Confessions of the Family Business Preacher’s Kid

Church isn’t a business…. but it kinda is. When you think about the economics and the structure of it- it’s a very fickle business. It’s based on people’s opinions and popularity. It’s really odd when you really start to think about it because if you don’t play the right music, or have the right look; if you preach too much “hell fire and brimstone” or if you’re too “Joel Osteen”, if the kid’s ministry is a place where you can bring your kids for someone else to instill spiritual values that you should be doing on a regular basis at home, if you feel at “home” and “loved” enough… that’s where you decide to base your spiritual and eternal guidance- on superficial things that don’t really matter. And the Church has fallen for it… there are churches on every corner appealing to the edgy crowd, the business casual crowd, the wine & cheese crowd, the alternative Gospel crowd- “here’s our lights, here’s our smoke, here’s our mission, here’s our this… like us on Facebook, here’s our livestream… we do men’s fishing trips, we do ladies outlet shopping… we go here…we go….” the list goes on.

What does this have to do with preacher’s kids? Well you’re part of the family so that means you’re part of the family business. You were probably volun-told (definition: being told to volunteer) to perform some function in ministry to help the family out. You did it because you wanted to see your family succeed in the church world. You did it because you love your parents. You did it because you see how hard your parents believed in their vision and you wanted to help them out. Or maybe… you had no other choice. You were told to do it and that was that. Either way, welcome to the family business.

The business has it’s moments: life as a PK isn’t always the absolute worst, and I’m not just talking about the “tip” that people give your family in October during Pastor Appreciation Month as a way to justify their behaviors throughout the year. After all, you’re doing the Lord’s work and He has blessed you for it- you know what I mean. There have been moments where you have felt innately blessed. Moments. They’re nice.

There comes a point in the family business where you have to make a choice. Normally, it’s around the other major life changes that you have- graduating high school or college. What do you want to do? Stay in the ministry or pursue other avenues? Some of you were like “turning 18… I’m out. See ya.” Others felt like they had a place in ministry… like you wanted to continue and make a difference. So, you stayed.

I stayed. I have always had the option of pursuing other things but the longer I was in ministry and it went from a volun-told thing to something that I developed and spent time on and went through the ups and the downs of ministry that I felt that it was harder and harder to walk away.  I love my parents and love their vision and I wanted to help them achieve the success that I know that they deserved. I wanted to help them “get there” so that it would all be worth it. However, I have come to realize that my vision, my success, and my happiness are important too. I have moments where I want to change directions and start over, but I feel like all of this time would be for nothing- wasted. I’ve realized that I have subconsciously put a lot of life things on hold because I don’t want to live life with these negative emotions in my next chapter. I’ve let really good friendships go because I didn’t want to fight the perceptions of the “business” or its “customers”- only to realize those customers were gone in 5 months. I’ve held off starting a family and getting married because I can’t let the ministry dictate my emotions. I’m at the age where I am starting to question if it’s worth it- not that God hasn’t blessed me- but if He couldn’t bless me AND me become happy and fulfilled with life outside of the business.

It’s important that if you are in the family business that you want to be in the family business. If you truly don’t want to be in ministry, you won’t be doing yourself a favor, the people that you are ministering to, or your parents.

Church shouldn’t be a business. Church shouldn’t be something that you “get through” or “have to do”. Church shouldn’t be an obligation. Ministry shouldn’t burn you out.

  • 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. Many pastor’s children do not attend church now because of what the church has done to their parents.
  • 94% of clergy families feel the pressures of the pastor’s ministry.

Obviously- it’s a thing.

I’ve been on my own journey of figuring out what’s next for me. Do I stay? Do I go? How do I have this conversation? Do I have what it takes to be successful outside of ministry? Will I be happy? What does life look like? When you’re a PK- most of your life revolves around the ministry. What you do, where you go, what you say, where you vacation (lol- what’s that?), who you are friends with, etc. So it’s a big deal and a valid question to be concerned on what life looks like with out that pressure.

I’m holding on to the truth of Psalm 20:4 
 May he give you your heart’s desire, and put all your purposes into effect.

