The Pastor’s Kids

June 2014 - Community
by Dawn González

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June 2014 - Community

Pastors’ kids grow up watching ministry from two vantage points: a front row seat and a back stage pass. They’ve experienced church life as a regular kid in Vacation Bible School and as the only child with unfettered access to the pastor’s office. While some grow up to rebel against their fathers’ faith, others use their all-access pass as preparation for a different role in their adult lives. Still others follow in their fathers’ footsteps despite all they’ve seen from an insider perspective.
In Old Testament times, ministry was a family business that began in the tabernacle with Aaron and his sons and continued through the tribe of Levi. Today, ministry leaders are called individually, and the vocation is no longer tied to a family line. When preachers’ kids surrender to the ministry, with all their first-hand knowledge and personal experience in church life, it can create some interesting church and family dynamics.
Kevin Baird, pastor of Legacy Church in Charleston, calls it being “ministry savvy.” His son, Clay Baird, is the Young Adult Pastor at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida, where he shepherds 1,100 married and single adults under age 30.
“I noticed growing up,” Clay says, “that dad was very studied and well-read. I saw it in his messages—there was a depth of the Word. Dad’s study habits influenced how I prepare messages and the type of communicator I wanted to be.”
Village Church in Blythewood’s Associate Pastor of Students Matthew Phillips noticed leadership qualities in his father’s ministry style as he grew up at First Baptist Columbia. His father, Steve Phillips, has served as First Baptist’s music minister and associate pastor for 26 years. “I liked getting up early to go with my dad,” Matthew reflects. “I watched sound checks and saw prayerful preparation for worship. I saw day-to-day operations and learned that we were to serve people, love people. Then,” he says with a smile, “I wanted to stay afterward to play in the choir room.”

Why did Christ die for you?   www.whyhedied.org

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