.

        Thanks again!

      • Jesus had the children running and playing around him and he did not have a problem with it. I am a mom and grand mom and I love hearing and seeing laughter and playing in my house… why do people think that Jesus would be different? If we are the family of God then the church is the house…so let’s LIVE in it and not act like it is so sacred that we cannot come as we are. God despised pretense, but loved authentic people that came to him. People should stop trying to be “holy” and be who God made them, which for a child means playful and happy. Jesus prayed for us to have His Joy. From my experience (as a Pastors wife) most Christians do pompous rather well already.

      • Very well said!!!

      • AMEN SHELLEY!!!

      • So well said, Shelley. Thank you! Listen up, folks–this is the TRUTH! My husband’s father was a pastor. We are now raising our 4 children on the mission field. Disciplining children for the sake of appearances is so damaging to them, and gives them a wrong idea about God’s character. Let’s REALLY check our intentions before judging a pastor’s kid. Our law is the Law of the Holy Spirit, and that is Love. Galatians 5:13-15

      • Elizabeth says on

        Why does everyone keep knocking down discipline? It is needed for a reason! The world is in the shape that it is today because we refuse to discipline our kids & yet we get upset when someone else tries to do it. Discipline is not a bad thing if we do it with love & kindness. The Bible tells us to discipline our kids; it’s required from God for a reason & that is to teach our kids respect & honor.

      • Karen Peters says on

        Well said, thank you from a former pastor’s wife and mother of 2 sons!

      • Amen!!! From another pastor’s wife.

      • Amen!!! From another pastor’s wife with four young children. I actually was complimented recently by another wife of a minister for allowing my children to have fun and be joyful instead of making them sit quietly (outside of worship time) the way she had done her kids.

      • Danielle Gasper says on

        That is really well put. Could not have said it better myself!

      • Well said Shelly! As a pastor of a congregation with few children I long for the noise of children in the church. Now don’t get me wrong, children don’t need to run wild during service but some playfulness and the energy they bring is like the sound of running water to a thirsty man in the middle of a lot of sour, dry faces! Bring on the the children!!

      • Thank you so much….I agree wholeheartedly. As a pastor’s wife, there are times when we have to be at the church early and my kids are 6 and 2…They want to play. To discourage that is to discourage having children which are to be a blessing from God. The blessing is not to have mini adults in your household but to have children.

      • There issue here is not that PK’s cannot be corrected or disciplined by anyone else. Most pastor’s families welcome nursery workers correcting their child’s behavior, and church members stopping a child from doing something dangerous to himself or anyone else at any time. The issue is that the man said “pastor’s kids shouldn’t act that way’ when there shouldn’t be different standards for pastor’s children and member’s children. A simple, “stand up like a big boy” probably wouldn’t have caused this particular mother to bat an eye. ALL children will disobey and will act in ways that are socially inappropriate as they grow and learn. All pastors are asking is that their children be treated with the same grace as any other child in the church. If anything, the pressure put on children of ministers, the attention that pastor’s children are denied in the name of kingdom work, in addition to living in a “glass house,” deserves a little bit more understanding and grace than some.

      • Elizabeth says on

        Well said Heather! Stick with the issue people!

      • Agreed Heather. I would like to add as a PK myself that it’s also about “labeling” us. We (PK’s) are our own individual. We didn’t choose what our dad’s profession is or that God called him into the ministry.

      • So true Heather! I expect all adults at our church to “help” raise my children to glorify and honor God in the things they do. It they are disrespectful or acting foolish PLEASE say something to them… as I will do to your children.

      • janiceayres says on

        children I don’t care whose they are need to be taught to respect others and the church at all times.They need to behave in church ,no running in and out and to sit quietly until they are dismissed.You need to control them at all times,and not expect your congregation to correct them for you .Sorry Tracey,but thats the way I feel .I didn’t let my kids act up or my grandchildren either.

