PK’s And Their Dads

Note: This is an article about “Preacher’s Kids” written by Tony Suarez, of Iglesia De Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia

where to start…

I’m not sure who to write to: the PK’s or the Fathers…

I knew at a very young age that I was going to be in the ministry…actually I can’t think of anything else I ever wanted to do without being a preacher first

I wanted to be the President of the United States AND a preacher…
I wanted to be an archeaologist AND a preacher…
I wanted to be a lawyer AND a preacher…

always a preacher…

Preached my first real sermon when I was 13….licensed with the UPCI when I was 17

Growing up, I always was helping my Dad, in someway, in the Church he Pastors. Though he never said it or put it to me like this, but I felt obligated to assist my Dad…….and my Dad only.

I felt that to leave and move somewhere else or sit under another man would be like abandoning my Parents or unfaithful to them…

I mean if I’m going to work under someone, why not my Dad??? (the way I thought)

I evangelized for a few years and would sometimes feel guilty for not being home helping my Dad. I eventually stopped evangelizing, came home and “assisted” my Dad

Again, it’s not that he ever said these things or implied these things….it’s just how I felt.

I was Youth Pastor, Asst. Pastor, played the piano, preached, led services….I felt irreplaceable sometimes! (my fault and I did learn different…no one is irreplaceable)

I was so involved in my Dad’s church that I felt like I couldn’t leave. I wanted to go to Bible School…even signed up….but didn’t go because I felt that I couldn’t leave my Dad and “our” ministry.

I did end up moving away four years ago. It was hard…I felt like I was being disloyal but the truth is, I should’ve left sooner than I did.

God gave me another Pastor in my life, to teach me things that I would not have ever learned under my Father’s ministry…………not because my Father doesn’t do things right, in fact my Father pastors a larger Church than my Bishop…but just because he was my Dad

A PK, can grow up feeling he’s “owed” his Father’s church or think he’s “something” because his Dad preachers “here and there”…

IT IS hard for a PK to see his Dad as both Father and Pastor…it is something that is not easily done.
This, of course, falls on the Father to make the difference. IT MIGHT NEVER HAPPEN!

Four years after leaving Chicago, I KNOW, that it was the will of God. I am better for having left and sat under another man.

It has taught me to respect, honor, and submit to someone who’s Church I’m not “supposed to take one day”

This was a “no strings attached” commitment when I moved to Virginia.
I am better off because of it. I learned things about myself and experienced things that I’m not sure I would’ve learned back home.

Everything I’ve said is not because my Father was flawed or didn’t raise me right…..the issue is that it is hard for a Pastor to be his family’s Pastor as well…

Before you’re ever “Pastor”, you’re DAD first!
If at any time that changes for you, your kids will be in trouble!
Your church needs you, but your family needs you first!

If your kids can’t view you as both Dad and Pastor, be open to allowing your kids to find a man of God that they can submit to or talk to when they need…

In my eyes, my Father is a hero. He Pastored 5 different Churches (3 that he founded) in the country of Colombia before moving the US in 1979(that’s when I showed up ). He served in National leadership in Colombia and in Bro. Perdue’s words “was one of the greatest Evangelists to ever come out of Colombia”

He started a Church from scratch 24 years ago in a kitchen with no one but him and my Mom and I…never took a dime from anyone, never were someone elses “project” or ministry..didn’t inherit people from another congregation..they, by the grace of God, built a powerful Church in the Chicagoland area, with 3 other congregations that submit to him as “Bishop” he’s served at District level leadership and National leadership…he’s preached througout all of Central and South America……but he is my Dad.

I needed a Pastor….

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be that for me, because he surely did…..but there were things I didn’t feel like I could talk to him about.

I needed a Pastor…

Eventually I needed to move away and prove myself and calling.

If I’m understanding God’s direction for my life, I do believe that one day I will be back in Chicago….almost sure of it….but I needed to leave first and find “me”.

if you have to leave one day, you’re not being disloyal!
if you need someone else to talk to, you’re not undermining your Dad!

allow your children to find a man or woman of God that they can talk to.
Every Father’s dream is for their son to one day follow in their shoes…..if your son leaves for a year or two…or 5…that doesn’t mean the dream is dead….
Truth is for your dream to become a reality, they might need to leave and then come back.

Above “Dad’s dream or desire” is the will of God. He (God) might call your son to another field (possibly like He did with you)

Our kids (because now I’m a Father of two) are anointed of God to serve Him!

We need to guide them to find “Him” first…..then to find “His Will” for their lives….


  1. Great thoughts. Thanks for your openness. As a pastor (15 yrs.) I have tried to be Dad first to my children. I have intentionally kept church issues from being discussed at home, and that is no easy task. The ministry can claim the pastors family if he does not guard carefully. People are more than willing to place unacceptable claims and expectations on the pastor’s wife and children.
    My stance has been and will continue to be, “I am a husband, a dad, and a pastor…” in that order.

  2. Jim, I love that order you’ve stood for… “Husband, dad, pastor”… this is the same I have established in my home. As a pastor… no, as a man od God… my first responsibility is to see that my family walks in salvation.

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