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FIRST-PERSON: Preachers' kids under pressure

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)--Every time I meet a preacher's kid there is an instant connection regardless of their age. My father was a pastor for 60 years for which I am grateful. As all PKs know, once a PK always a PK.

Basic training for a PK begins in the church nursery. PKs belong to a unique fellowship. It is a blend of RAs, GAs and the Marines. The Marines' motto is "Semper Fidelis" (always faithful). PKs also have a motto: "Semper Pressus" (always under pressure).

Preacher's kids often hear either explicitly or by implication such phrases as, "You are different," "You have to set an example," "You should know the Bible," "Your dad is the preacher," "You have to be willing to share your father with all the church members" and "Are you going to go into the ministry like your father?"

Such statements consistently voiced by well-meaning church members and some not so well meaning can create undeserved pressure in the lives of those whose fathers stand behind pulpits every Sunday. As PKs evolve from RAs (Royal Ambassadors) and GAs (Girls in Action) into teenagers and young adults, they often take on the attributes of a well-trained Marine -- first on the scene, first to help and first to fight.

Numerous PKs grow up and drop out of church without understanding the root cause of their actions. Years of trying to live up to the expectations of others have taken a toll.

Pastor, one of the greatest gifts you can share with your children is yourself. Give them your time. Give them the assurance they only need to live up to God's standards and not those set by the "Perfect Preacher's Kid Committee" in the church. Give them private instructions and not just public sermons. Don't worry about the deacons' kids. Let the deacons take care of their own kids.


So, the next time you see a Marine emblem and the words Semper Fidelis underneath, say a prayer for them. And the next time you are in church and see the pastor standing behind the pulpit, say a prayer for the PKs and remember the words Semper Pressus.

Jerry Drace (e-mail, has been in full-time evangelism since 1975. He and his wife Becky conduct Hope for the Home Conferences and reside near Jackson, Tenn. Drace also is the bivocational pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Friendship, Tenn.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

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