Church Kids (like me)

  1. We are resilient. People who grew up in church were not sheltered from pain or wrongdoing as you might imagine. We’ve seen it and we’ve experienced it. Affairs, abuse, fraud, deceit, abandonment, gossip — oftentimes trickling down from the people we were taught to trust and respect the most. If you know a former church kid, chances are they will understand your heartaches and hurts more than the average person. And chances are, they will fight for you when few others will. They might not always know how to show it, but they are strong.
  2. We have our own stories. “I didn’t grow up in church,” can be an intro to an exciting, captivating testimony. Someone who didn’t know God and was dramatically saved and delivered. Well, believe it or not, church kids need deliverance and saving just as much as anybody else. If you know somebody who was raised in Christian culture and community, ask them their story. It’s probably got a lot more twists and turns than you think.
  3. We can see the fake. This is something a close friend recently pointed out to me. Those of us who grew up in church have seen a lot of real, and a lot of fake. I personally have been a part of at least 4 church plants and multiple ministries, movements, and organizations. I’ve met some of the most genuine leadership, and some pretty great manipulators. If your former church kid friend is getting weird vibes about a ministry situation, listen to them. Sure, they may have unaddressed bitterness or trust issues, but they’ve also probably acquired a bit of unique wisdom over the years because of their own experiences. Those gut instincts can be more accurate than a lot of us would like to admit.
  4. We’ve had to wrestle. Answers aren’t handed to church kids on a silver platter. And even if they are, that doesn’t mean those kids never question anything. The truth is, people who grew up in church have had to wrestle to the very core of their being to sift out what is truth and what is human opinion. In this way, they are just like all other people. Growing up in a Christian environment does not shelter you from the questions of life.
  5. We are worth knowing and worth fighting for. There were a few key times in my teens and young adulthood when I was in pain and leaders said, “You should know better.” Their assumption was that because I was raised in church, I should know the truth. I hate that so many people take on this attitude toward those of us who grew up in church. Don’t assume people’s experiences. Take the time to get to know THEM. And if you know a former church kid, remember that they have fought many a battle. They have both scars and victory medals that you may or may not see. Whether or not they “should” know the answers to the problems they face, they are worth fighting for.

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