Prodigal PKs? (Pastor Kids)

Pastors KidsDavid Kinnaman, president and majority owner of Barna Group, recently directed research on pastors’ kids.  According to the results of that survey, many children of pastors experience significant doubt regarding their faith and/or have left the church entirely.  More specifically, pastors with children ages 15 or older indicated that the following accurately describes their child(ren):

  • 7% – no longer a Christian,
  • 33% – no longer actively involved in church, and
  • 40% went through a period of significant doubt regarding their faith.

So What?

There are many reasons why 1 out of every 3 children of pastors are no longer involved in the church.  This research suggests that the top two reasons such individuals struggle with their faith are (1) unrealistic expectations placed on them by others and (2) exposure to negative aspects of the church.

  • Are you surprised to learn that 1 out of every 3 people raised by a family that included a parent who was a pastor is no longer actively involved in church? Explain.
  • In what ways are the expectations your congregation has on your pastor(s) helpful to their children insofar as their own faith development? In what ways are the expectations harmful?  Is there anything that your key leadership bodies should be doing differently in this area?

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