Yep, I’m a preacher’s kid. I’m also a preacher’s brother. No offense, Ron, but I’m prouder of being a preacher’s kid than I am a preacher’s brother.
What’s it like being a preacher’s kid? I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been asked that question……
But I haven’t been asked that one nearly as often as I have, “Are you any relation to Rev. Vanderwell?”
Yes, I am. And I’m glad I am.
And I miss him. See today marks 10 months that my Dad has been hanging out in Heaven with some really awesome people.
But I’m getting off track – what’s it like being a preacher’s kid?
A couple of thoughts:
• When you are a preacher’s kid, many more people in the community know who you are than you know. Is that good or bad? Well, it depends. If you’re out on a date with your girlfriend and an older couple comes up and talks to you – they know you but you can’t remember them – that can make your girlfriend kind of wonder why you didn’t introduce her. (True story – happened many times to my wife and I when we were dating.)
• When you are a preacher’s kid, you have to/get to share your parent with the church community. I remember when I was in upper elementary planning on going to a Chicago Cubs game. We had to cancel because my dad had to help a family in crisis. The Cubs beat the Philadephia Phillies 22 to 21 in 17 innings! I don’t remember how many scoring records were broken but for a huge baseball fan like I was at that point, it was a big disappointment to miss it. But at the same time, I was okay with it because I knew that the reason we missed it was because my Dad was helping people in a crisis. I didn’t know who or what, but I didn’t need to. On the other side of it, I could tell you countless stories of people who have told me what a difference my Dad has made in their lives. So, you share the difficult and the good with the church community.
• It really helps when you are the son of a really good preacher. Not only a preacher that writes good sermons but also (and more importantly) loves his God, loves his family, loves his community and conducts his life in a way that makes him real, ordinary and approachable. (Oh and I use “his” because my preacher parent is a dad – but many of the pastors I know, respect and appreciate are women).
In some ways, it’s different when you are a preacher’s kid, I mean, your Mom or Dad works directly for God, right?
But wait, aren’t we all supposed to live our lives like we’re working for God? Whether you are in banking or teaching or nursing or manufacturing or whatever, God calls us to all do whatever we do like we’re working for Him.
Because we are.
So, I guess being a preacher’s kid is a really good thing.
I know I’m better off because I’m a preacher’s kid.