      • Catherine says on

        Janice, you’re right children should be taught to behave and have respect. However saying a pastors child should act one way and other children don’t, is unacceptable. I was one of these children held to a higher standard. I had to hide my feelings and emotions because as a pastors family we were expected to appear perfect. I was raised by the same pastor/father that my brother and aisters were raised by. Though we were raised the same, we didn’t all choose the same walk of life. I will raise my children to be respectful just as my parents raised me. But as children, I know that sometimes they will slip up and I will love them anyways. God shows us abundant mercy and we should be a little more merciful to others.

      • Eric Phillippe says on

        I have been in ministry the last 20 years. I also have 3 children of my own who have grown up as “PK’s.” Can I just say that the attitude I detect in Janice’s post is precisely the reason so many pastor’s children, or any children for that matter, have issues with the children. Obviously we are admonished in Scripture to teach our children respect. However, the “You need to control them at all times” is precisely the opposite of Jesus’ “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt. 19:14). Children are to be cherished, nourished and directed…but there is a difference between directing and crushing their spirit. The joy and freedom a child brings to the assembly of God is, according to Scripture, a weapon against the enemy of Life. “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:2) I have seen far too many adults in church who expected children to be little adults…they aren’t and praise God for it.

        I would also like to point out that the church building is not a holy place because the building has some special intrinsic holiness. It is a special place because God’s people gather there. In other words, church is not a building…Church is the people. To be quite honest, when I see people start talking about the church as if it were holy ground, I wonder if they truly have any understanding of the redemptive work of the cross. Jesus didn’t die to establish more Temples…He established a Bride (and buildings can’t be married). I wonder if our buildings have become rather like Gideon’s ephod (which was worshiped by the nation of Israel and had become a snare for the people-Judges 8:27.)

        Are we instruments of God’s grace to people who are lost and hurting? And though the answer should be easy…if you have to think about it, let me answer,,,the answer is YES. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:” (2 Cor. 5:18) As we have been given a ministry of reconciliation, how about let’s start exhibiting some grace? Judgmental attitudes and pinched faces DO NOT show love or grace. And we may be the only Jesus these kids see…let’s make sure we are showing them Christ.

      • Elizabeth says on

        Janiceayres, you must not have been a child at any given time in life. My Lord, we’re not saying not to discipline or teach children to behave in the house of the Lord, just to do it with love & kindness with all children not just PK. You sound like the type without mercy; what would happen if God had not had mercy on you? We as adults mess up, how much more do you think children will. The Bible instructs us to be like children, for them is the Kingdom of God. Reflect on that why don’t you?

      • NellyBelly76 says on

        I am a pastor, and if you keep up with the whole “why can’t Johnny be quiet all the time” even though he is three attitude, then you can kiss that church goodbye in about 20 years maximum, PK or no PK. I was told to reprimand my children at choir practices that my wife directed (for no money), and I either sang or played guitar. Needless to say, my wife quit 2 weeks later, and I ran a blood pressure of 200 over 180 for about a month. We (as a whole body of Christ) get upset when we see children crying, upset, talking or laughing during service, and then parents are told about it. Then, surprise, surprise, they never come back. Children’s Church is really another way of saying “let’s get the kids out of the sanctuary so they won’t disturb worship” attitude. Anytime I have a parent apologize for their kid talking, crying, etc. my response is “at least they were here, and it never bothers me.” I even have suggested having rocking chairs in the back of an old Sunday school room in the sanctuary for fussy babies who need naps….that is a church saying “we care that you are here.” If as the whole church, we don’t change this attitude quickly, then you can just about kiss the American church goodbye.

      • SherryLynn says on

        Well said & I agree completely!

      • I take issue only with the part of your post that says children’s church is to get them out of the main service so they won’t be disruptive. Our children’s church is just for the first part of the service, so that children can hear the Word in a simplified way; they rejoin the congregation at the Eucharist. Please don’t judge churches who try to meet the developmental needs of the children thru CC. I do absolutely agree with you on the rest of your post.

