Wuxiaworld > CHALLENGES OF PASTOR’S KID > 5 Chapter Four: SACRIFICES OF A PREACHER“S KID

5 Chapter Four: SACRIFICES OF A PREACHER“S KID



So many Pastors' Kids are spiritually sound and more committed to the church than many will give them credit for. They are even more spiritually sound than many of the adults in the congregation. As sound as they are spiritually, and as useful as they are to the church, their services are seldom appreciated, either by the church or by their parents!

For example, Sundays may be a day of rest for everyone in the community, but not for Preacher's Kids. Getting out of bed at 5:00am in the morning on a day you don't have to go to school so that you can get early to church may make you feel uncomfortable as a young kid, but it is not too much of a sacrifice expected to be paid in the service of our great God by a Preacher's Kid. Everyone expects him to, anyway!

For him, church services are compulsory, almost as compulsory as his promotional exams in school, if not more. He attends so much of church service that he knows the whole order of programs by heart. Other families may decide to abscond from service once in a while for any flimsy excuse, but he needs to have close to a terminal illness to be able to stay home sick from church. Besides such sickness, the only time he can miss church is when service is cancelled, which rarely ever happens. Even when his parents are out of town, he still cannot skip church service because someone will definitely notice his absence and report to his parents.

If his father's church runs multiple services on a worship day, he has no choice like the others in the congregation to indicate which of the services to attend. He is compelled to attend all. There are weekends he does not have the time to attend to his homework just because there is no free period in between the church services. He cannot have his evenings to himself to do his assignments and coursework or to study for an examination the following day because of a church program that evening. His classmates in church may decide to stay away from church service and study their books in preparation for the same examination, but not him. If he mistakenly misses one service in church, he gets home to receive series of lectures from both dad and mum, as though the Holy Spirit's presence in the service is tied to his attendance of the same.

His life is centered around 'church'. Even at his free time; he is either in church, at home, or in school, or back in church. He cannot attend any other church of his choice. Church, for most adults in the church, is his church. Attending any other church besides his father's church, most times is seen as being rebellious or disrespectful. It can even be termed as sacrilegious in some denominations and he might be accused of church infidelity, depending on who is deciding his case.

TRANSFERRED WORKLOAD

Transferred parental workload is another great source of challenge for the Preacher's Kid. Most times, responsibilities are dumped on him without anyone even caring if he is comfortable with them or not. Since the parents have so much church-related workload, much more than every other parent in the church, some of these workloads are naturally transferred to him, irrespective of his willingness or unwillingness to do them.


If the congregation is relatively small, he will actually do the pastoring job with his father, especially if he is becoming of age, with his own job description clearly spelt out. He will have to learn to help with the public address system. He may be required to purchase fuel for the generator and refuel it before service once in a while. He may even have to run out midway into the sermon in order to put the generator on where there is a power failure, should the one assigned the task be absent.

If one is born into a pastoral family, his life is arranged as though he was called to the ministry before he was even born, and he has answered the call into the ministry since the first day of birth. No matter what other things he has planned to do, he always gets roped into helping at church programs, not just on Sundays, but almost every day of the week, especially weekends. His vacations are truncated with no apologies. His meals are interrupted at will. While other teens use their weekends and other spare time to visit friends, his is spent in the church, or at home helping his parents with church-related activities.

If it is a small church, at times he may be expected to serve as the janitor of the church. Some members actually expect that he should be in custody of the keys to the church auditorium and its offices, especially when his preacher father is not available. He helps with the production of the Bible study outlines as much as is required of him. He assists his father with the powerpoint presentations of his messages at home and also with both mounting and operating the projector during the worship services. Tasks like folding service bulletins before the meetings and stacking chairs after worship services are seen as the secondary assignments of the Preacher's Kid!!!

Whether or not he is interested, it is compulsory for him, he has to learn how to play the piano if he is a guy or how to sing solo in the choir if she is a lady. Additionally, he is forced to learn the drums and some other equipment so that he can stand in for the instrumentalists whenever anyone of them is not available. He also becomes the supplementary choir leader who must be ready to take the place of the others in the choir whenever the praise team leader fails to show up for the praise worship session on time.

Beyond this, he must also know how to take the Sunday School Class or help in the Children Church since he is assumed to already have a Degree in Basic Bible Stories as constantly taught by his preacher father. As a teenager, he should know the New Testament realities and Christian theology as though he is an ordained priest. As a youth, he is expected to know most of the lesser-known facts and the unpopular details in the Bible, as much as the popular ones.

He is also expected to be able to say the finest prayers and preach the best sermons. Without going to a Bible School, he is expected to be so good in preparing perfect messages and should be able to stand in for his father, admonishing the adults, even as a teen and he must deliver perfectly well, it does not matter whether he has time to prepare for such messages or not!

In summary, it can be said that the ministry will take over his world. He is given the initialed title (P.K.) at birth and a job description before he or she can talk. Although he is always addressed as the Preacher's Kid, but with the heap of church activities piled on him, he can easily pass for the unofficial Assistant Senior Pastor of the church. Most Pastors' Kids wonder: sons and daughters of doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, and other professionals do not over-labor themselves so much with their fathers' professions or clients, why must Pastor's Kids do?

