My dad wrote a blog, “My Top 5 Pastoral Pet Peeves.” He thinks his life as a pastor is so difficult. Whiner. The real ones suffering are the children. MY blog has not 5 but 6 pet peeves. Here’s what it’s like growing up as a pastor’s kid.
1.You are THE Candidate!
For Out Loud Prayer and Bible Fact Regurgitation.
The pastor’s kid is the perfect person in a Sunday school teacher’s moment of panic. The group maybe dead but if you have a PK, apparently you’re golden.
No one willing to open in prayer? The pastor’s kid will. Mine usually went something like, “Thank you, Jesus for this day’men.”
No one was listening to the questions about Corinthians? The pastor’s kid should know.
And I usually didn’t.
Anyone else remember Sword Drills? It’s a “game” where you race to see who can find the book, chapter and verse fastest. I never won, but by the reaction of the entire Bible class, I should’ve every time.
You try to find Nahum under that kind of pressure!
2. You Make Other Parents Feel Better About Their Parenting Skills.
Gossip is a sin. Except when it’s about the pastor’s family.
Although you’re expected to be the Bible-thumper in Sunday school, everybody loves a train wreck in real life. I mean, if the pastor’s kids are screw ups, your kids must be doing okay, right?
Wreck the car? Whole church knows.
Speeding ticket? Whole church knows.
Another speeding ticket? Whole church knows.
Throw a party while parents are out of town? You get the idea.
Yes. Those are all actual examples. Coincidentally, they are frequently used as my father’s sermon illustrations.
3. Waiting in the Car.
Every congregation knows – after church is the perfect time to share all your drama, confessions and prophetic visions with your pastor.
Really, the church phone number and office hours are just in the bulletin for effect.
Stomachs growling, baby brothers crying, boiling hot or freezing cold. I remember a lot of after church starving. My mom compassionately gave us gum. So helpful.
To this day hunger tastes like spearmint.
Even if the most enthusiastic volunteers won’t do it.
No one willing to help clean up the bathrooms after a wedding? Mom will find you gloves and toilet brush.
No one eating Mrs. Maples gross potato salad at the church picnic? Mom will give you two extra scoops.
No one signed up for Mrs. Maples Bible Study on Biblical animals? Guess what you’re doing Friday nights.
Poor Miss. Maple.
Folding bulletins. Folding bulletins. Folding bulletins.
5. Everyone Knows Your Name, Even If You Don’t Know Theirs,
When you’re a little kid, everyone older than 30 looks the same.
Well, unless they’re parents of your friends and do something really memorable like buy name brand cereal. Even then they’re just Mr. and Mrs. LastName. I didn’t realize adults had real names until I was 8.
When you’re a PK, strangers at church approach you and somehow know everything about your life. We become very good at making seemingly familiar conversations while not knowing a single solitary fact about who they’re talking to.
It’s easy and I can teach you: People love to talk about themselves. Just ask leading questions and when they refer to something you should already know, nod your head and say, “Ah, yes.”
6. Hand-Me Downs!
Why buy clothes when everyone feels sorry for your father’s salary? Instead of giving more on Sunday, there’s a better way to pacify their guilt. You take their kid’s old stuff.
And say, “Thank you.”
The real downside is when you find something you like in the hand-me downs and wear it proudly until your BFF says “That’s my old skirt. How’d you get that?”
The End, Dad.