My dad has been a pastor for my entire life. That fact instantly places me into the “pastor’s kid” category with the likes of Katy Perry, the Jonas Brothers, NBA coach Phil Jackson, and even famed actor Denzel Washington.
Growing up in the church there were obvious expectations about me and my sisters as a result in us being PK’s. I think we knew about most of the expectations from those within and those outside of the church, but my parents did a great job of sheltering us from some of those expectations and allowed us to grow up “normal”.
As a pastor’s kid, I honestly tried to convince myself to never become a pastor. I was willing to break the family tradition of going into the ministry even with a grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers who pastored local congregations. I’m thankful that the Lord had other plans and I can honestly say that I don’t believe my own father ever “pressured” me to become a pastor.
Sure there was the “listen to this Injoy Life Club tape by Dr. James Maxwell and write me a page-full of notes and I’ll give you $5″ ploy to challenge me in ministry-related leadership. That ‘job’ of listening to those tapes and writing out those notes netted me numerous opportunities to visit the fireworks stands and feed my pyromania. Thanks, Dad!
Even without “pressure” to become a pastor or go into some sort of full-time ministry opportunity, there is something natural now that I am, in fact, IN full-time ministry in a local church setting. I attribute some of it to growing up ‘in’ the church. Sometimes quite literally – when the church and our home were connected by a simple doorway, some of the rooms in the church were our playrooms!
I’m thankful for those years growing up and singing as a family, visits with my dad to the nursing home, hospitals, and people’s homes. I’m thankful for seeing ministry played out not just from the pulpit but also in real-time in our living room and around the kitchen table.
And I’m proud to carry on the ministry-life heritage that the Lord has blessed numerous generations of the Sheets-family with. I’m humbled (and often petrified) that God would choose to have me pastor a congregation in a community like ours.
And I’m willing. I’m willing to continue to commit my whole-life to His service – to do His will – to follow His leading. And to lead my family as a God-fearing, Christ-following dad who also happens to be a pastor.
And of course I’ll speculate about what my kids’ experience with the church will mean for their futures. My prayer is that they too will experience Jesus first and fall in love with Him so that they can learn to love His broken church as much as He does.
Last night before worship team practice, Ella & Ezra were dancing around on the stage (as all good pastor’s kids learn to do) and they both picked up microphones to mimic Mommy & Daddy…
Ella also blessed us with a verse of “Jesus Loves Me”.