      • I do not agree that Children’s Church is “let’s get the kids out here.” I am a Pastor’s wife and also have been in Church all of my life and have taught Children’s Church and Junior Church. It is an opportunity to reach children with the gospel of Christ in terms they can understand and to show them the love of Christ from caring adults who volunteer their time and give up the opportunity to sit in the service to do so. Jesus loves the children, and so do I and so do the people in our Church, but as my husband once said in one of his sermons. If you watch a golf tournament on T.V. and someone is trying to get a ball into a little hole, you will see that no matter how large the crowd is that is observing, you could hear a pin drop. When Church services are being held, people’s souls are literally being held between heaven and hell. The least we can do is try to provide and atmosphere where the Holy Spirit can be heard. I know that He can work, even if there are children or babies being noisy in the service, but I can testify to the fact, that it is very disrupting. Also, a baby or child can be perfectly quiet throughout the whole service, but the minute the altar call is given, it is like satan sticks a pin in them or something. It happens frequently in our Church and we have a very capable group of nursery workers, children’s church workers and junior church workers, but not all people utilize them. As for the point being made here, we have personally been blessed with Churches who treated our 3 children well when they were young. Now that they are adults, they are saved and serving the Lord, along with their spouses. We give God all of the glory for that, but I have heard horror stories of how Churches treated pastors, their wives, and their children. My husband told our children numerous times while they were growing up, “Your mom and I do not expect better behavior from you because I am the pastor, we expect the best behavior out of you, because you are saved and are a child of God.” I believe that helped take any pressure or perceived pressure off of them. How a congregation treats the pastor AND his family can make or break a church, and more importantly can make or break the spirit of a child or pastor or his wife.

      • Pastor’s kids should be treated fairly with all other children. ALL children should be taught to be respectful at church, while still allowing the church to be a fun environment. People do not understand how hard it is when the Pastor is teaching his child to have respect while all the other kids are going wild!!! Pounding on drums, pianos, running on the platform and playing hide and go seek after church in the sanctuary. Also, do not expect the “PK” to have to tutor all the other kids, take all the responsibility for other children’s shortcomings, and then make the “PK” suffer to show they are NOT being shown favoritism my ignoring them.

      • RJ, I couldn’t have said it better. Especially the part about making PK children suffer to show they are NOT being shown favoritism by ignoring them. Many preachers or Pastors ignore their own children and invest in the congregations children while their own feel left out. Then we wonder why they rebel when they get older.

      • Charlotte says on

        I am a “PK” and the experience I had growing up as both positive and negative My parent dis an awesome job protecting us kids from most of the negative. Unfortunately, there will always be those who think we should be perfect. PLEASE allow for “PK’s” to be human. We will make mistakes, sometimes not please everybody but all we asked is that you give us as much understanding as you give your own kids. Luckily most of the people did give us love, understanding and allowed us to be kids.

      • You obviously should not be someone who takes care of kids let alone in a church, I myself is a PK and we sometimes had no chose but to play in the church as that is where we spent the majority of our time and we were kids no one could expect us not to play, so you have no clue.

      • Rev Francis says on

        Children are children despite who are their parents. The pastors kids can also go astray from the faith in the Lord. However, we should pray for God’s help and make effort to bring up our children to be godly.

      • People often refer to the building as a church. WE (the people) are the church. The building we meet in is just that, a building. It doesn’t need to be shown any special respect. We take care of it like we would any other building, but there is nothing holy about it. It is not God’s house (as I was often told as a child). God does not indwell in a building. He lives in us. Let us treat each other (including children) with love and respect. We are God’s tabernacle. The building where we meet is just a building that is meant to offer a dry/warm/cool place to gather and worship God. I hope it is always filled with laughter, running, playing, as well as contemplation and seriousness.
        As far as children “removing the jelly right out of your doughnut during a move of God”, that would be an issue between you and God. God created us to be children and he delights in us. He is not hindered in some way because of a child who might be loud or not paying attention etc.

