Friday, April 4, 2014

Breaking Free From the Stereotype

I wasn't always a PK - Pastor's Kid. For the first twelve years of my life, I was simply the daughter of a very-involved-in-church-man. The next two years, I became the daughter of the associate pastor... It was sort of a break the ice, welcome to a whole new world, kiss life - as you know it - goodbye stage. Then it really happened. My dad started his own church and I officially turned into a real "PK".

There is a lot of stygma surrounding the PK label. Sadly, a lot of it is true. And, unfortunately, it doesn't just go away when you "grow up". As long as your dad is pastor, you live in that shadow. No matter how old you are... No matter what stage of life you're in... Whether you have your own kids or not. It's with you always.

There are a few good things that come out of the lifestyle. Here are three:


You don't know accountability until you've been a Pastor's Kid. There isn't a designated person that keeps you accountable (like in normal situations). The whole entire church feels it is their God given duty to watch your every move and report your every word. To the pastor. Who is your dad. You can imagine:

"Mrs. Betty says she saw you rubbing on Peter's neck."

"I fixed his collar, Dad. It was up and stuff. Just a collar..."

"She's pretty convinced."

"I'm telling you, it was an act of kindness and mercy all wrapped in one - he was really walking around with it stuck straight up in the back."

"Well, this Sunday at church I'll have you come before the congregation and repent for not avoiding the appearance of evil."


"Watch your tone!"

For the record, that account was based on a true story. Names were changed to protect the innocent. And the guilty.


So you're making a decision. It can be any decision - big, small, medium... And you can be any age. You can be grown and out of the house, but still attending your dad's church. Everyone has a say so. There is no such thing as a small group of elders. Your decision is a group effort. Oh, and it effects "everyone". Trust me. From your family size planning, the clothes you wear (apparently you have a massive team of fashion coordinators), down to the breed of your family dog. I'm serious. The dog matters. Imagine getting one that is labeled aggressive, or even one that sheds a lot, or is hyper... God forbid a church member come and get hair on their dress pants, paw prints, or a show of teeth. 

Also based on real life experiences.


You make lots of "friends". Lots. Like, everybody you know must become your friend. You're automatically an example, a leader, and a role model. No matter if you're naturally introverted, have strange interests, and are somewhat socially awkward. Everyone must be your friend. Unless, of course, you're a snob and are purposely making cliques to leave people out. If you and Bobby Jo don't get along, it's your fault and you should be a better friend. By the way, don't try and tell anyone that Bobby Jo is secretly psycho and talks to you about slicing people up and burying them in the swamp. That's just a story you made up to avoid having to repent in front of the congregation. Again.

What do you think??


All jokes aside. Go give your Pastor's Kid a hug, and tell them something they've done or said that encouraged you or brought a smile to your face. Something good. Better yet, tell them and their Dad. That never happens. It is always bad when someone is whispering with your dad and pointing your way. You'll gain a whole new level of respect in their lives, and I'll bet you'll start to see them in a whole new light.

You see, we live behind the scenes. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all parts of our every day lives. We catch the judgment and the critiques long before anyone else, but we can spot a hypocrite from a mile away. Try taking that log out of your own eye before you jab out the eye of your Pastor's Kid while trying to eradicate that little ole splinter. 

Not to make excuses for all the PK's out there who have fallen off the straight and narrow - God will judge each person according to his or her own sin (they know that by that way) - but there would be a lot less Pastor's Kids falling into stereotypical lifestyles if the members of the church would quit being stereotypical hypocrites. I don't care who you are, when you are set apart and treated differently than "all the rest" by a community of people, you battle all kinds of things. From depression, to anger, to rebellion, to gross indifference. Try dealing with that at 8 years old. Or 14. Or 26 for that matter. It doesn't get easier with age or experience. The faces and the words change, but most people are the same. We didn't choose to be married to the ministry - that was our parents' calling. Some of us grow up and learn to love it... taking up our crosses, suffering for Christ, and following in our parents' footsteps... But some grow up and avoid it at all costs, choosing to be done with ministry leadership for the rest of their lives.

I personally consider it a complete miracle that I am still a Christian today. I attribute that to no man. It was the divine, merciful hand of God that has brought me through the trials and tribulations; to a place where I know in my heart that the hypocrisy of a million people could never change the relationship I have with Jesus. So, finally, to the PK that is reading this - hold fast to this one thing, God is not them, and nothing anyone says can change that. He is exactly what the Bible says He is, and He will never fail you, though the rest of mankind can and will. Never let go of that fact! 

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