Ministry Journey Blog

Thoughts on Ministry

12 Mar

Thoughts on Being a PK (Pastors Kid)

Posted in Uncategorized on 12.03.19 by Merlyn

Below is a blog post that my friend and colleague, Dan Bellinger wrote. You can visit his blog page here.

I’m a part of an exclusive group of people in the world, as I’m a pastor’s kid. Growing up, many of my closest friends were PK’s. The childhood of PK’s is different and weird, for many reasons, mostly because of your parent’s career choice. There are many cool things that came out of my dad’s choice in vocation, primarily my call to ministry. My experience helped me learn to adapt to new situations and helped me meet people from all over the world. But not all pastor’s kids have the same experience.

Many, if not most, of the people I grew up with, had close family and family friends living nearby. I never had the privilege of living near my grandparents. Often many of my friends had cousins and aunts and uncles nearby, I never did. This meant that the holidays were always chaotic, but it also meant that special times, like birthdays, were celebrated away from my home. 

I moved quite a bit as a pastor’s kid. I moved when I was 5 months old, 4 years old, 9 years old, 13 years old. I’m a more reserved person, so this was a difficult thing for me. I remember one time we moved, we couldn’t keep our dog with us, I loved my dog. Another time, I remember the impact of losing all my really close friends, and having to make all new friends in a new town; that was rough. I always felt that I was new and that I didn’t quite belong, at least as much as everybody else. They were “from here”, I moved here.

The house I lived in, was a parsonage. And from a very young age, I had to be aware that my home wasn’t our home. One church didn’t let my dad mow our own lawn. When my brother and I got into a fight and put a massive hole in the wall, it wasn’t a private matter, it was something that had to be discussed with church people, a fact that we were quite well aware of.

Even going to church was weird. Everybody knew who I was at the church, while at the same there were many people I didn’t know. This was a difficult thing, can you imagine people knowing personal details about you when you barely recognize them or remember their name? It’s an unsettling feeling. There could be a group of kids playing, and I would be the one that was recognized. We would all be doing something, but I was the one who’s parents heard about it.

Many people had an opinion about the way that I acted or how I should have acted. They weren’t afraid to share this opinion with us or my parents. Like all normal children, there were times I struggled to follow the rules. Unlike many children, I experienced church in a fishbowl. All of this was because of the career and calling that my father chose. As you can imagine, this pressure and lifestyle lead many PK’s to struggle with church. 

As a pastor, who now is the father of 2 PK’s, I’m a bit more aware of this reality. I get to watch my kids — and Jessica and Marcus’ kids for that matter— grow up with the same awareness that I had. Everybody knows their names and knows about their lives. And like my parents, I get the behavior reports from people in the congregation about my kids. And while I am thankful to be a part of a church who loves and supports them, I hope that their experience is healthy and normal.

With that in mind, here are my tips for how to act around pastor’s kids:

Please pray for our PK’s as their life can be tricky. 

Remember you probably know more about them than they do about you and that this can feel awkward to a child and teenager.

Keep comments about clothing, hairstyle, etc. positive and rare. Making critical comments about how they look can hurt kids and are inappropriate.

Treat them like any other kid in church. They’re normal kids, just have parents with a unique job.

We know they misbehave. Unless they’re hurting somebody or something no need to report. 

Like most kids, sometimes they’re not comfortable talking to adults.

Being critical, mean, and judgmental about a pastor’s kid feels like an attack on their parent.

As a pastor, I am aware that my kids didn’t ask for the PK life that they live. As our families join us in our work, please know we are trusting you with them. Being a loving and supportive church family to our families is the greatest gift you can give any pastor.

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01 Mar

Airline Rankings

Posted in Uncategorized on 01.03.19 by Merlyn

I decided to update my airline ranking from last year given that I have been doing a lot of traveling the last year. My work in ministry has had me traveling all around. I have had the privilege to travel to 40 states, 25 countries (not counting U.S.) and 5 continents since graduating high school. In that time I have flown with many airlines. Some are still operating, others are not. Some were major airlines, others were not. Some were U.S. based airlines and others were not. Below are my rankings for airlines I have flown with that are still operating from best to worst.

1. Qatar

2. Southwest

3. Delta 

4. Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon

5. Swiss Air

6. American

7. Lufthansa

8. Turkish airlines

9. LATAM Air

10. Qantas

11. Virigin Australia

12. Kenya Air

13. KLM

14. United

15. US-Bangla Airlines

16. Frontier

17. Allegiant

18. Air Buddha

19. Jet Star

20. Biman Bangladesh Airline

21. El Al

600. China Eastern

666. Air Canada

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