      • amen

      • elaine brock says on

        This is what I’ve been seeing. It’s a building,it’s not the church. Yes you don’t want kids yelling and running around during service but after service,IT’S JUST A BUILDING. My cousin is a pastor’s daughter. She was very mistreated by many members of the congregation for simple things like moving around in her seat, standing to go to the bathroom during service,so guess what happened as soon as she turned 18.Out the door to never come back. She was scolded in front of people, told she was a bad example,pinched to make her sit still and some people had the audacity to spank her because since her parents were busy running the church someone needed to discipline her. We both spent too many years away from God because of the behaviors of people in a building. Thank God for His mercy we have both found our way back but we will never treat our children the way we were treated in “church”.

      • Ryan Abernathy says on

        The “church” is a building of no more or less special significance than anywhere else. It is playhouse, gathering space, hospital, funeral home, and countless other things. There is nothing worse or unscriptural than to teach a child that they have to behave a certain way at “church.” It’s completely unbiblical. We should discipline our kids to act right no matter where we are, but there’s not a special set of “church manners” that need to learned.

        Seems to me in a lot of churches we could use more people happy and laughing like kids rather than being sourpusses who are to make everyone else just like them.

        Good words Dr. Rainer. My only addition would be, don’t come and tell me every little thing you think my child should be doing that they are not. I might be parenting them differently from your kid, and my way might be a whole lot better.

      • I think that God delights in seeing His children at play in the church … I think that the heart of God is delighted to see his children blessed in the Spirit, joyful in His presence and in community with other believers. If children were to be so restrained as suggested, I suppose God could create them without a playful, joyful spirit … (tongue in cheek). 🙂

      • As a childcare giver I feel church children should have boundries set , regardles of their ages or if they are PK ‘ or not .. there are places within churches that must be respected
        , the church is a place of worship not a playhouse .Leaders are put there to lead that is what they do .If it is done in love & explained I see no reason our children of the church cannot be corrected .
        A rebellious child during a move of God , can suck the jelly right out of your donut !

      • Carolyn;
        Unfortunately you mistake boundaries with discipline and examples of such. Children can be corrected just not by you if they are not your children. I would hope that your approach to the house of worship is just that to worship and not worry about what or who is doing what. A child that is having difficulty is not a rebellious child. A child that is having a tantrum is not a rebellious child. An adult that does not give according to the Bible nor does attend church on a consistent basis nor does that person bother to try and grow as a “child” of God that person qualifies as a rebellious child.

      • AMEN!!!

      • LawOrGrace says on

        Robert, I want to think about your last statement and consider it very closely. 1) an adult that doesn’t give according to the Bible=rebellious child

        (2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.)

        Are you in reference to the 10% tithing under Jewish law?

        2) doesn’t attend church on a consistent basis=what and where is the true church?
        Is it a building where people arbitrarily assemble three times a week for organized instruction in lieu of working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling? Are the home bound rebellious children? Does attending a church faithfully mean a person is right with God? Are we so tied up in the traditions of man that we don’t even bother to pick up the Bible throughout the rest of the week to read for ourselves? Do we just accept what we are taught as truth instead of reading for ourselves?

        What does the Bible say about what constitutes being a true Christian? There are many aspects-first and foremost is believing that Jesus Christ is the living Son of God, God incarnate. savior of mankind. One must also accept Jesus and yield mastership to Him. Doesn’t Jesus say that not all that say Lord, Lord will enter in, but only those who do the will of the Father?

        ( Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
        Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
        Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
        Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
        Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
        Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
        Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

        There is a great deal more to being an obedient child than tithing and going to a church building a minimum of 3 times a week.

      • I am not afraid to tell child in our church to not do something… considering I am one of the Sunday School teachers. Plus we do have a lot of children who come without parents so if I don’t correct their behavior in church, who will??

        How would you handle a preacher’s kid telling you they don’t want to do the Sunday School lesson and they don’t have to because they are the preacher’s child? I have had one tell me that before. In fact, an older sibling tried the same thing and I told that child let’s have their dad come in and see what he had to say. That child decided the lesson was a better idea.

