Mike Losey, a good friend and long time volunteer in our ministry, recently asked me this question: 'Kurt, what's the biggest adjustment you've made now that your daughter is in our junior high ministry'
I've made no adjustments. Well, I guess the only tweak I've made is that I tell fewer stories about my daughter, but other than that I have purposely made no adjustments. Let me explain.
The way I see it, Kayla didn't chose to be born into the family of a Pastor let alone her own youth pastor! My wife and I decided early on that we would never expect more from our kids just because they were PK's. I'm raising my kids as a man who is a Christ-follower not as a man who is a Pastor. Personally, as a Christ-follower, I would have no problem if Kayla wanted to dye her hair hot pink. So, as a Pastor, I have no problem with it either. As a Christ-follower, I'm paying close attention to the choices she is making. I'm doing the same thing as a Pastor.
Here's another example.
Kids talk to each other and pass notes during my lessons all the time. When it gets to be too much, we address it with the kids right then and there. I rarely track the kids down after church for a follow up or ask the parents to talk to the kids. So, if Kayla is being distracting or having an 'off' night at church, we address it just like I would any other student. But, I'm no more likely to have a follow up conversation with her than with any other student. It wouldn't be fair to her...the other kids don't have to go to dinner with their youth pastor and get an addition helping of 'why don't you behave in church?'
So maybe that's actually a big adjustment. I tend to think it feels more like no adjustment.
I'm hoping and praying that I can be a really good dad to my daughter and that I can be a good youth pastor to her too.