The year was 1990. "New Kids on the Block" was the #1 boy band that climbed the music charts during the '80's and '90's, selling more than 80 million records worldwide. Every teenage girl I knew in the DFW area, including me, the "preacher's kid," had a major crush on the band. NKOTB was going to be in concert and I wanted to go with some church girlfriends. But there was a small problem.
I found out the concert would be on a Sunday night. I failed to tell my parents this minor detail because I knew what the answer would be. And I was right. They said, "No," when they found out. "Joanna, you know that's a church night. How would it look if the pastor's daughter was at a secular concert when she's supposed to be in church?" I can imagine my immature, dramatic, hormonal 9th grade self said, "It's not fair! You never let me do anything fun! I hate my life! Why can't I be like everyone else??"
I am quite certain I forgave my parents (well, actually, it was probably the other way around!) and my life was NOT forever ruined because I missed that concert. I actually loved being the pastor's kid, most days. Yes, I wanted to go with my friends to the NKOTB concert, but I respected and loved my parents more.
My parents often guarded me from things not in my best interest; they trusted me and gave me the freedom to experience my own mistakes in life. They prayed for me and my brother daily (and still do!) and did not put any unnecessary expectations on us just because Dad was the pastor. No doubt, back then it was challenging and it can still be challenging to raise pastor's kids who have to grow up and mature in a "fishbowl" on display for the whole church to see.
As a former "PK" myself, here are seven valuable things I want our "PKs" to know:
We know being a 'PK' does not mean being a "Perfect Kid." While they have a special, unique role in the ministry, they are also just normal kids who want and need the freedom to be themselves! Let's pray fervently for the 'PK's' we know, that God will protect them, bless them, grow them and give them a sensitivity to hearing and following God all the days of their lives!
Joanna Jespersen is the wife of Ryan Jespersen, Director of Urban Missions at Texas Baptists, and momma to two princesses, Rachel Beth (4) and Mary Kate (2). Being a pastor's wife in Dallas taught her a lot about the unique challenges and blessings of ministering in an urban setting. She has a heart for teaching and counseling, and enjoys crafting, thrifting and traveling with her family. She writes "love letters" to her little girls and really treasures the time she currently has being a stay-at-home-mom.