The Wonder of Pastor’s Kids

Psalm 71:5-6, “For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.”

The movie Wonder has all the feels. August Pullman was born with a facial deformity. His family embraces his uniqueness while others mistreat him. My favorite part is near the end of the movie during a school assembly when “Auggie” is called up to receive an award for “gathering the most hearts” in 5th grade- his first (and a rough) year at public school. Just prior, Auggie whispers a thanks to his mom. She whispers back, “You are a wonder, Auggie.” 

I can’t whisper in the ear of every pastor’s kid, “You are a wonder,” but I can remind them that God’s faithfulness began before birth. 

Our son Daniel is a 2020 HS graduate; he was born during 9/11 and graduated during a worldwide pandemic. He is named after my husband’s favorite Bible character, and my prayer for 18 years has been, “May Daniel be a bold and courageous witness for You, Lord. Spare him long periods of rebellion. Help him stand firm in Your truth, even when no one else will. Give him godly friends like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.” 

I practiced my Mom-release skills earlier than intended as Daniel moved out in March, rented a house, and worked on a ranch, all while finishing college credit classes. We saw him Sundays- in our living room while we videoed live services during Covid, or at one of the church-plant locations when we were able to meet in person again. He’s always been a part of things- we began full-time ministry when he was 4 months old. Baby Daniel broke down barriers as we cut our ministry teeth.

I asked our five kids (ages 9-18) recently, What’s the hardest part about being a pastor’s kid? “Others see me as just a pastor’s kid and don’t try to get to know and understand who I am.” “I’m put in a box.” “I’m treated a certain way.” “Some expect me to be perfect.” “The label put on me makes it hard to be a ‘normal’ kid.” I also asked them, What’s the best part? “We get to travel and see people that support our family.” “I’ve never had to deal with bad parents.” “I’ve always known Jesus and that I’m going to heaven.” “Other kids listen to me share about God because they like coming to Kids Club where my parents teach them and they have fun.” “Having amazing parents and seeing how blessed you are.”

Perhaps our 11-year-old sums it up best, “Pastor’s kids don’t get to do things other kids get to but we also have God which is better.”

Dear PK’s- You are loved and appreciated for who you are. The Lord God has WONDER-full things in store for you as you lean into His faithfulness!

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About Denna Busenitz

Denna and her husband, Kurt, have five children (3 teens and 2 tweens) and have been church planters with RHMA in the Sandhills Region of Nebraska nearly 20 years. Kurt pastors Sandhills Church of Hope- ‘one church with two locations’ in small-town and rural NE. Denna has a music degree from Moody Bible Institute and helps coordinate music at church. Her weeks are filled with Moms in Prayer groups, kids club/youth ministries and organizing the family calendar. She serves on her local grocery store board and substitutes at school.