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Confessions of a Misunderstood Preacher’s Kid

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. – Newton’s Third Law

You know what I’m talking about. You know that everything that you’ve been through has shaped you into the person that you are today- whether you are 14 or 44. Recently, I have experienced some painful reminders that not everybody (even the people that love you and think they know you) truly know you- because they understand you from their perception and their point of reference. It’s a strange thing to overhear someone’s unfiltered opinion about you and your life. Because of the lack of filter, you get to hear the truth. I’ve tried to always live without the filter on in the first place because I like truthful people. I like the “what you see is what you get” kind of people- it may not be pretty but at least it’s not fake…. or maybe it is pretty and you just don’t know what to do with it.

As I have said before, I’m not a gold-star PK (meaning I wasn’t born into a family of preachers). So, I remember life before taking on this title. (Honestly, I miss it and often catch myself wondering “what if” I had never been branded with the pk label. Would I be happier? Would life taken a different route?) I remember what it felt like to be a regular Christian, a regular church member, and a regular human being (GASP! Yes it’s true). In times of self-reflection, I can start to pin point where certain things in my personality or my outlook started to change. Cynicism? Yep…. the Fall of 2009… Incessant sarcasm? Spring ’12. Body obsession? My Senior year of high school. Depression? Not liking people to be in my personal space?  Let’s see… after we moved an entire family of 5 into our spare bedroom to “help them  out in the name of Jesus” for 3-4 months (felt like an eternity).  The incessant feeling of not being good enough? Age 11. If you give me a timeline and the endless things that you don’t like about me- I can pretty much pin point a spot on my timeline where an event or something happened that changed me and is not an excuse- but an explanation for who I am today- it’s a blessing and a curse.

Every action. Equal and opposite reaction.

Every thing that you go through- changes you. The longer this blog goes on- the more I’ll share about my story- when I can accurately convey it without sounding like a sad sack or a bitter betty.

The last 3 years have been incredibly difficult for me- I’m surprised that I am alive, to be honest. There were some really dark times. Some really lonely times. Lonely and dark times- don’t necessarily mix well.  These three years, I literally had personal attacks and fights- family, church members, church leaders- on every side- almost on a weekly basis. I was treading water. I was taking on water. I was sinking. I was drowning. If you could see my soul- I will probably look like a amateur boxer after one of those MMA fighters got done with him. All the while, I was smiling and carrying on my church duties and my pastor kid’s duties- but it changed me. I remember being bright, warm, friendly, and excited… not just about church- about life! I was obnoxiously optimistic. I look back on some of my early journal entries and think to myself “WHO ARE YOU?!?!” and that’s the question that seemingly never got answered by ME. Everybody else had an answer- they could fill in the blank of who I was- but no one really ever asked me. That leaves a lot up to speculation and I’ve learned that church people have a very vivid (wrong) imagination.

A lot can be misunderstood when it’s based on your opinions and speculation. 

Some of you are like me. You have a story but you’re not the narrator. Someone else has taken over that job. They’ve taken it over and you are feel trapped in a story that you don’t want shared or told or even written about. You want your own story and you want to be the author of it because you’re the only one that actually knows the motivation and the choices behind what you said or what you did. You know the feeling behind it. You know what pushed you to make that decision. You know what was going on behind the scenes that made you decide to say that out loud or to walk away.

I was in a “discussion” recently where someone said to me “you have to be concerned about what people think of you- they are going to form their own opinions about you and then decide if they are going to respect you”.  This statement sent me into a tailspin because I’ve lived the majority of my life concerned about what people think and their opinions and I’m a pretty decent human being and I have STILL been subjected to ridiculous behavior, untrue speculation, and all-out high-jacking of my story- So part of the thing that has changed about me is that I’m no longer really concerned about what people that I don’t know or don’t respect have to think about me or what I do- because at the end of the day, I don’t feel like being held to a standard that people don’t hold themselves to. I’m all for standards. I’m all for morals. I’m all for respect. I’m all for having a good name. But I’m not for the manipulation that people try to put on other people by putting them onto a pedestal and then setting the pedestal on fire and watching people dance when they themselves wouldn’t stand for that.

