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5 Ways to Teach Your Children to Hate the Ministry

Pastors' kids are prone to hate the ministry. Why? How can it be avoided?
5 Ways to Teach Your Children to Hate the MinistryCellar Door Films / flickr

To put it bluntly, a lot of pastors' children hate the ministry. My team interviewed 20 pastors' kids who are adults now. They provided some insights that were both inspiring and disturbing.

Children with a pastor-parent can grow to hate ...

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Steve Skeete

February 10, 2014  11:37am

I wish I had the opportunity to do a column like this for pastors. I would entitle it ''How to raise your children to love the ministry'. It pains me that the Church of Jesus Christ is constantly under attack, and that by its friends. The children of pastors are NOT prone to hate the 'ministry! They may come to do so if pastors, in ignorance (and often misguided zeal), commit the five errors on which you elaborated. No minister who loves the Lord and his family sets out to deliberately hurt the latter. And most pastors, particularly young ones, need guidance, loving instruction and caring mentorship to help them avoid these obvious pitfalls. I believe this article could have served a much more useful purpose if it had been written from a more positive perspective, I am sure many know of pastors who have 'failed' their families. Therefore we should highlight those who have not - the ones whose children have come to love the Lord, his Church and his service.

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January 20, 2014  9:31pm

We have been blessed beyond measure!!! My husband just retired after 30 years as pastor of our church. He assumed this position when the previous pastor of 10 years moved to another church in another area. We had been involved in the church for those 10 years and were the area YFC directors. All three of our adult children live in the area and are involved in the church today. Somehow by the grace of God and with no prior training for such a life we did not fall into any of the pitfalls mentioned in the article. Our daughter and two oldest grandchildren are involved in music and children's ministries and her husband, a business man, supports them all. Our oldest son and wife serve in many volunteer areas. And - WHOA!! Our youngest son is now the pastor and loved by the congregation and very gifted for this position. Thanks to the church that became our family in good times and difficult times and helped us raise them!! PRAISES!! NO COMPLAINTS HERE!! Glenda Smith

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Ngallendou Dieye

January 18, 2014  11:52am

I do not mean this to sound mean. Yet, it remains a curiosity that CT should call clericalism "the ministry." There appears scant evidence that the NT condones professional clerics. Gifted leaders, yes. Appointed elders (overseers and deacons), yes. Clearly, every believers' community must be marked by mutual love that seeks to implement many ministries. If our state charter requires you to empower a "governing board," then consider not registering your community, and keep on empowering every willing member to launch and shepherd highly-reproducible little flocks. Let shepherds form a n oversight council of peers.

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Don Byers

January 17, 2014  5:11pm

On the subject of a pastor's family... When a new pastor came to our church, he and his wife were interviewed in the Sunday morning service. After speaking extensively with the pastor, the chairman of the elder board turned to the new pastor's wife and said, "And what do YOU do?" Without missing a beat she responded, "My job is to make sure my children enjoy what their father does for a living." Her husband was just as committed.

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Bob Lust

January 17, 2014  8:45am

I wrote too many words in my prior post, sorry. but Would things have gone differently if I wasn’t a preacher’s kid? Only God knows, and I honestly don’t think so. I consider preachers human like the rest of us. Some are good parents with few failings, and others are not. Being a preacher, frustration may accent some of these failings. But, I believe my father gave me his best shot, inadequate in some things, superior in others. I still love him for it..

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