As a parent I love the idea of someone “adopting” one or all of my children to lift them up in prayer on a regular basis. I love the idea of others coming alongside my children to encourage them in life and in their faith. I love the idea of a person or persons supporting my child emotionally, spiritually, and in some instances financially. I’m still grateful to those sweet saints that bought magazine subscriptions and frozen cookie dough so my kids could attend church camp or cheered alongside us at innumerable high school basketball games.
In some cultures and/or denominations godparents are carefully chosen at the child’s birth. These godparents nurture the child and take on a very important role during the child’s life; the most important being to encourage the child in his/her spiritual walk. In the Methodist church, for instance, during the infant’s baptism the godparents will be asked this question, “Will you keep this child in your care and prayers so that he/she may grow in the love of God?” The godparents answer, “I will.” It is a very carefully thought out and important undertaking.
What an honor and privilege to be able to provide additional love, care, and nurturing, and to be able to speak truth into the lives of little ones – and not-so-little ones.
Want to hear some good news? You don’t have to be a formal godparent to encourage your pastor’s children. You can begin at any time.
Life as a pastor’s kid (PK) has lots of perks and pitfalls. Yes, the kids get to share in the fun stuff that happens to their parents, but they are oftentimes criticized and held to a higher standard than other children their same ages. It can be a difficult and confusing journey for a child or teen.
Church members who pray for their pastor’s kids, take the time to speak to the children about subjects that interest the children, remember their birthdays or special occasions with a card or note, and who include them in activities with their own children and families are operating in that godparent role without the fancy labels.
My children were fortunate to have a few special adults in their lives as they were growing up. One particular man, Uncle Don (not to be confused with Uncle Uncle Don, their dad’s brother) was as close to a godfather as they will ever have. He was there at their births. He attended birthday parties, sporting events, graduations, and weddings. He searched the mall for patent leather Mary Janes for a 3-year-old. He took a troubled teen out for coffee to speak hard truths into her life (he’d earned that right over the years). He taught one or possibly two of them to drive a manual transmission. He even sat through an agonizing night (for him) of Hagen Das ice cream and three hours of the Sound of Music! Why? Because he was committed to helping our children grow in the love and strength of the Lord. My children were, and still are, very fortunate to have such a wonderful person in their lives. We didn’t ask Uncle Don to be that person, he volunteered.
You can make a difference in the lives of your PK’s. You can pray effectual, fervent prayers over your PK’s, even if you don’t know them personally. You can send notes and cards. You can acknowledge them as special, unique people, not miniature replicas of their parents, and offer grace and mercy when they act like the children that they are. And, you can remind others who may be critical or judgmental of the importance of stepping up and supporting these precious, vulnerable ones through prayer, love, and lots of grace. Lots and lots of grace.
And all of the PK’s the world over just said, AMEN.