Growing Up in a Preacher’s Home
Charise Webster serves in the NVBS and GSBC music ministries. She is the firstborn child of Pastor and Mrs. Leonard of Washington, Pennsylvania.
Having grown up in a pastor’s home, I am always heartbroken to see or hear of preachers’ kids who are resentful of the ministry. My testimony often begins with, “I thank the Lord for the privilege of growing up in a pastor’s home.” What a blessing and an honor! My brothers would wholeheartedly agree with me that we truly had a wonderful home and a godly heritage. I hope these thoughts that I jotted down about my family will be a blessing to yours.
1. We memorized Scripture together. My dad used a variety of games to help us, and we began almost every morning this way.
2. We learned to give when we were still children. My parents taught us to place our treasure with the Lord and, as a result, our hearts as well.
3. We sang together. It didn’t always sound the greatest, but we always had fun!
4. We prayed together every evening. As a teenager, I did not always enjoy
interrupting my evenings to pray with my family; but now I am thankful that my dad had this principle in our home.
5. We had fun together! We took a family vacation every year, and we took day trips periodically. My dad, brothers, and I would take occasional side jobs delivering phone books or newspapers so we would have extra money for whitewater rafting, snow skiing, or visiting a museum. Sometimes we would attend a classical music performance or a baseball game. As an adult, I realize that Dad put forth a great deal of extra effort to ensure that we would be able to do fun things that would have otherwise been financially impossible.
6. We never heard the words “We don’t have the money for that!” from my parents. They would often say, “Let’s try to save our money for that!” We never heard them speak about financial difficulties.
7. Electronic entertainment was extremely limited in our home. Instead, we read and played games – everything from board games to flag football!
8. My parents individually cultivated and maintained a relationship with each child through constant communication. They asked questions; but more importantly, they listened.
9. My dad never allowed us to keep a bad attitude; we had them, but we never kept them. I can still hear him saying, “Change your face!” My parents always controlled the atmosphere in our home.
10. I believe the most difficult thing that young people face in preachers’ homes is seeing their parents hurt by disgruntled church members. I can hear my mother saying over and over again, “We’re not in the ministry for them; we’re in the ministry for Jesus.”