Sunday, December 28, 2014

My dad...(bow) | The Life of a Pastor (A PK's perspective)

Though he may never read this post, it's somehow dedicated to him. Well, Happy Birthday dad. (Dec 28)

Let's see, what is it like having a dad as a pastor... or a pastor as a dad? hmmm.

My dad as a Father

Growing up, I know that my dad is a Pastor, but I always see him as a dad. You may tend to think that Growing up as a PK is different than a non-Pastor/Deacon/Leader kid. It's actually the same, I guess, where I grew up normally and simply as a kid. Sure there are different experiences and as I have written here You are a Pastor's Kid if.., but what I loved in how they nurtured us (my sister and I) is that there were no pressures and they just let us grow up simply as kids. That's why I see my dad more as a Father rather than a Pastor.

There were no "rules" to be holy as far as I remember, no pressures into being "the good kid" or the "overly obedient kid because your dad is a pastor." He never used this line against me: "You are a PK so you must be..." Well, he used it once, jokingly, where I forgot to bring my Bible in a camp service, but he never used that line against me, or my personality. I heard other people use the line against me, but not my dad. When we are in a teasing fest, and they lose, bam! they use the line against me. "Your dad is a Pastor, and yet you are like that?" I guess, as I viewed him as my dad rather than a Pastor, he also viewed us as their children and not church kids to control or use. There were no pressures from him for me to be a bible-person, or a song leader, or the very active kid in church, etc.
The pressures to be a bible person actually comes from teachers, or fellow sunday school attendees, or at our Christian school and also from myself at times. But there are times when I compare myself to other PK's who really are bible-people, I lose. They are more knowledgeable with the Bible, amazing with their talents, well behaved - in short, a so called perfect PK.

I am the noisy kid at church (our first church) and my dad often gets angry at me after service for being loud, or my mom will get angry at me there or at home, and of course I get the belt, :) But even with this correction, they never say "You need to behave because I am the Pastor" rather, they correct me for doing wrong, and not to protect their name or status.
[If you want to read about our church transfer, I talked about it here: Growing up as pk and my life changing experience]

They let us study and grow up in a Christian school but after we graduated, they never required us to go to Bible School first before going to a secular one. Like I said, no pressure. I know some Pastors who do that with their children, and I'm not saying they are better or my dad is better in how they let me and my sister grow up. But I know that they know going to Bible school should not be "forced" but voluntary. It should be a burden for the person himself, which is also why I want to go into seminary probably after my sister is done (in two years) and when I am fully prepared emotionally, mentally and financially.

My dad as a Pastor

As a kid in our first church, I never realized the awesomeness, blessings, struggles, hardships of being a Pastor. It is only as I matured in my faith that I appreciate my dad being a Pastor, other Pastors and the preaching profession. My appreciation for my dad as a Pastor started in our 3rd church, where we are at now, because this is where I grew in my faith, and where I saw my dad's passion in being a Pastor. [Here is a picture of our youth group :) Youth]

I actually appreciate my dad, of course, as a dad and a Pastor but I fully appreciate him as a Pastor during my late teens when my faith was growing. I became fully aware of his hardships, and his passion in being a Pastor. Before, it may just slip my mind, but now I can see it and fully appreciate his actions. There was one time, our old church member casually mentions to almost everyone "We must be grateful for how kind our Pastor is" when my dad is the only one who is driving our church members home. At least now me and our song leader can drive and we are the ones driving our service van. 

My dad is more of a Pastor for the mountains, since he had a lot of students who are now pastors in their own provinces. He is often invited to go to preach at their churches, and we travel with him as I have written here: The blessing of mission trips

Another story was when my dad was invited to preach at a church in the province. Usually, the church who invited will give a love gift offering to the speaker, but when I saw what my dad did, I almost teared up. Instead of accepting the love gift, he gave it back and even added more for him. He saw the passion of the Pastor, and I appreciate the both of them for their passion in the ministry. Btw, it is our first time to meet the Pastor there, and we were invited through their neighbor, a Pastor, who is also close friends with my dad.

I am deeply hurt when I see people posting this picture, or pictures that implies that Pastors, Preachers, etc only steal from their members. Sure there really are people like that, but it still hurts to see it.  I know that my dad is passionate in being a Pastor, and his support from our church is just enough for us. By today's "success" standards, our monthly support is relatively small. Our lifestyle is pretty average, but it is not from our church's offering. If richness is what my dad is after, for sure we have left the church and the ministry long ago. My dad would have focused more on his farming and grass shredder sideline, that he only worked on when we started out in our church now as the support we receive was barely enough. My mom had to go for training for a job while dad was busy in the church. The monthly support at that time would not be enough since we also need gas just to go to church, 20km away from home - 1 hour drive. That's why it hurts to see those kinds of images specially when they don't know my dad and how passionate he is in the ministry. 

If my dad was doing his Pastorate for the money, he wouldn't have accepted the invites to speak in the churches located in the provinces. Considering that he knows we will not receive much support, sometimes none at all, he still goes and drives even if it is far (around 10hours drive, kilometers away, plus our expenses and etc). His passion to be a blessing to others, and to serve God is what I appreciate in him. A sacrifice of our possessions, time, effort which is nothing compared to when God sacrificed his own Son for our salvation and Christ's sacrifice of his riches, glory, and life for us.

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