Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pastors Kid Resources

In May I'm helping to lead our district's Pastors' Kids' retreat, and I've been online looking for resources. Specifically I'd like to find a book i could give them as a take-home present that would encourage them in their faith and in their specific challenges to their faith. There are plenty of books available for teens on the topic, but so far I can't find anything that's written with a PK in mind. I'm even having a hard time finding stuff that is written for teens in general that would be appropriate for PKs. The problem is that pastors' kids see things that many other kids and teens don't see, and those things have a profound impact on their faith. They don't need books summarizing the Bible; most of them are the most faithful members of their Sunday school classes. They don't need books describing God's nature; they have in-house theologians who have probably already done that.

My guess is that they need something that answers questions like: "How can I believe in God when my family has worked so hard to serve him but bad things keep happening to us?" "How can I feel good about church when I've seen it's darker side?" "Why would i want to be a Christian when i've seen all the dumb things "Christians" have done, and the way some of them have treated me and my parents?" "Why would I want to be a part of an institution that i've seen suck the life out of my Dad/Mom?"

Obviously not all of these questions would be relevant to all pastor's kids, and not all PKs have the same experience. For some, being the pastor's kid may not have made their lives much different than it would have been otherwise. But for many, their lives, and their experiences with God and the Church, are vastly different from those of the other young people in their communities.

But i've found next to no resources dealing with these issues. I found one website and one book dedicated to adult PKs. I also found one out of print book that looked like it was written for counselors and dealt with helping PK's. But beyond that i've found nothing in print. No books for teens, no books for parents that dealt exclusively with raising PK's, and no websites dedicated to them. And honestly that makes no sense to me.

The unique situation of a pastor's kid is something that we've recognized in western Christendom for years, if not centuries. Surely there are no fewer pastors' kids out there than there are pastors, but there are tons of books written every year for pastors. Have the market analysts really determined that nobody's interested in buying books about raising or being a PK?

So i'm writing this post to (1) see if any of you out there know of any good resources you could recommend to me, and (2) in the hopes that this little post on this little blog in cyberspace would spark the realization in a writer or a publisher somewhere that there are a lot of PK's out there who could use encouragement, a lot of pastors out there who could use advice in raising their kids, and a few PK's out there who grew up to be youth pastors and really care about PKs and could use some resources in their efforts to support them (like me). Maybe someone could write a little book for us?


Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Joyous and I am the youngest of five children raised by a pastor. I am working on a documentary here in NYC about PKs. I too have found very little written about this subject and I am amazed by how many people are interested in understanding this unique upbringing. If you have any PKs out there who would like to take our survey please feel free to contact me.

Joy said...

Hey Joyous! Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I'm so glad you're working on a project about this! I hope people will contact you to take the survey - what's the best way to get in touch with you?

Anonymous said...

Hi there...I have been working on a book for teenage pk's for a few years now and am almost done. It is a huge need! Many pk's have contributed their stories and experiences for the book in order to help other pk's. If you would like any info fee free to e-mail me at