In case you are wondering why that Tuskys paper bag on the right side of the photo is doing there, kindly understand that My dad and I are not running any promotions for them. In fact, it’s a terrible habit that I will address sometime… LITTERING. So I guarantee, that we had nothing to do it. And that lady behind there doesn’t even know a part of her was captured in this photo. Anyway, moving on so fast from all that irrelevance and super dry failed joke. That is my dad, a loving God-fearing man who is a father to four dear children, a husband to my mother, a lecturer and most importantly my Pastor. I like this picture simply because we wore similar colours that Sunday when we were dedicating the new church that we currently worship in. And after 22 years of being a PK, I have learnt a thing or two about being a child of a minister. LIES! I have learnt quite a lot, and I will try to summarise it in only 20 points…
Every PK knows that….
1. YOU JUST CAN’T MISS A SUNDAY SERVICE.
How now?? You are the son or daughter of the Senior pastor. There is just no way you can miss a single service yet the head of the family you were born into is the head of the church that you worship in. Yes, Sunday school was simply compulsory as well. I remember growing up, that church was right in our compound. I mean, just outside our house! Our compound was a garage during the weekdays, and a church on Sunday. There was no escape. When the church was built elsewhere, the only way you could miss church was either if you were sick or ‘sick’. Am sure the difference is clear to all of us.
2. FAMILY VACATIONS IN EASTER AND CHRISTMAS ARE SIMPLY A DREAM
When your Minister father or mother is the one leading the service on these particular dates, well you might as well kiss family vacays goodbye for that period. And yes, your best friend will definitely tell you how they went on a family holiday to Mombasa, Dubai and even Hawaii. Adding salt to your wound.
3. YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE FOOD READY IN THE HOUSE AT ANY TIME
Friends, do not judge me too harshly for what I am about to say. I love people, I really do. But congregants just have a way of having problems that require the pastor’s attention at around lunch time and even dinner. And yes, the pastor’s family in these moments turns into a restaurant. No one should ever tell me that a PK can’t be a waiter or waitress! That is first-hand training right there with abundant blessings thereafter.
4. UNTIDINESS IN A PASTOR’S HOUSE IS UNCALLED FOR
This is simply because anyone from anywhere can pop in at any time. Especially if your mother just so happens to be the Choir director or the leader of the Women’s committee in the church. In case, it isn’t clean, and the door bell rings… HURRY! Just HURRY and throw those unwanted items under or behind the sofas. No one will bother to check them there.
5. P.K ALSO STANDS FOR POPULAR KID OR PRESIDENT’S KID
Truth be told, when you are a PK, you are famous. In your village, estate and sometimes school, everyone knows you as the child of the great Man of God. Yes, you lose your identity in that blessed house. You will forever be ‘Mtoto wa pastor’. Worse still, they will predict your future career.. that you will definitely be a pastor and continue the legacy of your parents.
6. YOU JUST CAN’T MAKE A MISTAKE
All PKs have their fair share of strict parents. As a PK, being involved in any form of mischief and deception earns you severe judgement from the public. But I must admit that girls have it tougher than the boys. As a pastor’s daughter, you just can’t be seen roaming around your estate or village with a boy. No way! Your parents’ reputation depends on your behaviour. You will always hear, “Yaani alifanya hivyo? Na yeye ni Mtoto Wa Pastor?”, i.e. How could he/she do that yet they are a pastor’s kid? When you get pregnant, it is not easily forgiven compared to when someone else does. That’s just the truth.
7. YOU DESIRE TO HAVE A MOVING TESTIMONY JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE
You see, before you know the ways of the world, you will hear all kinds of testimonies in church that will make you feel like you are too holy. During testimonials, congregants go one by one and publicly declare how they were once thieves, drug dealers, con artists etc. And the rest of the congregation celebrates and jubilates when they say that they are saved thereafter. All you have done is stolen sugar, and oh, you lied because you just wanted to go out and hang out with your friends, so the Father of Lies makes you feel like you need to do a ‘greater’ sin than the usual.
8. YOU JUST DO NOT FULLY COMPREHEND THIS WORD ‘SALVATION’
I can’t even begin to count the number of PKs who have told me that they were the kids who would get saved every Sunday. The reason for this is simple, PKs just don’t know what it means. I think our young minds then told us that when we committed sin, we had to be saved again because your previous salvation has just gone down the drain. I personally think I have been ‘saved’ close to 100 times. Haha! But salvation occurs only once and it is final.
9. YOU MIGHT BE FORCED TO BE IN CHURCH BEFORE TIME
I do not mean that your minister parent will hold a whip and tell you that you have to go to church early. Circumstances just thrust you into this inescapable situation. You see, when your church is some kilometres away, kilometres that will take you close to two hours to reach there, then you are stuck going to church with your minister parent. You know why? Because you cannot miss church and your parent just has to be there earlier than the congregation. When the church service begins at 10, oh you bet you will be in church between 8:30 am and 9:00 am. Yes, it is the blessing and curse of being a PK. But blessed are the PKs who can just walk to church and are not bound by their parents’ early schedule.