When you truly don’t care what anyone thinks about you, you have reached a dangerously awesome level of freedom

So, take your story back. Be your own narrator. Know that you are who you are because of what you’ve been through. It’s ok and it’s enough. You’re stronger. You’re smarter. You’re a little broken but that’s ok. Know that you are the only one that knows your timeline. Let people say that they think they know. Let people feel whatever kind of way that they want to feel about you. Let them focus on you if they feel that’s a good use of their time…. but you, my friend, live your life- without excuses, without regret, without the stress. Reach that dangerously awesome level of freedom. If no one understands you, understand yourself. Know why you do what you do and say what you say and think the way you think. Know it… and then educate those other narrators when you get the chance.

Confessions of a Hunted Preacher’s Kid

“May the odds be ever in your favor….”

Yes, I know that I just quoted Hunger Games. Yes, I know that seems a little dramatic. No, I’m not joking when I say that sometimes being a PK feels like you are literally a volun-told “TRIBUTE” to a game that you never really wanted to play in the first place and you didn’t t realize could be so brutal. However, it can be. This is part of the story: the confession of a hunted down preacher’s kid.

We all know that preacher’s kids live in the “fish bowl” (the fish bowl is the term normally used to describe what it feels likes to be a minister’s kid- you’re always on display from all angles, all the time- most of the time without any place of safety or refuge). What you may not have known is that being a preacher’s kid, you are normally one of the first lines of attack. You’re vulnerable. You’re a “kid”. You’re making mistakes right and left. You’re an easy target.

Most people don’t handle conflict well. I’m not great at it- getting better- out of necessity and maturity ( *Gasp*- it can happen- preacher’s kids can possess maturity). But what I have noticed in my time in the church is that when it comes to the pastor’s family, there is this nasty little thing that we can not protect ourselves from- the hunt.

thehunt-logo

Now, “the hunt” is what happens when someone feels slighted, wronged, invalidated, irrelevant, hurt, upset, depressed, unstable, irritated… (the list can go on), and instead of them trying to reach a point of resolution or closure or (here’s a novel idea) doing the Christian thing forgiving and moving on- they decide to go on the hunt, and you, my friend, are prime target #1. You see, these lovely “Christian?” people see you, the preacher’s kid, as a way to get back their sense of power, to right their sense of wrong, to validate their sense of invalidation, to correct their instability, irritation and relevance. They come after you because you’re easy- not in a suggestive way- but 9 times out of 10 the ministry is rolling along and most people won’t notice them trying to bully you into submission. They also don’t think that any one will come to your aide or defense. They use things like their presence or their position or their money to justify and solidify their place in your life (oh joy) and they are betting that no higher authority will have the wherewithal to actually make them call off their hunt.

The hunters are banking on you to just take it- to just deal with it- to just put on your headphones and say nothing. They wouldn’t come after you if they had the gall or the backbone to rectify their real problem but that would require accountability and honesty on their part. So… you are, unfortunately, the target of the hunt.

They start to find any and every thing that they can and start making a list of allegations and complaints against you. If you ever considered them friends or friendly- watch out- they have a gold mine of information stockpiled on you. They will start to dig in your social media- going back years and year and years to find that one post that you shared or tweeted or facebooked to “GET YOU”. They’ll even go so far to have screenshots of your Bible App (because of there’s going to be a scandal- honey, the Bible App is where’s it gonna be…) Then, after a while of gathering information on you, they’ll drop a little to this person and that person and this one of here and before you know it- you’re a marked man (or woman).  The hunt is on.

Just because you are a preacher’s kid…
Just because you are involved in ministry…
Just because you are in the Church…
DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU LOSE YOUR AUTONOMY.
AND IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU HAVE TO BE TARGET OF THE HUNT.

The church is not an open game field. The church is not the woods. The Church is not Panem (promise, I’ve never watched Hunger Games). Just because you’re mad at the preacher or his wife, or his kids make you mad because they are just a little “TOO MUCH” for your taste  or you didn’t get to sing your off-key special, or you feel like so-and-so looked at you funny in town- does NOT give you the right to go on the hunt- of anyone but let alone his children. Have a seat. Put down your binoculars and your magnifying glass and your screenshots and your weapons- and just shut up.

