Redeeming the PK: The freedom to be yourself

Noah Clifton is a high school Freshman, who enjoys playing in the high school youth band at church and going on mission trips. Noah is also a pastor’s kid. This is his experience as a PK.

I have been a pastor’s kid since I was two, so pretty much my entire living memory. My grandfather is also a pastor, which makes me the second generation of pastor’s kids. I guess you could say I am pretty deep into it.

Being a pastor’s kid is definitely different from other kids’ experiences. Other kid’s parents go to work at corporate-type jobs where they may or may not even visit them at work. But, growing up as a PK, I have been able to experience a lot of what my dad does first hand. I have gone to work with him several times, and it’s not the typical desk job. He does outreach, prays with people and stuff like that, so I think it’s different than many of my friend’s parents.

I have had a good experience over all. I like knowing my dad’s co-workers. There are several people he works with that I feel like I can hit up for anything. They know us well and they take good care of us. They really feel more like family. There is even one guy on staff that I refer to as my uncle, even though he’s not technically my uncle. It’s nice to have all of these people who feel more like family than anything. Whenever my siblings and I play sports, there is always at least one person from staff who is our emergency contact, so we are really close.

Probably the hardest part of being a pastor’s kid is that my dad travels a lot. I don’t think that is super typical for most pastor’s kids, but he travels a good bit throughout the year. The plus side is that sometimes we actually get to go with him. Last year he was able to go to Africa and I got to go with him. In a few weeks, he will be going to Phoenix, and he is taking my brother with him on that trip.

Especially when I was younger, I felt there were unfair presumptions about how I should act and behave. I am no different from any of the other kids, other than my dad being the pastor. I just wanted to be treated like the other kids in the church. Once, I even remember a lady disciplining me for running in church and saying that I should know better since I was the pastor’s kid. But, I remember my dad reminding her that I wasn’t any different than the other kids, and it was nice to have him stand up for me.

Overall, I really enjoy church. I really love being involved. My parents actually tell me to slow down sometimes. I am in the youth band, I go on mission trips, I am really involved in youth and I don’t feel like I have to do any of them, I just love being involved. I love that I get to know everyone. I feel like being a pastor’s kid has created really good community for me.

My advice for other pastor’s kids is to always be willing to help. I know it may feel like you are put on a pedestal sometimes, but don’t let that get to you. You should feel the freedom to be yourself and to mess up sometimes. You are a normal kid, your dad just has a special job.

Honestly, if I got to choose what my dad’s job was, I would not change it.

Published July 13, 2017