I wasn’t a PK (Preacher’s Kid) but I was a DK (Deacon’s Kid) and the PKs and the DKs hung out together a lot. I know from watching my PK friends that being the minister’s kids can be difficult. The minister’s kid sometimes gets a bad rap and sometimes even a pretty raw deal. Here are some thoughts on how to minister to the minister’s kid effectively:
- Allow your minister to put his family first. Nurturing and building relationships with family takes effort, energy, and time. Your minister needs to know that he has permission to be the spouse and parent God intends. Allow your minister to set the standard for your church.
- Treat their parent with love and respect. Most kids think their dad (or mom) is the greatest! Their relationship with parents is often the basis for their relationship with the heavenly Father. It’s amazing how many ministers’ kids become disillusioned with God because of the way the church treated their parent.
- Allow your minister’s kids to be human. The minster’s kids are just like any other kids. They have good days and bad days. They enjoy some things more than others. They want to be treated like the rest of the group.
- Offer a helping hand. Have you ever noticed that when your minister is at church they are pretty busy? Have you noticed that during worship your minister’s kids might need some extra love? Offer to sit with your minister’s family when needed.
- Offer to be adopted grandparents. Every kid needs to be spoiled rotten by their grandparents, yet many of our ministers’ kids live a long way from their extended family and don’t get that opportunity. Consider adopting your minister’s kids a couple times a year for some VIP treatment.
- Give gifts that include your minister’s kids. Ministers often receive gifts of appreciation during the year. Consider giving a family-inclusive gift like theme park passes, a zoo membership, gift cards to a local movie theater, or tickets to special events in your community.
- Recognize the kids’ sacrifice to the church. On special occasions, celebrations, milestones, and anniversaries, acknowledge the entire family’s service and sacrifice. Kids often share their parent during evenings and weekends because of church ministries and needs. Recognize and appreciate their part in ministry.
- Talk with the kids about themselves. Speak to the kids, not just the minister. Resist the urge to always bring up their parent and church stuff. Take the time to discover their interests and have conversations with them about them. Find ways to make them feel special.
- Take your minister and his family to lunch. The next time you take your minister and his family for a meal, ask his kids to pick the restaurant.
- Make your minister’s kids feel valued. Look for opportunities to encourage, congratulate, and dote over your minister’s kids. Celebrate good grades, recitals, sports games, and school achievements.
Since 2003 Bill Emeott has served as a Kids Ministry Specialist for LifeWay. His passions include childhood ministry leadership training and development, leading children’s Bible Study, and being an uncle! Bill has been teaching children at First Baptist Nashville for ten years.