I’m reminded of David (I like him) in the Bible. He was hunted. He was hunted by someone more powerful than him, someone that people looked up to and respected, someone that people should have revered because of his position or his stature, someone that should have been a little bit better- more mature, more graceful. David wasn’t perfect- he made mistakes, he screwed up, he was human. I get it. but David was a “Man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14) and he valued that more that justifying himself or proving Saul wrong. David EVEN had the opportunity to KILL Saul (1 Samuel 24).

Let’s be real: if I were David, in the midst of being hunted down, reduced to hiding in a cave, tired from running from people, exhausted from not knowing who I can trust, mad at being put in this position in the first place, the first opportunity I got to take this joker out- I would have. Honest. I’ve been in a position where I could have in real life taken people out that were coming after me with non-sense. I could have justified it by saying that it was self defense. I could have been my own personal champion and saved myself at the expense of someone else that didn’t really deserve to be spared (like Saul- they were on the hunt, vain, arrogant, unstable, and wrong) but what would that accomplish?

Had David taken the matter into his own hands- his path to the throne would have been derailed- his destiny altered- his life shaken. David endured. David learned. David didn’t stand for being mistreated. David learned how to deal with Saul by letting things run it’s course.

Psalms 35
19 Do not let those gloat over me 
who are my enemies without cause;do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye.
20 They do not speak peaceably,   but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.”

22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent. Do not be far from me, Lord.
23 Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me.
25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!” or say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion;may all who exalt themselves over mebe clothed with shame and disgrace.

David was man that knew what it was like to be the hunted. He knew what it was like for people who SHOULD KNOW better to be on the hunt. He was human. That’s a very human prayer from someone going through an awful time. You can hear fear, anger, disappointment, sadness all in those verses and it is okay. To you, my friend, you’re not alone in the hunt.

It didn’t end well for Saul and it won’t end well for the people that are hunting you down. Does it suck? Absolutely. Do you wish it would end? Heck yeah.  Will it? Yes. It will.

Psalms 21:11: Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed

In the meantime, don’t let them win.
Be smart. Run your best. Outsmart them. Outwit them.
Pray about it. Be honest in your prayers. David was.
Talk to someone- be HONEST- about how you feel about the situation, the people, the hunt- how stupid it is, how dumb they are, etc. It’s okay to be honest.

Laugh. I spent all of my teenage years and most of my 20s not laughing at the stupidity of “The Hunt”. I took it so seriously. I spent years analyzing myself and trying to figure out where people got this notion of who I was and got that information. I spent months and weeks trying to “FIX myself”, to become “perfect”, to become impenetrable to the criticism and “above reproach”….. and then I realized most of the stuff that people “had on me” was nothing scandalous or completely made up by their own obsession… and for people to spend that much energy and effort and time on me is funny. Honestly. I also came to the realization that people will find anything about you once they begin “the hunt”- nothing will be sacred, nothing will be off limits- so for you to try to fix yourself enough to be acceptable to people with no intentions on ever accepting you- it delusional. Don’t do it. It’s a waste of time. Trust me.

The Hunt is a brutal, stupid, hilarious, and maddening distraction from the life you are supposed to live: yours. Do me a favor. Live.

PS: and if you are one of the people on the hunt:
Really? It’s enough. Move on with your life. So what- you didn’t get what you wanted in the church, so what you didn’t get that hello or that title or that special. That’s not what it’s about anyway- You are not entitled to HUNT after people. You are not ENTITLED to spew your hate, your opinion, your lies, your facts, anything. You are ENTITLED TO PRAY for those that you are mad at. YOU are ENTITLED to do what the Bible says. so do us all a favor and go check your relationship with Christ that you claim to have because I’m pretty sure that going after people and/or their children is not one of the fruits of the spirit and not really a Christian thing to do. Have enough gall to sit down and have a conversation with the people that you are mad at instead of slinging them, their family, and the ministry through the mud. It takes a lot of energy and effort to lead and pastor a church  without coming under fire from someone who has the spirituality of a Pharisee with an attitude of a Sadducee and the personality of one of the dead fish that Peter caught in his net to pay taxes- but you wouldn’t know because once you feel like you’ve been justified by your hunt- you move and victimize the next church and the next preacher’s kid and pastor’s family. It’s time for you to stop. Thanks. 

