I have been asked many times what it is like to be a ‘pastor’s kid’. I never really have a set answer. I don’t really remember any different. Before my father led Gospel Central Church my parents were still in leadership in the church we came from in South Africa. I don’t know what it is to not see ‘behind the scenes’.
I have seen the intense struggle of leadership. I have seen the weight carried by those in leadership. I have seen how hard it is to lead. Somebody will always disagree. I sometimes wish that just for a period I could just not see the underside of the local church belly. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the local church. I absolutely love it. Just sometimes, it is hard to shake off the weight of people’s hurts that I see because my parent’s lead the church.
When I was younger, thankfully, I was far more shielded from hearing and seeing people fight with my father. Now, somehow, it’s harder not to see it. It’s hard seeing my human father expected to be perfect and conform to everyone’s wishes as to the way things should be. It’s not that I don’t understand their side. I placed my father for most of my years on a very high pedestal and expected him to be perfect. So when he failed, as he surely would, I was crushed. But, how unfair of me.
And now… I still have to remind myself he cannot be perfect and neither can the rest of the leadership. Yes, it hurts seeing people hate my father. Yes, it hurts seeing so many people suffering. Yes, it hurts when people gossip about Gospel Central Church. About its people, its relationships and its leaders. Yes, it hurts me. Yes, I see it. And yes, I have seen way more of it than you realise. A child sees more than one realises.
Gospel Central Church will never be the perfect local church you want it to be. Never. So, sometimes we just have to dive in anyway and strive for our community in following Christ. This church, the church, is not about man. It is about the body of Christ. It is a local community in the great body of Christ. Man will always fail you. My father as the leader of this local church will never be perfect. But buckle down anyway. God has placed him here. Do not slander him, instead pray for him.
There are many different expressions of local church. So, which ever one you are committed to, get involved. It’s community.
But, please, I don’t think I will ever be old enough to hear about your disagreements with my parents.