Pastors are looked to as the premiere spiritual and moral leaders of their church congregations. Considering that these men and women take the lead in guiding their flocks, many assume that the values they preach will automatically carry over to and positively impact their children.
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After all -- if pastors are responsible for tending to their followers' faith, surely they will raise God-loving children, right?
Well, not always.
Dale Hudson, a children's ministry expert, recently explored this very subject in a Charisma op-ed, explaining his own experience as a P.K. (the acronym for "pastor's kid") and detailing the challenges and experiences these individuals generally face.
Citing statistics from the Barna Group, a faith-based research firm, Hudson dove into statistics that show some pastors' kids inevitably do leave the faith.
In fact, according to the Barna research, 33 percent of pastors report that their children are no longer active in church. That said, only seven percent said that their kids had left the Christian faith entirely.
Pastors also shared the reasons they believe P.K.'s shy away from the faith, citing unrealistic expectations (28 percent), exposure to negative aspects of church (18 percent) -- and a lack of faith modeled in the home (14 percent), among others.
The top seven reasons are broken down below:
Image source: Barna Group
Hudson, himself a pastor's kid, shared some of his parents' decisions that he believes led him to retain his faith and eventually follow a career path into Christian ministry.
Hudson said his parents practiced what they preached and spent time with him.
"I could argue with what they believed, but I couldn’t argue with how they lived what they believed," he wrote.
Despite observing negative elements inside the church, Hudson also said he was able to look past these issues and see the "bigger picture" -- and that his decision to become a Christian wasn't a result of pressure; it was something personal that he experienced and still reflects on to this day.
Hudson's commentary on P.K.s comes following news that pop star Katy Perry, whose parents are preachers, no longer considers herself a Christian.
Katy Perry performs "Dark Horse" at the 56th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
As TheBlaze previously reported, Perry opened up about her views on God and theology in a recent interview with Marie Claire, telling the magazine that she’s no longer Christian and that she doesn’t believe in heaven, hell or “an old man sitting on a throne.”
“I’m not Buddhist, I’m not Hindu, I’m not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God,” Perry said. “I pray all the time — for self-control, for humility. There’s a lot of gratitude in it. Just saying ‘thank you’ sometimes is better than asking for things.”
Hudson, of course, covered this very public pronouncement in his article. But he didn't place the blame on Perry's parents for her renouncement.
"Do I blame Katy Perry’s parents for the road she has chosen? No. She picked this path," he said. "I could have just as easily chosen to go down a path away from God."
Read Hudson's commentary here.