Confessions of a Bitter Preacher’s Kid

Bitterness.

We have it. We hate it, but we have it. It’s not something that you can easily admit to or something that you necessarily want to admit to being- bitter. Nobody wants to be the “Bitter Betty” of their acquaintances…. yet here we are.

As a PK we start to develop this weird paradigm where your outlook on life is shaped by rules and regulations- most of the time that have nothing to do with your spirituality or physical well-being; and more often than not, they are shaped by opinions and perspectives over people who have no clue on what they even want/need for their own life. As a upper 20-something, I have been processing out a lot of my feelings and emotions… “sorting it out”, if you will, and I keep coming across this one feeling that I never really want to realize but nevertheless it’s there: bitterness.

“Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.”
(Proverbs 14:10).

If you were like me, you spent most of your time at the church- free time, down time, church time, etc. Your parents worked tirelessly to build a ministry that influenced and helped people to live the life that God created for them to live; only to have people leave without reason and make everyone start over. You worked in every department of the church- you were a nursery worker (aka: free babysitter), you ran projector slides, you set up folding chairs… etc. You know the drill. You got in major fights about your wardrobe because you really wanted to rock those ripped jeans from American Eagle that everybody else was wearing but “modest is hottest” and no.  Your family has been attacked by disgruntled parishioners on numerous occasions- sometimes in the most ridiculous and uncalled for ways.  You became an easy target for people to start to take a punch at when they felt God has “lead them to be fed somewhere else”.  You’ve watched your family be put under the immense pressure and stress of what is and should be the greatest blessing and gift: a call from God.  Your friendships were mostly from church people- if you were blessed with people your own age- but you never seemed to quite “fit in” because you were always a little nervous that something you said or did would cause a battle or a fight. You were never really comfortable in your own skin and so your friendships suffered because who were you really? The preacher’s kid.

So you reach a point- where you want it back- you want your time back, you want your emotions back, you want all those times you were nice to people and watched their kids during counseling sessions- you want that time back. You want your family back- not this family- not the family that has to compartmentalize conversations so that no one is stressed or has anxiety. You want your family back that was full of faith and zeal for one another and for what God has called you to be doing.  You want your friendships to be real and to last. You want consistency. You want to walk into a room knowing you weren’t the topic of discussion last night or at breakfast this morning. Truth is- you can’t get that back. It is what it is. You have to move forward because life doesn’t go backwards…. and then it hits.

You
FEEL
It
Creep
In….. you’re angry. you’re upset.  you’re bitter. you’re sad because why? Why did THIS turn out like THIS? You didn’t ask for it. You didn’t want it. You don’t want to stay in this perpetual cycle of emotional drain…but what can you do?

