Car Ride Queestion

The question I get asked the most

Cooper Wagner

12/5/20164 min read

Car rides are some of my favorite times to get to know people. You have the opportunity to ask questions that might be a longer answer than regular conversation might allow… any setting where this opportunity arises the question people ask me almost without fail is, “What is it like to be the son of a pastor, especially one of a big church? Do you feel that pressure?” This is a very common question for any PK (pastors kid) to get. Unfortunately, there is a minority of PKs who would answer how I do.

The general assumption made of a PK is that you are major rebel. EX. I wrecked my scooter last year and went to the campus doctor to get stitched up… somehow in our conversation she found I was indeed a pastor’s kid. She proceeded to ask me how crazy I was. I made her define crazy, because my friends would say I’m crazy… but not the crazy she was thinking.

Why is the immediate assumption that PKs are crazy? Here is my answer.

There are far too many pastors who make pastoring their church family the main priority and forget that their number one job is to love, lead, and serve their families at home. They are always on so they turn off at home. This is one of the greatest tragedies in the church today. 1 Timothy 3:4-5 makes it very clear how overseers (pastors, leaders) should act in the home,

4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)”

A.W. Tozer is a great warning for us. As we all know, Tozer has influenced millions. What he failed to do is influence those within his own household. There is no Tozer down line. You would think a man with so much influence might produce some of the finest children who continue what he started. Sadly, the torch was not passed but put out when he died. Upon his death his wife is quoted saying “I have never been happier in my life. Aiden loved Jesus Christ, but Leonard Odam [her new husband] loves me.” What a tragic statement.

All this to be said many PKs run from Christianity not because it’s a curse PKs have, but because they have seen first hand the hypocrisy that runs so rampantly through the church. They get away from the tyrant father/pastor who is legalistic with rules in the home, shows no love, invests little to none, and is absent even if he is physically there.

Praise the Lord that my story is different. I have seen the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Don’t get me wrong me and my Dad butt heads just as much as the next father/son combo, but this comes as no surprise… neither of us have ever claimed to be perfect. He is not the perfect father; I am FOR SURE not the perfect son. By Gods grace he has found the incredible balance of work and family; and if there was a tendency for him to spend to much time with either of those, he flaws towards family.


When he is with us at home he teaches, loves, serves, laughs, plays, coaches, admonishes, and millions of other things. He is the most consistent voice in my life and those of my siblings. There are 6 arrows in his quiver and all of us have been coached in multiple sports by him. Many times seasons and teams overlapping, but somehow he was always there.

There is no pressure to be perfect because that has never been a standard that was set. Never have I felt like I have to fake it for the appearance of our family, in fact, if I ever mess up it is not hidden but ironically shared (sometimes on stage to thousands). Something I have learned from watching my dad and others at church teach is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast [a]about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with [b]insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

My last two blog posts have talked a lot about this verse already but clearly it is one I have to remind myself of daily. The temptation to be the perfect kid is there, but the pressure isn’t… I hope that makes sense.

The benefits of having lived with a pastor has far outweighed the negatives if there even are any. I don’t do a good enough job of expressing my thankfulness for such a great earthly father, and do just as bad of a job with thanking my heavenly father. Thank you earthly father for helping me love my heavenly father. Thank you heavenly father for giving me such an incredible earthly father.

What I want to end with is a charge… To fathers: Be a pastor to your family. Make your kids love Jesus. Not because you have forced them to, but because they see fruit in your life and that fruit tastes sweet. You can lay and water the seed but ultimately God has to make it grow. Sons and Daughters: eat the dang fruit. There should be no difference in the way a PK is parented and the way a believers’ child is parented. God will hold both the pastor and the accountant dad responsible.