I met a pastor’s kid last weekend. Whenever I meet a pastor’s kid, I always pay careful attention to what he has to say seeing as how there are two pastor’s kids living in my home.
The pastor’s kid that I met wasn’t a kid anymore. He’s all grown up now and to the best of my knowledge he is no longer involved in a church. That really got my attention.
The now grown pastor’s kid told me that he moved something like 50 times before he got out of his teenage years. His father had a special calling. He would look for churches that were either dead or quickly dying and come in to try to lead them in healing and restoration.
I was shocked.
“Man, I’ll bet that you’ve seen your share of church drama.”
The look on his face told me all that I needed to know. It also explained why he’s not in church now.
I spend a lot of time wondering why it has to be this way. Why does it have to be a curse for a kid to grow up in a pastor’s home? There are a lot of answers to that question. Some pastors neglect their families in pursuit of ministry goals and some pastors place heavy burdens on their children. But another contributing factor has to be the church drama that the child of a pastor has to witness. Simply put, sometimes a pastor’s kid can get caught in the crossfire between people who claim to love Jesus but just can’t seem to get along with each other.
In Acts 1, Luke takes the time to list the disciples by name who were gathering in the upper room waiting for the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised. Among those names are two brothers whom Jesus nicknamed Sons of Thunder. This is another way of saying that James and John were two tightly wound men who were probably hard to get along with. There was also Peter who liked to talk a big game about himself.
But the two men on this list who really stick out are Matthew and Simon the Zealot.
Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors in Jesus’ day were hated and considered thieves and traitors. I know that’s hard to imagine but just stay with me on this. Simon was a part of a group of people called the Zealots. This means that if automobiles were invented back then, he would have had a truck with a Don’t Tread On Me sticker on the back. And yet these two men, along with Peter, the Sons of Thunder and several other large, diverse personalities were in one accord, devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14).
There is a big difference between unity and conformity. Conformity is when everyone pretty much gets along because they’re all alike. Unity is when people from different backgrounds can get along because they share a common link. For the church in Acts, that common link was the resurrected Jesus and the promised Holy Spirit.
Church drama does not happen because too many different personalities from various backgrounds are sharing the same church building. Instead, it is a direct result of too little Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
One day, a few decades from now, when someone asks my two sons about their childhood, I hope that they answer with a smile as they talk about the joy of growing up in a community of believers who each had their own quirks and personality defects but who shared a common link of a resurrected Savior and an active Holy Spirit.