Monday, March 14, 2011

public perception

Perception is everything to some people. It doesn’t matter what the truth is about a situation. Their truth is how they perceive it. Unfortunately I learned that lesson growing up as a preacher’s kid, or a PK. I have never been a fan of have a pastor for a daddy. Growing up, and even now, I felt that he gave so much of his time and attention to other people and church issues that our family was sometimes placed on the backburner. And of course there was that whole issue of perception. Everyone always thinks preacher’s children are spoiled and wild. There are some who fit that profile of course, but that can be said about the children of doctors, lawyers or whoever. I wasn’t the best child or the worst. I was just a child. But I sometimes felt like I had to be extra good because of that perception. PKs were also expected to have a talent such as singing, playing an instrument or speaking. I played the piano for years until I realized it really wasn’t my thing.

The April issue of Ebony magazine asked several pastors’ wives about their life as a first lady. One of the questions was “Who has the most pressure on them: pastors, first ladies or their children.” I was happy to see them answer the children. “They have to conform to the expectations of those around them. And there are preconceived notions of how the children of a minister should behave or whether they will go into ministry,” said Elder Karen Bernard of Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. A pastor has a calling on his life and the wife supports him, said Jamell Meeks of Salem Baptist Church in Chicago, Ill. “A pastor’s kids were born into it, unlike the pastor or his wife. From birth, everything the children do is judged. Anything they do that people feel is not right, that fact is going to be verbalized.”

I’m not sure what perception my dad’s members have of me these days. They probably think I’m so wild adult. Now that I’m in my mid-20s I don’t care anymore. The only perception that matters to me is God’s.


  1. Yeah, I know quite a few PK's own that are expected to "behave" a certain way. Of course they have their own personality, and for that they're known as rebels.

  2. It's hard out here for a PK (and a pimp).