Finding his particular God-given gift, talents and ability could become an issue if he is not careful, because he has over the years been groomed to be good at almost every church activity.

UNAPPRECIATED SACRIFICES

These and many more are expected of the Pastor's sons and daughters. However, with all of these commitments to the church, they hardly appreciate his efforts. There is no counterbalancing reward to encourage him. He pays all of the sacrifices but is not adequately compensated for any. For instance, the church keyboardist is paid handsomely at the end of every service for playing the piano during any of the services. The Preacher's Kid who is forced to stand in for him whenever he is absent, hardly gets even a 'Thank You' note, simply because he is a Preacher's Kid. There is really so much of such imbalance in the system. Being a professional musician as a Preacher's Kid will also mean free-church performances on a very regular basis. He doesn't get paid for anything, he is born a volunteer!

Every year when outstanding members of the church are given various awards for meritorious services, no one remembers the Preacher's Kid. Everyone praises every other person for a good job well done in the course of the outgoing year, but not him. It is as though the church had a bargain of "buy-one-get-one-free" when his father was employed to superintend the church. His father is paid handsomely (or so it seems), the son's part is the free promotional sale.

He gives his all, yet, whatever much he has given is never appreciated, because he is always made to think his efforts are not enough! This is not fair on the Pastor's Child, especially those who serve the church in spirit and in truth, with the whole of their might. Some of them may not even think about or expect these rewards, but whether they do or not, their faithful service should at least be appreciated verbally as a way of encouraging them to do more.

A WORD OF CAUTION FOR THE PK

Encourage Your Father

Whether you want to pick a career in pastoring or not, or you have a calling or not, you must be available to assist your father in the smooth running of his ministry as long as you are still under his roof. What your father needs from you now, more than any other thing is your support. Your father needs you now more than you know.

Whether your services are appreciated by the church or not, actively support your father in order for him to succeed. Every child must wish his father success in whatever he does, and since your father is into pastoring, he greatly needs your encouragements and support, not just passively, but actively. If you indeed desire that he succeed, you will not deny him such support, as long as it is not beyond what you can give.

This is not just what man expects of you. It is also God's expectation of you. You need to draw the thin line that is between serving God because it is expected of you, being your parent's job, and serving Him because you truly want to please the Savior of your soul. If you only serve Him because your parents want you to, it is not the best for you. Serve Him because God expects you to, and do it with the whole of your heart.

Your father's primary responsibility in his calling as a minister of the gospel is to lead others to Christ. Your primary responsibility as a Minister's Kid is to make the task easy for him. So, be proud of your parents who are ready to give their all for the service of God and learn to always support them.

This support is different from positioning yourself to take over the leadership of the church after your father's demise. This support is driven by a genuine desire to serve God in your own little way in the church where you have found yourself, and an uncompromised resolution to see your father succeed.

Your Efforts Are Well Appreciated

It may seem that the church does not appreciate all of your efforts and your services to move the body of Christ forward, but they actually do. They only may not show it in their actions or voice it out.

Even if you strongly believe that they do not, at least, your father whom you are supporting appreciates the effort. And in case you also think your father here on earth does not appreciate it, be assured that your Father in heaven, who has called you into this special, unannounced ministry appreciates every little contribution and will reward you accordingly. Your labor may go unnoticed by men, but it cannot escape being seen by the Lord whose eyes never miss any faithful service. He alone can rightly reward you.

If you are presently experiencing this imbalance in unappreciated sacrifice in the church, you are not the first. Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac in the Bible? Everyone praised Abraham for his strong faith in God when he agreed to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to the God of heaven before an angel stopped him. Not many people praise Isaac for being a patient and obedient child. It would not be easy for a hundred-year-old man to put a knife on the throat of an energetic teenager if the teen puts up a struggle. It had to take a great degree of submission to his father and a strong faith in the God of his father before such a kid succumbs. Nothing is reported about either his submission to his father or his faith in God! If Isaac can handle it, you also can handle it.

Some members may even misinterpret your commitment and dedication, thinking you are already making yourself available to run with the vision and take over the leadership of the church whenever the time comes, especially if your father is the founder of the church. This should not bother you. God sees your heart and knows your motives. Just keep at what you are doing. When the time is right, they will understand that your service is to God and not to please the men of authority who will want to enthrone you in your father's stead.

A WORD OF ADVICE TO THE PREACHER PARENT

Assign Age-Appropriate Tasks

It is possible, as a well-intentioned parent, that in a bid to help your child grow into a Christ-like nature, to put them under serious spiritual pressure which may prevent them from growing up with the right sense of responsibility to the church and destroy their total dependence on the Lord. This is why you must be sensitive to what your children do in church and how they feel about it. Most preacher-parents do not give a damn about this.

There are chores that every child is expected to do at particular ages, and these may change as they grow older. These are called age-appropriate responsibilities. Rather than use them as emergency labor force to, always, fit in for those who are absent, or use them to do menial and lowly tasks in church, intentionally look for age-relevant ministry responsibilities that they can cope with at their age and put them in charge right from their childhood. Ensure that whatever they do is relevant to their age and achievable for their agemates. This can spur their interest in ministry work as they begin to see their place in the church.

