Speak highly of their parents
Every child wants to know their parents not only do right by them, but others as well. This is especially true for a pastor’s child since their parents are involved in world were people “shoot their own.” They need to know their parents made the right choice when they were being obedient to the call God placed on their life, and you can do that by sharing the many victories their parents are involved in. Furthermore, a pastor’s child needs to continually be reaffirmed their parents are doing a great job, because of the many disgruntled church members who will voice their opinion about the pastor’s decision. And the last thing they need to hear is their youth pastor chiming in with the rest of the crowd.
Open your home
You may already do this for all of your students, but make sure your pastor’s child has a personal invitation to your household. Church life has the ability to spill over into the home, and pastor’s child needs a safe place to just be away from it all. Our houses have the opportunity to be a safe haven for our pastor’s children to just breathe and be themselves. Moreover, make sure your pastor knows their child always has an open invitation to your place, in case of emergencies or when an unexpected “church meeting” takes place.
Affirm their choice to follow Christ
A pastor’s child may not have a choice when it comes to the life their parents have chosen for their family, but they do have a choice when it comes to their relationship with Jesus Christ. This one truth will help your pastor’s child navigate the trials that will challenge their faith. Remind them often that they
choose the type of relationship they have with Christ, and how discipleship looks like to them. They live in a world where it can feel like their entire faith is forced on them, let them know they own their faith and nobody else controls it.
Don’t put unrealistic expectations on them
Because of their status as a pastor’s child, we can place higher expectations on them we wouldn’t normally put on other students. When we do this, we automatically set them up for failure. We need to remember they are teenagers, which means they too deal with all the craziness that comes with being one. Furthermore, we need to remind the other students about doing this as well. So when your pastor’s child makes a mistake and everyone makes the comment, “Aren’t you the pastor’s kid?” Make sure to step in and remind the other students he or she is no different from them, and that they all need grace.
In the end, what I have written isn’t anything new. In fact, I’m sure many of you are already doing this; however, what I want this post to do is to be a gentle reminder you are already leading up just by doing your job. In our quest to become a presence in our churches, we can sometimes forget the one thing that determines how much of voice we have is the one thing we are called to do. Love your students and their parents, but don’t forget about doing the same for your pastor and his child.