Texas Baptist Voices

Richard Ray: A lesson from the heart of a minister’s child

Last time, we talked about the importance of pastor-to-pastor fellowship, and we heard from the heart of a pastor’s wife. This week, I want us to hear from the heart of a minister’s child.

So often, the ones most affected in ministry are those we call our children and others call “Preacher’s Kids” or “PKs.” They may be called PKs, but I am not so sure the PK is OK with that. We do not acknowledge enough of the pressures minister’s children go through. I want you to hear from two minister’s kids I asked to share with you. These are words from two preachers kids, ages 21 and 17.

richard ray130Richard Ray“Waking up early, bear hugs, falling asleep in the pews, involuntarily volunteering for every church event. These are all memories most of us have. By us, I mean preacher’s kids. Little do people know what us PKs go through. One of them being that we are even called PKs instead of having a real name. The struggle is real. Not only is it overwhelming at times, but also in a lot of cases, it can be gratifying to have this role.

“It is not easy; you learn early on that as a preacher’s kid you have a responsibility to be perfect. Everybody who knows your father expects you to be just like him. The pressure on you is more than a normal kid. Your slip-ups can be a bigger deal than you think. You are forced to turn the other cheek, forgive your enemies and do the right thing every time. We all have heard it, “Preacher’s kids are the worst,” but in retrospect, we are all human. Nothing makes us less or more than anybody else. Plus, there is a huge blessing of being part of a life and family who have such great love for the Lord.

“Sometimes, I wonder would I love God so much if I weren’t a preacher’s kid. That is when I realize that being a preacher’s kid in itself is a blessing. Simply having a family who are Christians is something many people wish they had growing up. I have experienced many adventures as a PK such as mission trips, traveling the United States, youth groups, church camp, and the best one is seeing people receive salvation—seeing your own father having a part of a life-changing decision many of them take. I have to say that is pretty cool! There is lots of “ups” in the life of a preacher’s kid.

texas baptist voices right120“There might be some struggles of being a PK, but none of that really compares to the great adventures. Good always overcomes bad. The only difference being a PK and a K is the P. However, we all understand that our fathers are trying to do their best to make this world a better place and spread the word of God.”

I pray this article helps you understand the heart of a preacher’s kid. If you are a minister with children, then I pray you take a moment and hug your children, thanking them for their sacrifice as they live in a world where others look upon them as they do you.

I want to thank my two children Chrissy and Josalyne for sharing their heart with you in this article. I thank all my five children, who have seen the highs and the lows of ministry in helping me serve the Lord as he has called me to serve.

Remember, God has called you to serve, but God has not called you to serve alone. Let us be your advocate, your resource, and your prayer partner as you fulfill your calling. Until next time, please visit our website

Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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