10. YOU MIGHT JUST BE FORCED TO LEAVE CHURCH LATER THAN USUAL
You see, after church, your minister parent needs to meet with the new members/visitors in the church. He has to exchange pleasantries with them and make them feel completely welcome. He also needs to meet with the church elders and deacons in order to discuss some crucial matters about the church services and affairs, especially those that are scheduled for the next Sunday.
11. YOU WILL PROBABLY ATTEND MORE CEREMONIES THAN YOUR PEERS
When people celebrate the auspicious occasion of marriage,your minister parent will be called to officiate the ceremony. In unfortunate circumstances when they lose their loved one, who will they turn to other than your minister parent? And oh yes, that special occasion of baptism,your minister parent is on someone else’s speed dial for that. Sometimes you had to tag along because you are too young to stay in the house alone. But when you are old enough, well, you can always stay home alone.
12. YOUR FAMILY JUST MIGHT BE HYPOCRITICAL
Trust me, I am not airing our dirty linen in public but what I am about to say might just be the case in most families; whether pastor’s families or not. But in the pastor’s family, the issue is aggravated in one way or another. A minister parent might just have fought with their spouse that very Sunday morning, but going to church they will smile and laugh with the congregants as if nothing happened. I grew up with three older siblings (yes I am the last born), and we would fight just before church yet we were told to pretend that nothing happened when we went there. I am just saying this because Pastor’s families seem to be the perfect reference of how an ideal Christian family should be. But the truth of the matter is, we have family problems just like everybody else.
13. LEAVING CHURCH WHEN YOUR MINISTER PARENT IS PREACHING IS A CRIME
Other members of the congregation have the freedom to walk out or walk in at whatever time they please. But this ‘freedom’ is not extended to you. If you do, and your minister parent happens to see you, you might just have to answer quite a number of questions when you get home.
14. YOU WILL PROBABLY BE QUESTIONED ON WHAT THE SERMON WAS ABOUT
Our family has a tradition of discussing what was preached during the service. That means that during the Sunday service, I am SUPER attentive. I am keen to hear every single thing being mentioned because I will be required to ‘present’ all that I have learnt. I am pretty sure not all congregants and their families actually sit down to discuss what the preacher spoke about.
15. YOU JUST MIGHT BE STRUGGLING WITH AN ADDICTION
Here is another area that I have discovered countless numbers of PKs who are just struggling with some things. PKs are sometimes forced to live a life of hypocrisy. This is a touchy issue, but the truth must be known. It could be drugs, porn, sex, alcohol…. you name it. One way or another a PK might just have struggled with some vice at one point in their life. Some could even still be addicted till now. MOVING ON!!!!
16. ‘OVER-SPIRITUALIZATION’ MIGHT JUST BE THE ORDER OF THE DAY IN YOUR HOME
Christ is the centre of our lives… and that’s the truth of the matter. But I think the case is pushed a bit too far in PKs families. I am not saying it is wrong to quote scripture during a family conflict, may my words not be twisted. I am just saying sometimes scripture is quoted without dealing with the main ROOT of the problem. I believe PKs will understand this effortlessly.
17. YOU HAVE PROBABLY HAD THAT PHASE OF REBELLION AND PRETEND ‘ATHEISM’
Growing up hearing about God and how he works wonders in people’s lives over and over again, every single day of your life might just turn out to be too monotonous for you. You end up being ‘tired’ of hearing about the Gospel and being that good innocent ‘church girl/boy’. Because you have not yet had an encounter with God and take for granted all the blessings that we experience from God, you don’t find fulfillment in him. You start running away from the church and even question God’s existence. I know I have. But the prayers of your minister parents work wonders at this particular point in your life.
18. YOU JUST MIGHT HAVE SOME SORT OF ‘PARANOIA’
Because of the reputation that you need to maintain on behalf of your parents, you need to be careful who you associate with. People talk. And they talk a whole lot more if you are a PK. Walking the streets might just make you feel that someone somewhere apart from God is watching you and just waiting for you to make a mistake.
19. YOU ARE AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN CHURCH ACTIVITIES
It is automatic that you are active in the youth ministry, attending all the youth functions and participating actively in them. Your younger sister is the Sunday School rep, your older brother just joined the married couples committee because he is newly wed. And we all know what exactly your parents do.
20. LONELINESS COULD PROBABLY MAKE YOU ANTI-SOCIAL
Honestly, sometimes no one just understands you. The good thing is, PKs find solace in each other. Your parents might try understanding you, your friends who aren’t PKs try to but they can’t. Life sucks, you hate everything, you love serving God and you just have no idea who you are. You are awkward, the world is awkward, you are complicated and everything else in your life just doesn’t make sense. It’s such an awkward isolation that you have no choice but to turn to God. Truth is, no one can understand you better than he does.
DISCLAIMER: ALL I HAVE WRITTEN ABOVE DOES NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT MY OWN PERSONAL VIEWS OF BEING A PK. IT IS JUST A GENERAL OUTLOOK ON THE LIVES OF EVERY PK BASED ON MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AND THAT OF OTHER PKS THAT I KNOW.????