Hi there. Always glad you can take a moment to savour some experience and advice from church planters.
Below is a brief but chewy taste of what was shared during our latest Planter Session, on the subject of nurturing the faith of a pastor's kid. A topic of great importance to any church leader with children. Click here to watch the full Planter Session.
Cathy Tucker is chaplain at Sydney's Presbyterian Ladies College, and has planted churches in Mt Druitt and Drummoyne with her husband Craig. During the Planter Session's frank and engaging conversation, Cathy was joined by her 21-year-old son, Luke. Together, they spoke with Al Stewart about the highs and lows of ministry families.
During the Planter Session, Sharon submitted a question. She wondered what Cathy and Craig had done to allow Luke to make his own decision to follow Jesus? Luke quickly replied, providing two reasons that are the opposite sides of the same coin.
GIVE ME SPACE
“The thing I found most helpful was having space to be a complete dingus,” admitted Luke. “To stuff around and make lots of mistakes. I would have found it really hard if every time I put a foot wrong, Mum and Dad were there and wanted to debrief. Have a chat about it and do a spiritual check-in with me.”
Luke revealed that during Year 12, he went through a “significant wobbly patch” with his Christian faith, as well as the way he was living. He believes his parents' ability to let him make his own choices was a huge help. “When I came through it, they had supported me and were there for me. But it was my decision. I didn't feel like they were there, strong-arming me through it.”
BE HERE NOW
Having said that, though, Luke also was happy that his parents were on hand to assist him. “When I had problems and I did want support, it was great that they could be there.” But the key factor for Luke was that his dad and mum were available when he chose to reach out to them.
To navigate these parental waters of providing your children with space, yet being available when they need you, Cathy and Craig were intentional.
Cathy emphasised that time management is essential for church planters. “If you are managing your time well, when your kid needs you now, you can drop everything and be there for them.” Cathy said Craig made this a priority. They decided Tuesday was a suitable day for Craig to have off, and he was “resolute” in making sure his focus was not divided. “The kids knew that when Dad worked, he worked hard,” said Cathy. “And when he wasn't working, he was completely present.”
“Jesus [is] most important… but a really close second, that's where the kids came. They weren't third, after church.”
Luke affirmed that he knew his parents were intentional about being around and being present. He appreciated that.