helping kids understand daddy's job

>> August 12, 2009

I recently read an online topic thread where someone wrote:

Being a Pastor's Kid (PK) is like being the child of a celebrity, just without the money.
As PWs we all know that sometimes life in a pastoral family is rewarding, and sometimes it's tough. In our final post of this PMS week on supporting our PHs, we can't leave our kids out of the picture.

Our attitudes as the PW and the Mom, can make a big difference in how our kids feel the pressure of dad's ministry career. We can pass on a sour disposition, or we can help them find the meaningful side of things - our choice. And sometimes easier said than done...

No matter how "normal" a life we try to provide for our children, they are still the pastor's kids. It's an unavoidable fact of reality. So what can we do to help them cultivate a sense of value and respect for dad's work? Here's a few of our ideas:
  1. Be honest with them about dad's work. Protect them from what they don't need to know, but don't hide the real facts of ministry from them. Be open and transparent.
  2. Get them involved in serving others - let them see some of the things that dad and mom do, so that they don't feel stuck on the fringes of your ministry. Give them their own role to play. Make it a whole-family way of living.
  3. Build up their respect and appreciation for their Pastor Dad's calling in the way that you talk about people at church and your family's life of ministry.
  4. Hold them accountable to whatever standard you set for them, because that's who you are as a family, not because Dad is the pastor or because people might talk. If it's worth doing, doing for the right reason - because God asks you to do it, instead of to please (or avoid displeasing) other people.
  5. Be excited about church. Kids catch on to your enthusiasm, especially when they are little. Talk about church during the week, sing their songs from children's classes at home, study their lesson with them - make church something they look forward to. If you hate being at church, they will too.
Got more ideas? Share how you help your kids support daddy.


KLee August 12, 2009 at 2:27 PM  

Someone once told me to call Daddy's job work. He's not going to church every day, he goes to work. When he stays late and it takes time away from our family, it is his job, not the church, that takes him away.

Casey August 12, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

I like the suggestions...they are very helpful. My two preschoolers go every week and help me set up the preschool class. They love it...they get to set out the prizes, the snacks, the crafts, etc. It makes them more excited about their class and usually don't notice being there a couple hours early. My oldest (who is 4) totally feels a part of the church by doing this and it makes it fun!

Anonymous,  August 12, 2009 at 4:56 PM  

as a ministry team, pastor and wife need to set boundaries on ministry so that there is family time. so often the family gets put on the back burner because of the urgent church ministry needs. just because there are not set hours to his work, pastor needs to prioritize time with the wife and kids. this alone will make a HUGE difference.

Melody,  August 13, 2009 at 3:58 PM  

We have recently made a practice of praying in
the van together on the way to church on sunday
mornings. Of course "dad" is not with us but it's a
great time for us to pray for him and for the kids
sunday school teachers and for people who don't know
Jesus that will hopefully be at church. It has been a sweet
time of praying for our church and our
pastor daddy and how cool it is when the kids
recognize answered prayer at times.

vmchechile August 13, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

I echo the distinction between Daddy going to "work" vs. "church" during the week. We have one child and he's only 10 months old, but the challenges that PK encounter has been a conversation topic years before our son was born. We started now. The topic has already come up with some parishioners and I have been able to say how being a PK can be hard. We talk about how we hope to protect our children and that they are humans, just like the rest of us. Imperfect and will make mistakes and learn lessons.

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