- PK's and their families become strongly connected to the people in their congregation. They consider everyone as family even to the point of calling each other "brother" and "sister." They worship, laugh, cry, eat, and play together. On the occasion a member decides to leave or cause division in the congregation, it is sad because the PK has made an emotional and spiritual connection with this person.
- PK's lives are often lonely even though their lives are busy. This is due to a several reasons. Some young people do not live their lives according to the instruction of the pastor and so they exclude the PK in any of their activities because they are afraid the PK will tell his/her dad what they did. (Most PK's would never tell because they are starved for the friendship and fellowship.) Loneliness can also be caused from not getting to "bear your heart" with your friends. All conversations are approached with caution.
- PK's schedules are often interrupted. A planned trip to the beach may get cancelled because someone had a serious accident and dad now has to go to the hospital. The phone sometimes rings in the middle of the night and dad leaves to help someone. Just when you think you are smooth sailing, one phone call can change the entire day or week.
- PK's are considered examples for the other kids of the church and, spoken sarcastically, "God forbid the PK does something wrong." I have never expected my kids to be examples and will not tell them they need to be one. Rather, I tell them they need to behave in a certain manner because that is what God would have them do. We do right because it is the right thing to do. In so doing, the PK will be a good example.
- PK's sometimes struggle because others misjudge them or are jealous of them. Sometimes the struggle is knowing "Bro. Holy" is a hypocrite. This is a big reason why many PK's lose out with God because they become disillusioned. It is also another reason why I have taught my kids there ARE hypocrites and there ARE Christians. Don't worry about the hypocrites. God will take care of them.
- PK's just "know" what is going on. Their parents can shelter them, never tell them what is happening in the church, but they will "know." They are keenly aware to what is happening. More than mom or dad will ever know.
Now don't shoot me because I have been real. There are many blessings to being a PK but sometimes one big problem can rock their boat to the point of giving up. I had a PK respond to the previous post stating, "... just knowing that you were a PK and survived with words to help others helps me. Thanks for your blogs and esp. this one." Because of that response, I want to make a statement to PK's.PK, being a survivor depends upon how much fight you have deep inside and how real God is to you. You must know you believe what you believe not because of your parents. Read the Bible and understand it for yourself. If there are things you don't understand, ask your parents or your presbyter, or your district superintendent or a minister you respect. Don't seek counsel from other young people. On the roughest day, remind yourself that God is on your side and you can fight your way through the bad day. When you face a hypocrite, remind yourself there ARE some Christians. When youth exclude you, pray that God will change them or remove them. That sounds rough, but it works. Sometimes God changed them and they apologized to me. Other times, God moved the "thorn in my side." God said He wouldn't put more on you than you can bear. When you have an unbearable day, remind God of His promise to you. I have told God, "You said You wouldn't put more on me than I can bear and I can't take this junk." He heard me and He helped me. If all else fails, remember that Sis. Jana Allard said, "You can do it!" I believe in you.
The good definitely out-weighs the bad, but the bad days are soooo heavy because we are soooo emotionally and spiritually connected. I think all of us would readily admit we wouldn't change our lives of ministry, but we should be honest enough to admit there are days, even if they are few, we feel whipped, lonely, and beat up. BUT.........I can do all things through Christ.