  1. Own it. It’s okay. You’re okay. It’s okay to say, “You know what? Yeah… I feel today. I am mad. I am upset. I am bitter. I do feel broken and used and lied to. Feel the depth of that emotion. Don’t settle to stay in that emotion- but don’t discount or dismiss it. Take a minute to own it
  2. Move forward. The past is the past. At some point, you have to leave it alone. No, you can’t fix what people have done/said to you or about you. You can’t salvage those friendships that were only one-sided or used you for your position or your preacher’s kid status. You can’t make people respect your family or your church enough to be consistent or even decent. Along the way- you’ll have to go back to step 1 because things will pop back up… emotions and thoughts and the “what ifs” come back up when you start to move on…. it’s okay. Just deal with them as they come and keep moving forward. You don’t have to sprint or be the fastest- maybe your victory in moving forward it one step… as long as it’s forward – you’re progressing.
  3. Ask for help. I struggle with this one. I’ve built my walls high and thick and I don’t like to ask for help. I’m independent and have created my life on my own (with God’s help, of course) and people have consistently let me down- regardless of their intentions. However, not EVERY one in my life has been a let down, there are people that God brings along that you can be real with, that genuinely love you for you. You know who they are. They may not be your ideal person or the person that you thought, but you know that they are there for you- let them be. Ask them for help. Most of the time, they are waiting for you to let down the wall just a little bit.
    -and maybe you feel like you’re too far gone to ask God for help- maybe you stopped believing in Him when the church split, or your parents got divorced, or you got pregnant and were humiliated, or your “friends” started nasty rumors about your sexuality, or you always felt like the church was the mistress or the golden child in your family because it always came first above all else- but God’s still there. He’s still good. He knows and He feels right along with you. He knows your bitterness. He knows your hurt. He knows how pissed off you are. He knows what you feel like you lost and can’t get back. Ask him for help- He will help.
  4. Realize it’s a process. Along with moving forward, you have to realize that it’s a process. With anything, it takes time. You’re gonna make it.
  5. Celebrate small victories- LIVE.  I’ve recently started trying to LIVE and really enjoy my life. Yes, I’m owning my stuff- the good, the bad, and the BITTER. Yes, I’ve got all this moving forward to do. Yes, it is a process. Yes, I’m asking for help (sometimes)… but I have also started celebrating where I am at: learning to laugh at the ridiculousness that happens in the church, realizing that people and their opinions don’t define me in the least bit, eating the extra brownie because I can, dressing up for the day for no real reason, loving the friends (however few they may be) that I have, celebrating the small things… because one day- you’re going to look back at the process and you’re going to see just how far you’ve come and you’re eventually not going to even have to think about moving forward- you’re just going to do it automatically… and then you’re going to be LIVING.

It’s not an easy road being a PK- it’s not a life many people would be able to handle. But you are handling it. You are living. You are making it and you WILL make it. Life will be better for you because you learned how to handle your bitter- you owned it, you moved forward and you’re going to be okay.

Confessions of an Adult Preacher’s Kid

“What do you know? You’re just a kid…”

Adult Kid- seems like a oxymoron but it’s a reality. Most of my childhood is colored by memories of being a preacher’s kid. I’ve heard all the jokes. All the expectations. All the “Oh… you’re dad’s a preacher?” comments.

For some strange reason, I thought that at age 18… when we move from teenagers to young adults that I would some how shed my “preacher’s kid” label in for “young adult” or “adult” along with all of those perks, challenges, and autonomy. Now nearing my 30s, I’ve learned that the title “preacher’s kid” doesn’t grow with the person. It’s a static label. It’s like an invisible tattoo on your forehead- Preacher’s KID.  This label cements you into people’s minds as a kid.  I’ve been in the same church for 16 years and I feel like I’m in that scene from Dr. Strange that you just keep living the same reality over and over… (I can’t believe I just referenced a superhero movie.) Perpetually 15- and I’m not alone. It’s well known that preacher’s kids get that stereotype of being wild and rebellious and going off the deep end (or if you’re like me- people will conjure up all kinds of deviant behavior that they THINK that you do because you can’t possibly just be a normal person living your life without some kind of scandal or big secret that you are trying to hide because you’re not married with 3 kids by the time you’re 22… you must be broken somehow or damaged – and never do these people take responsibility for maybe they are the reason that you seem a little closed off /shut down – couldn’t be that… :)).

I get why preacher’s kid hit that breaking point at a certain age and twist off. Trying to find that identity, that independence, that autonomy. Trying to PROVE that you are capable- that you can do it on your own…. there’s nothing wrong with finding yourself, seeing what you are made of, figuring yourself out- it’s HOW we go about doing it that gets us wrapped up in the stereotype. I never did have that crazy rebellious stage- the most “rebellious” thing that I did during my “phase” was secretly download one of the Now That’s What I Call Music compilation CDs and hid it from my parents. I chose to stick it out and prove that I’m a capable, independent, functioning adult while still maintaining my faith and actively being involved in church- the same church I’ve grown up in. It’s one of the hardest things that I have ever done, and I am still working it out. I still haven’t got it down yet. I still fight the label- week in and week out.