      • I am a PK myself and I don’t particularly enjoy it. I’m 16, and the way people expect 16 year old PK’s to act is to be either a mature responsible level-headed adult who can make decisions far beyond their (the PK’s) maturity level or they expect us to be whores who rebel against our parents and do everything we can to shame the church. I didn’t actually think that was true up until I told someone I went to school with that I was a pastor’s daughter and his response was somewhere along the lines of ” oh so you’re either going to be a prissy little snitch or you’re gonna be a little whore.”
        The stereotypes that come with my father’s position are ridiculous and if I do mess up, I would ask that people keep in mind I am 16 I am still figuring life out.

      • Kimi Mattos says on

        Why would we teach kids that they can’t be themselves for God? Should not all life be a place for worship throughout the day in all the mundane things we do? In everyday scenarios kids will goof off and be kids. Teaching them to be religious will not make them grow up faster, but it will make it harder to be real with themselves and their faith once they do grow up.

      • Elizabeth says on

        Kimi, teaching children to b respectful in the house of the Lord is not teaching them to b religious.
        And I’m not saying that we have to treat them like criminals either. Moderation in everything!

      • I grew up as a pastors grandchild and we got blamed for everything. Do you realize how annoying that is? There were never any questions to see who was in the wrong, the finger just automatically got pointed at us (my cousins and myself). Now that I’m older my dad is pastor and I see the same trend happening with my kids but I know how it all works. I don’t let that happen with my kids. I know my kids aren’t perfect but just because their PK doesn’t automatically brand them as terrible.

      • Elizabeth says on

        I think the reason that happens is bcuz in some cases that i have experienced in the past, the PK r the worst behaving children but noone dares to say anything to them or correct them in fear that the Pastor or his wife will latch out in anger. I am not saying it happens always, but i have seen it. People u must also remember that unfortunately it comes with the territory. We r all not perfect people, therefore, ease up on the children; i’ve seen adults bhave even worse. Discipline with love & kindness; it is possible!

      • I received a revelation one time as I listened to the only Christian radio station in my area. It was full of static but the song that was playing was just what my spirit needed at the time. I began to get frustrated because of the status and the Holy Spirit whispered in my spirit…”press through the static”. I broke through. If a child being a child can suck the jelly from your donut, I pray this revelation can do for you what it has done for me. The disciples said the same thing and Jesus Christ Himself rebuked them for it. He designed them as children and to be children. He even challenges us to be more like the children.

      • Tiffiny Johnson says on

        I agree.. just because you are the PK doesn’t mean that you acting out.. and disrupting church is any less of an offense.. it doesn’t give an excuse… I know it must be hard on them.. and that I understand.. but every kid… every kid.. should respect the house of God.. I don’t think that extra should be added to them outside of the church.. kids will be kids… but I think all kids should be taught to respect everyone’s feelings.. no one should be exempt.. just because someone is the PK does not mean they should be allowed to hurt people’s feelings.. disrupt the church.. but I also don’t think they should be treated more harshly.. there is a balance.. they should be held to the same standard as all kids… and all kids should learn to respect the house of God.. the pastor spends time with God to see what the congregation needs.. and this word from God is very important.. and no one should be allowed to be disruptive and keep the congregation from being able to pay attention and hear what the Lord has for them.. so much is missed and people can’t keep their mind on the Lord if they are constantly distracted..

      • Kimberly Walter says on

        AMEN !

      • Very well said Tiffiny…and I agree with you

      • I’d like to point out that this particular child flopped on the foyer floor “after the worship service,” not during a move of God. I have a lot of resentments towards the church and religion I grew up in, but thankfully, after the worship service was always a time of fellowship for the adults AND the kids…which, in my opinion, is exactly how it should be. Kids who are allowed to have fun in not only the house of God, but in the presence of His followers are more likely to treat their church as their second home and church brethren as their extended family. The deacon in this story very likely needs to get over himself and his ego and pray about his spirit of condemnation towards the children and his pastor.

