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Preacher's Kid, Everybody's Kid

My dentist has Austin in a bubble. Literally. All the familiar landmarks of the Texas capital are shrunken and encased in a souvenir snow globe for everyone to see. It reminds me of my life: I grew up as a pastor's kid.

In many ways I lived in a bubble. The church members could look in on my world at any time. Everyone knew me, everyone felt free to give advice, and everyone made sure my parents knew exactly what I'd done. If you're a clergyman or Christian leader, your kids live in that bubble, too. Come inside with me, and let me show you what it's like to be a pastor's child.

We all know that awkward moment at reunions or conventions: there's someone who knows you, but you don't remember him. He strikes up a conversation, calls you by name, and talks about things that you vaguely remember. You walk away muttering, "I should know that person."

That was every Sunday for me, but I was too embarrassed to ask their names. It didn't help that Dad frequently used my brother and me in sermon illustrations. ...

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