Drive them passionately with all acceptable disciplinary measure because they are Pastor's Kids, but do not overdrive them because they are still kids. Always be careful to ensure that you have not turned your children to cheap labor personnel of the church. This will be seen as child abuse!

Involve them from their childhood, but do not force them to do anything that is far beyond what their ages should do, except they offer to. Do not leave them out in the things of the Spirit, but rather than make the things of the Spirit burdensome to them, make God's work exciting to them as they grow up. Share tracts and bills together, attend missions and outreaches with them. Let them grow into it. If you teach your child the way he should go, he will not depart from it.

Let the members of your congregation help you out with more serious tasks, rather than burdening your child every time to help with responsibilities beyond either his age or his ability. The reason why you feel the members of the congregation will not do it is because you have not asked them to, and the reason why you feel your child will always do it is because he has not, for once, said no. Do not wait until he is forced to learn to say no, then you will be mandated to ask the members of the congregation whom you do not want to ask in the first place.

Place Them Where They Fit Most

Get your children fully involved in the ministry but do not overlabor them. They are your children and not the Deputy Pastors. Whatever responsibility you want to give them, let them accept it willingly. If you cannot convince them to do it heartily, as unto the Lord, you may be preparing them for rebellion in the future.

Make the work of God thrilling and lucrative for them. Give them roles as they desire, not as the church demands. There is nothing like automatic roles for P.Ks. The pastor's first son does not have to be the youth president if he is not interested in the office. The first daughter does not have to be the praise and worship leader for every service. Do not force them to do roles they are not interested in or fashioned for. However, make sure they are doing something tangible in the church for the growth of the ministry.

As they grow older and become more mature, place them in departments in the church, being sensitive to their feelings. If you sense that they are not really comfortable with one, be willing to ask for their opinion and change it if it will make them more committed. Every preacher-parent must be humble enough to encourage his mature children to use their talents for God where they would be better appreciated.

As each child advances in age and becomes more independent, he will begin to develop other talents, interests and abilities that may or may not be in line with ministry operations. Once they get to this stage and they start to make choices in their lives, whatever they want to do, as long as it is not against the will of God as clearly stated in the scriptures, be mature enough to allow them, so that peace can reign. Your part as their father is to first ensure that whatever talent or gift they want to explore is not ungodly; secondly provide every needed resource to help them become better at it, and lastly look for an avenue for them to use the same talents to promote the gospel which you preach.

Encourage them to be their best and to be original. Do not force your opinion or idea on them, but guide them gently where necessary so they can make the right choices. Burdening them with tasks which they would have had nothing to do with if their father was not called into the ministry, can start a spark of hatred for ministry, especially if the task has nothing to do with their area of interest. If they are continually forced to do what they feel they are not cut out for, if care is not taken, it can make the work of ministry become burdensome to them, especially if the father is not sensitive enough to see the new area of interest, understand that they need time to develop this new strength and to actually help them in the development process.

Most times, when you find a rift between a pastoral parent and a Preacher's Kid and it seems no one can place their finger on what the real problem is, this is the problem. Whenever you find a rebellious Preacher's Kid and the issue is not sin related, this is the actual challenge.

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For most pastors, it becomes a battle between the duo. The father forces the child, using his fatherly authority to make him bend to his will. The child unwillingly and reluctantly bows to his father's bidding. This does not last for too long a time, because the seed of rebellion has already been sown, waiting to germinate. The child is just living someone else's life, trapped in another man's calling, and waiting for the day he will be liberated from his father's bondage. Until this newly discovered interest is explored, he lives a life of frustration.

The problem with most pastors, most times, is public opinion: Do not be too worried about the expectations of your congregation over your children such that you will push your children out of the will of God for their lives.

Appreciate Their Contribution

Learn to appreciate your children for every little contribution they make to your ministry. Recognize and applaud the strength you discover in them, especially those used to support your ministry and to make the burden lighter for you. Do not take their commitment for granted. If they have taken an unconscious decision to be very useful to the cause of your calling, do not take it as something normal for all Pastors' Kids.

Do all in your power to encourage them by appreciating them now and again, just as you would any other church worker or volunteer. If you continually treat them as though they do not have a choice because they are born into a minister's family, you may be shocked to discover that they actually do have a choice, because by then you may have lost them.

This is the reason why you have so many Pastors' Kids playing instruments or singing at clubhouses and hip hop dance halls today. The gift and talents that the church took for granted, the world placed value upon. When they were with us in the church, we are always quick to condemn them and chastise them for their struggles with sin rather than (in addition to condemning them for their sinful nature) acknowledge them for their strengths. The world they run to for solace is not interested in their struggles with sin, it only celebrates their strengths. This is why the church loses its young minds to the world. Help them to deal with their struggles all you can, but their struggles notwithstanding, celebrate them for their strength. Only then can you have the moral justification to chastise them for their struggles.

Appreciation does not always mean financial blessings alone, although money may be introduced once in a while, but do not spoil them with it. There are other means of showing gratitude than money. Take advantage of them.