A Message To American PK's

Being with preacher's or minister's kids (PK's) this past weekend was crazy. Some of the best students on the planet. I have said many times that PK retreats are one of my favorite settings to be in ministry.

Before the service started, the young man stood to speak to the students and district officials gathered in the worship center for the retreat and spoke of how he was not going to be in ministry because of the experiences he had as a PK. A smile came to my face because that is exactly what I was going to be talking about in just a few minutes. Whether we are teenage PK's considering ministry or not, it is this mindset that we have all been shaped with in America. 

My message to them this weekend was simple. That each of them are born into ministry as the Levite's and King's of old. That their lineage and the call of God upon their life is successive. I
 believe that as ministers (pastors, teachers, prophets, apostles, evangelists, missionaries, etc.), God gives us our offspring to raise as young ministers and revolutionaries. In my experience, I have seen God call some out of the ministry, but generally there is a call upon the life of a PK that is familial. Now, I know that is not a popular message among many. But, I hold strongly to it as one of the patterns of the bible. A walk through the Old Testament brings many examples of this cycle. Some of them examples of great success and others not so much.

As I speak with many PK's across our country, most of the excuses for them wandering from ministry have been driven by one concept. Trial. The struggle, pain, and difficulty of ministry has discouraged them from pursuing ministry. But, I contend that this concept of trial is what qualifies and enables them to be fit for ministry. The problem is that we need a shift in our American theology of comfort to see that trial is a great trainer of character and strength, and not an evil to be prayed away. With ease as our constant companion we cannot have spiritual minds when it comes to trial. It becomes too simple to blame God for being unfair or unhearing, and reject Him and the call of God upon our life to ministry. Even worse, we may rebel from our relationship with God because of the trial and hurt.

Many of us live in a place that most of the world would love to dwell in, yet we ourselves find fault in our setting. A fault that can bring grumbling and complaining, and undermine our willingness to accept the call and will of God upon our life. 

It is probably not a surprise to you, but, life is not perfect. There is a theme of brokenness and ruin in scripture that is in contrast to how we think in America today. This is our condition as human. Yet, what we see as evil or unfair or rejection in our life, God uses as education. What could better train us for ministry than to have experienced trial? Athletes understand this concept as 'no pain, no gain'.

I believe in PK's like no other segment of our youth culture. The setting they have been raised in can lead to them being some of the great leaders for the church. The virtue and vision of parents who shape their homes and ministry with principles and practices that are as unselfish as any vocation on the planet. Rubbing shoulders with so many men and women of God who are friends with ministry families can be a mentoring opportunity that will change the life of a young PK. My prayer for them is that trials will not separate them from accepting the call of God upon their life to ministry, but, that they would see it qualifies them for ministry. Paul echoes this thought in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 by comparing the trials of life and death with his concern for the church. An amazing read.

You see, out of pain and suffering and trial will come the best healers. The best leaders. The most successful people. Revolutionaries. God will use your broken life to heal the broken people around you. So, remember that people of pain become the greatest repairers. Healing often comes best from those who are wounded. 
Our culture needs a shift in thinking. It has lost the incredible value of the call to ministry in the face of ease and materialism. I want to challenge every PK in America to consider that the reason why you are experiencing trial is because God has a great plan for your life and not because He is trying to punish you. That just like an accountant, a lawyer, or an electrician, every occupation has its beauty and it's beast. That He wants you to be a revolutionary and take your parents ministry to another level. And so He is preparing you in ways that we need to adjust to.


  1. "The problem is that we need a shift in our American theology of comfort to see that trial is a great trainer of character and strength, and not an evil to be prayed away."

    Well said Jeff. Too often people fail to realize that trial IS the plan God has for them so that they can have greater joy, peace and victory in their lives instead of trial being something to get through alive.

    The expression "That which does not kill us makes us stronger", was actually developed by a prominent atheist in Nietzsche. As Christians, we do not survive the storms of life but rather work to see the purpose those storms have and what God may be trying to speak to us through them.

    "The Blessings of Brokenness" by Charles Stanley is a great book for anyone desiring to understand this concept more.


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