For the Pastor's Kid: Your Dad Needs You

Pastors' kids. We probably know church better than anyone else.

We know the ins and outs, the people, the events, the issues, the newest members. We can label each face in the directory and point visitors toward the nursery hall on Sunday morning. Whoever we are, from whatever church background we’ve emerged, you and I share this in common: Our pastoring dad critically needs our support.

Culture is trying to disfigure the truth that God expects major things from you, no matter your age. The world’s pathetic expectations are replacing Timothy’s command to “let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

Christian teens are called to shatter low expectations and live boldly for Christ. Pastors' kids are, too. God has placed you under your dad’s leadership to not only sharpen you, but to use you to sharpen your dad. And this starts at home.

Your dad needs your submission.

Let’s get real for a moment. It’s far easier for me to model a healthy reputation at church than at home. Not only do I know my church better than anyone, but I know the pastor better. And familiarity can breed disrespect.

Hypocrisy is a weed growing inside me. Like the Pharisees of the Bible, I tend to flaunt my godliness in public (or at church) while nurturing bitterness toward my dad in secret. Jesus warns me that I “must not be like the hypocrites,” and to “beware of practicing [my] righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them” (Matthew 6:5, 1).

Outward righteousness is a fruit of true submission that germinates in the secret soil of the heart. It’s this heart motive God carefully watches. Jaquelle Crowe says it like this: "Acceptable service isn’t just what you do; it’s why and how you do it."[1]

Your pastoring dad needs your heart submission at home before he needs your support and service at church. “For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:5)

Your dad needs your involvement.

Pastors’ kids must be involved with their church and their dad’s ministry. This participation stretches further than Sunday morning service and Wednesday night youth group. It’s an intentional motive to reach into the life of your dad and genuinely care for the flock he shepherds.

Your dad devotes his time and talent to faithfully steering the church toward Christ. As his son or daughter, don’t detract from that mission. Be a catalyst. Throw yourself into church ministry to further your dad’s impact in Christ’s kingdom. 

Your dad needs your prayer.

Pastors are human, too. No different than any other Adam-born image-bearer, pastors are walking sin machines. They misunderstand, misstep, and misbehave like we do. And, like us, they flounder without prayer.

I don’t commit the ministry, work, and heart of my dad to God enough. I miscalculate the weight of his responsibility and devalue the cruciality of his role. Dad wrestles the same Enemy I do and craves the same spiritual strength. Pastor’s Kid, we must pray consistently for our dads. Satan fiercely opposes his work maybe more than anyone else in the church.

“First of all, then, I urge you that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

You are needed! 

It’s a lie that young people can’t do hard and holy things for God. 

No matter your age, a pastor’s kid can radically bolster the ministry of your dad when you stop shirking your duties and start serving your calling. It’s no accident your dad was chosen for ministry and you were chosen for your dad. This doesn’t elevate you above others; it simply compels you to abide by a different calling.

Choose to use your position for God’s glory and your life can be a sweet fragrance to the church Body and the world. You can caringly interact with each directory member and lovingly steer visitors toward nursery drop-off with a heart bent on the furtherance of Christ’s kingdom. 

It’s absolutely possible for you to edify and enhance the work of your pastoring dad because he needs you, Pastor’s Kid. He really does.