What I have learned is that even though people label you and those labels carry preconceived notions and expectations that have been cemented into people’s minds- you- as a capable, functioning, charming, witty, faithful individual- do not have to be defined by it. Are you a preacher’s kid? Yes. Not by choice.  So, I’m learning even in my upper 20s to just LIVE. Your faith is important. You don’t have to prove anything to the Church or to God. He already knows what’s up. You don’t have to run away from your faith just to prove that your worth and your independence. You don’t have to ask permission from people who can’t take accountability for their own spiritual well being/lives to live your own. You don’t have to prove that you are capable, independent, non-deviant… because trying to prove something means that it’s relevant- that it matters. It doesn’t. You matter. You’re relevant. Your faith is important. Your happiness is imperative. So let it go. Let go of trying to prove it all- that you can, that you are cool, that you are capable, that you are independent,  that you are an adult. You are and that’s enough. You may never escape the title and stereotype of being a “Preacher’s kid” but you don’t have to let it or anyone else define who you are…at 15- live, at 18- live, at 21- live, at 25- live….live.

Why Confessions?

“Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid” – it sound dramatic, scandalous, secretive. To be honest, it was catchy and reminded me of Lindsay Lohan and “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”- I’m not sure if there is correlation between Drama Queens and Preacher’s Kids or Preacher’s Kids and Linsday Lohan…. I digress. When people say the word “confession”, you normally get quiet and lean in because whatever comes after that word is normally juicy.

My friend Merriam-Webster defines the word “confession” as

  1.   an act of confessing; especially :  a disclosure of one’s sins in the sacrament of reconciliation b:  a session for the confessing of sins go to confession

  2. 2:  a statement of what is confessed: such as a written or oral acknowledgment of guilt by a party accused of an offense
    b :  a formal statement of religious beliefs

  3. an acknowledgement

While it’s definitely not a “sin” to be a preacher’s kid; nor is it, in itself, a religious belief that requires a formal statement, this blog or “confession” is an acknowledgment. A simple of acknowledgement that there is a whole sub-category of church goers that rarely are heard from from their point of view and perspective.

Andy Stanley once said, “If you are a preacher’s kid, you see the church differently.

I’m not a gold-star preacher’s kid, meaning I wasn’t born into it like some of you have been. However, I have been a preacher’s kid during some of the most important times in life: my teenage years, my college years, and my foray into adulthood: my twenties, and have been in some precarious. at times ridiculous and hilarious, situations- some of which would make for excellent reality TV. (Coming soon to Bravo… I’m joking). I’ve learned a lot about people: good, bad, and ugly (we’ll get to all that- later). I’ve learned a lot about my faith. Most importantly, I’ve learned so much about myself. Over the years, I’ve been able to take a step back and look at things from a subjective point of view and with the observance of people like me- other preacher’s kids, other Christian millennials: other Christian millennial preacher’s kids. I’ve come to find that one of the major things that we call have in common is we all want to be heard and to connect. (I think it’s more of a human condition than just specifically a PK problem- we all want to belong and have a sense of community.)

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. 1 Chronicles 29:17a

I have a tendency to scare people with my honesty and my transparency, I don’t mean any harm by and definitely don’t intend to use this blog as a way to play the victim or to retaliate (In the words of my Twitter friend Sweet Brown: “Aint nobody got time for that!)- when you live in the proverbial “Christian fish bowl of being a preacher’s kid”- you start to lose a little bit of your humanity because you feel like you are constantly on display.
You can’t hide or run away because people are always watching.

Gwen Ifill said, “I’m a preacher’s kid, and we are always told, act right all the time because someone’s always watching”

“…always watching.” That can be overwhelming for someone in their teens or their twenties : hormonal, insecure, irrational, prone to mistakes. If you’re not careful, you start to define yourself by the expectations that come along with the title, the opinions of people who don’t ever know you, and the rules that people make that they don’t even live up to themselves.  I think that’s why so many of us end of running from our faith, our church, our parents, and ourselves. I think that’s why so many of us turn to partying, drinking, meaningless sex with people that never will care, because we are looking for ourselves. We’re looking for our humanity, for grace, and for someone to come along and just simply understand and maybe join us on our journey.

So this “confession” is really just an acknowledgement: you’re seen, you’re heard, you’re understood. This is just a simple attempt to join you on your journey by sharing parts of my own.