Everyone in church notices the pastor’s kids. People don’t think about noticing them, it just happens. I grew up as a PK, the son of John Piper, and even I notice PKs. It’s almost impossible to avoid. They’re like the first children of the church.
Don’t think you notice them? Here’s what it looks like.
You know things about their personal lives you don’t know about any other kid in the church: where they’re going to college, who they took to prom, that they just got braces, that they got pulled over for speeding last week. You make comments about their behavior to them or to anyone else. “Did you see his new tattoo?” “You can’t talk like that; you’re the pastor’s kid.” “Can you believe she wore that to church?” “Pastors’ kids should know better than to run in church.” You expect them to speak out in Sunday school, to pray, to lead. You have a tacit standard for them as PKs. You hold them to a higher standard than their peers in church, and you’re not even trying to do so.
What you might not realize is how this makes PKs feel.
They feel like people are always watching. The fact that you know personal things about them makes them hyper aware of you watching, listening, knowing.
They feel like there is no room for mistakes. People watch them. People tell them how to act. People have a standard for them. What pressure! They know they’re going to screw up, but how can they with everyone watching?
They feel as if they have to have it all together, to have a firm faith and a solid family life. No room for questions or doubts. No chance to wonder or wander. No struggles allowed. And really, who could they ask any way?
But you can help them. You can encourage PKs. Here are three ways.
1) Let PKs be themselves.
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2) Don’t ask anything of a PK you wouldn’t ask of anyone else.
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3) Befriend them as a friend, not as a novelty.
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