“For many, having a pastor for a dad is nothing short of a nightmare.”
-Joel Kingham, Legacy Co-Director
You are probably referred to a lot as a PK (pastor’s kid), or MK (missionary kid). We think that stinks. We would simply like to call you by your first name, no labels, just you for who you are and who you are becoming. En Gedi Retreat is for you, and even more than just a location, we are here for you. Maybe you are a 15 year old whose dad is a pastor, or a 65 year old whose parents were missionaries; we would love to listen to your journey and be there for you. Don’t hesitate to call or write, we have been “there”, in fact, we are “there.”
From one PK to another:
Yes, I am a PK, too, or I was one. In reality, I guess once a PK, always a PK. So how do you feel about being a PK? Maybe cool with it? Indifferent? Angry? Embarrassed? Proud? Frustrated? Blessed? Deprived? All of the above and more? I can relate. I have had each of those feelings at different times because of my parents’ full-time ministry commitments. Money seemed to always be a struggle, vacations are few and far between and when I was a much younger PK, I always hated going back to school and hearing other kids talk about where they had gone on vacation…neat places with cool attractions. I would usually just shrink away and move on to doing something else before the other kids wanted to know what neat thing I had done for vacation. My vacation was either a week at church camp—which I worked to pay for myself–or a trip to my grandparent’s farm. Well, fellow PKer, En Gedi Retreat is for you, and it’s not your grandparent’s farm.
-Steve Schmidt, Legacy Co-director
Joel Kingham on “What it’s like being a pastor’s kid”
I feel I am especially qualified to answer this question as I have grown up a pastor’s kid and recently turned missionary’s kid.
My experience growing up was mixed with both good and bad. Though many pastors are fantastic preachers and wear the many hats of the office with skill, to his kids ninety percent of what they see of their dad begins as he drags himself exhausted through the front door. Let me tell you first hand that seeing dad expend his energies for the congregation leaving little for his family is not a light burden to bear. Though it is part of the blessing it is also part of the curse of being a pastor’s kid.
Being a pastor’s kid is so much more than looking good sitting in the front row at the church service on Sunday, appearing to be engaged in dad’s sermon and being on your best behavior. Many PK’s find life challenging being a part of the coveted “inner-circle” of the congregation while trying to nail down their own identity. This unique life pulls PK’s in many different directions as they try their best to play the roles imposed upon them by their parents and the congregation. Being a missionary’s kid is very similar to a PK in that both are forced to live life “under a microscope” and it is exhausting! Though none of these kids chose this life, few would trade it. I would venture to say, however, that all PK’s would welcome a little understanding, both for their position in the spotlight and the opportunity to seclude themselves with their family, including dad, in the occasional time off that is so desperately needed.