      • The disciples thoughts exactly and Jesus had a response for them. And what about that blind man yelling over there, let’s quiet him. What is that fella doing in that tree, Jesus will set him straight. What will quench the Holy Spirit is people more concerned about the outside appearances than those Christ died for. Children can be trained up but woe to those who cause them to stumble! And yes I know this examples did not take place “in church” but they did occur while they were in training to be the church.

      • K. Holmes says on

        If a child, the noise or rebellion of, sucks the jelly from your spiritual doughnut ….maybe your jelly is thin as water, or what you actually have is a hard crusty bagel. The silence of a church void of the sites and sounds of children is the opera of that churches demise.

        Now, what most all of you have miss ed is that the author wasn’t saying he was upset about his his child being corrected, the whole point was that the deacon stated “pastors children” shouldn’t act like that. Point being, pastors children are no different than your children, or any child. I often find that those who condemn the actions of children in the church…..have the worse children. Oh sure, they’re great when you can see them and they can see you, but when you’re not in eyesight or earshot….they’re jelly-less crusty bagels from another dimension.

      • Thresa Barnett says on

        Some people are actually jealous of Pk because they are still going to church & theyve became to be preachers & deacons or married them. Dont get me wrong, i am a Pk , ive done wrong,but ive never drank,smoked,done drugs & was a virgin when i married @ 26 the first time. Im now 48 & still haven’t done any of that & only been with 2 men my intire life. Sorry if thats tmi on the last part.

      • I want to put in a word form the church people’s side. I started going to church when I was 16. I am 44 now. I work in a position that I have gotten to know a lot of pastors children over these years. Some are gone from church. They were “bad” kids, but, not horrid. Some of them were “bad kids” but, they have grown up to pretty sound Christian adults. Some were wonderful children and are great Christian adults. The same can be said for many of the children raised in church, pastors kids or not. My pastors children right now are lovely young people. So, I have seen the bad and good side just as it is with all humans. This said, I have now meet the horror of PK’s. They lie, cheat, manipulate, they destroy things and blame others, they lie start to their parents, (who by the way think it’s just fine for them to do so.) They also are so disrespectful to all adults that a lot have left the church on account of them. I taught my children to do the right things, never lie, always tell the truth no matter what. So, yes I expect the same from other children. MY question is, why don’t you write something about “How Pastors children should treat others, children and the adults at their Daddy’s ” job” . My husband is retired Air Force and works for the State right now, I can’t imagine my children walking into his job and treating his co-workers and boss the way these PK’s have done. I’m sure my husband would get fired. So, point, instead of telling these children they have a free pass to do whatever they like, why can’t they be raised like other children. These two “kids” are 16 and 18 years old, and I can not see the church making it if something good doesn’t happen.

    • LaraJohnson says on

      A wise friend once told me that the preacher’s kids got that was playing with the deacons’ kids. LOL

    • Hilda Small says on

      Why do people think Pastor’s kids are not like the average kid they are just the same they are allowed to run and play children are children. If Jesus was here wouldn’t he put them on his knees and hold them in his boson like all kids or would he tell them to get away because their father is a pastor and they should know better.

    • When my child is having a difficult time, don’t expect me to discuss it with everyone who is ‘concerned’. Some matters are between me and my child and his father only and not every issue is a ‘mountain’ to be climbed.

    • I agree with the goodie two shoes comment.

    • I am a preachers kid and this article hit home with me. I am an adult now but the effects of people’s treatment of me and my brother are still with me. Yes the glass house is real. I remember being left out of a lot of activities with so called friends because I was in a preachers family. I was always held to a higher standard than other kids and I was just a regular kid. Today I am very thank for being brought up in a Christian home and I have a close relationship with the Lord.

