Are Children of Church Leaders "The Lost Generation"?
By Yetta Yao, June 28, 2017 05:06 AM
"I will never become a missionary after I grow up!" "Do not force me to accept your faith!" Many of the church leaders must have heard similar expressions from their children. This phenomenon needs attention and solution because it breaks the Christian parents' heart and worries them. Unfortunately, many churches are witnessing the replay of the tragedy of the family Eli whose sons left faith, walking on the way of destruction.
Many Sunday school teachers and youth teachers generally hold that the children of missionaries are the most difficult ones to educate, and many of them have never ever attended the gathering. Some even claim that some of them have become robbers to the fullest extent. This worrisome phenomenon is more common in the rural church, by which I mean not the geographically rural church but the church that lacks clear structure, gives little salary to its missionaries who lack theological training.
The WeChat account by the name of Faith Counseling Group posted an article "The Worrisome Pastor's Family Education." By analyzing the phenomenon, the author points out that pastor's children leaving faith will bring about inevitable negative impact. A healthy family will help pastors' service in the church while an unhealthy family will hinder the service. When pastors lack time to shepherd their family members, they will become obstacles to their service. What negative impact will pastor's children leaving faith bring about?
First of all, the author points out that it will diminish a pastor's strength of his ministry. When the pastor's children in the spot light of the church abandon faith, the pastor will be affected most directly. For example, when he claims that God's Word can change one's family members, while his children have abandoned faith, he is humiliating himself publicly. As a result, his ministry's strength will be greatly diminished, which brings irreversible regret, along with the loss of testimony about the pastor's family.
The author says that "if the children are accused of disobeying the authority, their pastors are also responsible. If a pastor cannot shepherd well his family members, how can he shepherd more people? In our era, the most effective testimony to the Lord is the testimony of the family. Such a pastor cannot become a good model in giving people hope about building up beautiful families in the society where family has been damaged by a great chaos.
How to help the pastors to educate the "lost children", so that their faith can be built up and become good examples in the church? The author states the fact first that it is the Holy Spirit's work to convert a person to believe in the Lord so a child born in a Christian family does not necessarily grow into a Christian. However it does not absolve parents of their responsibility of educating them and sometimes the pastors need more education than their children.
The author suggest that to prevent pastor's children from being lost, the church should improve its system to become more complete. Many churches fail to give enough economic supply to their pastors so they cannot take the full responsibility of the family in terms of money and spend time with them. This may cause their children to abandon faith. On the surface, the pastor should be to blame but the church has to admit fundamentally it is its responsibility. To prove his point, the author lists an example. Some church failed to give enough salary to its pastor, so his children cohabited with others after dropping out from high school but the church accused squarely them of being unholy.
Thus, the author suggests in his conclusion that the church should do its utmost to provide a better life for its preacher so that he can devote his life to serving God and his children can see that the church respects and loves his father who serves the church. Meanwhile the church should leave room and good environment to its pastor for his family for the family comes first in service.
Second, the author suggests that it is important for the pastor to keep receiving education. The author, a youth mentor, always emphasizes that the object of the education of the youth includes both the youth and their parents. If the church wants to make a breakthrough in its youth ministry, it should pay attention to it for the church's youth ministry cannot take the parents' place. The author suggests that the church provide class for fathers to become good fathers and the pastor should regard himself as a student instead of being an educator in the class. The pastor should devote more time and energy to children's education, through which his children may also see their parent's blazing love and hope for them.
The author also mentions a detail that the pastor should take to heart. A pastor should not talk about the church's work on the family's table for some of the darkness of the church is too heavy for children to bear. It does not mean that the pastor purposely hides it but takes time and educates them step by step according to their ability to accept. Finally, the author says that in the process of the transformation of the rural church, he hopes that the pastors can be treated well, their children's education be stressed so that faith can be passed down and inherited by godly children.
Translated by Alvin Zhou
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