As you probably are well aware, nurturing the faith of teenagers is high on the list of tough things to do. When you are a ministry family and those teenagers are your kids, well, the task of nurturing their faith can seem even harder.
Our most recent Planter Session offered advice, real-life mistakes and encouragement to church planters when it comes to nurturing their children in Christianity. Cathy Tucker and her son Luke spoke with Al Stewart about the Perils of Raising Pastor's Kids and Nurturing Their Faith, and that full Planter Session can be watched here.
Cathy and her husband Craig (who also is Geneva's Head of Coaching) planted churches at Mount Druitt and Drummoyne in Sydney. When Luke and his sister Sophie reached their teen years, Cathy and Craig made conscious choices about who would step back and who would step up.
Stepping up and stepping back
“He persisted in pushing his way into their world and I think the kids appreciated him doing that, even if they gave him nothing to work with,” said Cathy about the decision to have Craig be the primary nurturer of their children's faith.
“I kind of stepped back in terms of nurturning their faith. I prayed for them resolutely but I stepped out of their world, in terms of someone who was consciously gospelling them, and left that to Craig and other people. But I would ring people up and say 'Could you please talk to this kid? Make an effort because they are in a really bad place.'”
This division in roles was difficult for Cathy to do, during years that Luke describes as “emotionally tense” for he and Sophie.
“Really, really hard. But I talked to older women and that's what they [advised],” said Cathy.
She quoted Steve Biddulph and similar secular writers, who suggest it is important for fathers to step up and for mothers to step back during their children's adolescence. To do so can assist fathers with forming stronger emotional bonds with their children. In Cathy and Craig's experience, the benefit to church planting families can be in allowing children to have space to make their own faith decisions while being clear about where to go to when they feel nurturing is required.
Maybe you have a comment to make or your insights to share about nurturing the faith of pastor's kids. Post them below!