      • Amen Lisa! Me too! If only people in the church knew how bad the “glass house” affects their pastor and his family. My parents raised my brothers and I in a very loving home. If we acted up at church, you could bet there would be a big discussion when we got home. Even as a grown wife and mother in the same church, we still lived in the glass house. After we moved two hours away and my Dad was led to another church, it was only then that I no longer lived in the glass house. Have to say, it was really nice! I read so many of these posts and wondered if they understand how unloving they sound. My guess is those with those kind of responses aren’t PK’s or they definitely wouldn’t say the things they are saying. Jesus loved children! I’m not against redirecting children, but with lots of love where Jesus is represented with nothing but love.

      • I am 54 and have been a PK everyday of my life. I can relate to many things that have been said, I have been left out of activities by other young people in the church, and many other unrealistic expectations. When I started dating I wanted nothing to do with anyone in the ministry, but God had other plans. So I spent most of my 33 years of marriage as a pastors wife. We did the very best we could with our boys, we raised them to serve God and treat people with respect. We even stepped down from pastoring for a time and my husband served as youth pastor. We finally had to make the very hard decision to step away from that position and attended another church for 6 months, before going back into pastoral ministry. The only reason we made this step was for our boys, the members and mostly the Devon’s of the church had abused the pastor, who was my father, and my husband, to the point that we felt if we did not remove our children from the situation they would be harmed in such a away they would turned there backs on God. It was a great decision, our children were in a great youth group, they had leaders that poured into them, and are still very important people to them today. Since my husbands sudden death 10 months ago, my oldest son has finished his requirements for ministry and is being trained to become the pastor of the church his dad pastored.

        I guess I said all of that to say this, pastors and there children are not perfect, and neither are the members and there children. I think everyone would be so much better off to work on there own lives and relationship with God, and pray for others.

    • By the way, not all preachers are male! In some divinity schools these days almost 50% of students are female! It is a growing group. My children had both parents as preachers, sometimes in the same church, sometimes different ones. This was even more pressure as they were expected to be at every event and help with every project/mission activity at both churches. The list resonated with me! As they got to be teens they were expected to be in ministry as well–evangelism, babysitting, work teams etc. we’re expected of them always. This was hard.

    • I was a full-time preacher for about 20 years. My two children were raised preacher’s kids. We tried to raise them just as we would have were I not a preacher. I never understood why some people expected preacher’s kids to be better than member’s kids. How is that even possible? If member’s raised their kids as they should, most kids would be as good as the preacher’s, and some may be better.

    • Janene Firm says on

      My children did not go to college to learn to deal with single minded and those of single heart as well. My children did not study under another pastor for four years to learn from his wisdom and Godliness. My children were not voted in on their knowledge and ability to work in the church. They are expected at this time to do as your children are expected to do for a nominal allowance and keep their rooms clean, feed the animals, do the yard, carry out the trash, help in the garden, make their own beds, take care of their own laundry and keep their bathroom clean. They do not get paid to do the chores set forth for a carpenter. They are not included in the wage earners part of the agreement the pastor signs when he takes HIS position.. They are not called from the womb to be slaves to an uncaring congregation. Set the example if you want young people to follow, including the pastor’s children.

    • Apply this to the children of ANY church worker (Christian school teacher, deaconess, deacon, etc)

      Likewise, don’t think any child of a pastor is going to be immediately a wild child and have to be controlled or watched extra closely because of the crowd he or she will hang out with.

    • Priscilla says on

      One thing people don’t know about PK’s is that their father (or mother) never wanted the congregation to think that they (the parent/preacher) were showing favoritism.

    • Gavin W says on

      Thanks for clearing that up for those of us with pastoral fathers…. Im 15 i mean cmon

    • Tracy Barrow says on

      That is a good one. We actually had people leave our church because we would not let our daughte “hang out” with theirs because their daughter was “sleeping around.” Honestly, what were we supposed to do? Were we supposed to sacrifice our daughter so that they would stay in our church?

    • Exactly! Perhaps the problem is that we/others do not expect ENOUGH of the children of non-pastors!

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