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Challenges

Jaipur is the Pink City of India, the capital city of Rajasthan. According to the census, the population of the state was approximately 74.88 million in 2016, whereas the city of Jaipur holds the population of 3.1 million . According to the census taken by the Times of India – the Christian population in the city of Jaipur was approximately 12″,708 which includes all denominations.

There are about 80-90 Pentecostal churches across the city of Jaipur, conducted in different languages and in different names. Some are independent churches while some come under the organizational heads. Children of pastor play an important role in the ministry of God. Some are involved in music, in leading worship, conducting youth meetings, organising cell groups, and various other ministries. However, it is observed that even though they are involved in some form of ministry, they do not want to continue that for their whole life. There are pastors’ children dedicated for the pastoral call, but they do not want to get involve in ministry due to the various psycho-social issues they face.

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“Some of the factors resulting in a negative response towards ministry is the lack of financial support; a church or organization pays less than Rs.6″,000/- per month, whereas if joined in a call centre the pay scale starts from Rs.15″,000/- per month.”

Another factor is the restricted life that a pastors’ children go through and the amount of do’s and don’ts; they face in their life. Children of pastors are not supposed to hang outs late night, not allowed to go for movies, no secular leisure, and they face serious restrictions on their dressing. The researcher interviewed a friend on phone and understands that this is due to society, congregation, and other Christian leaders who always view them with binocular lenses and criticize them for what they do. All these factors lead them to have a negative attitude towards ministry.

1.7.2 Psycho-social Challenges of Pastors’ Children

Adolescence is a period when children go through different experiences such as getting into maturity, decision making, and ability to choose and make choices, emotional and behavioral changes. James Dobson considers the period of adolescence as, “a natural and necessary process of moving from childhood to adulthood.” According to Dr.G. Keith Olson, “the genetic inheritance of adolescence determines the personality and behavioral patterns.” Genetic factors, social factors, and family influences a person’s personality and behavior patterns. Peer-pressure is another challenge for pastor’s children. As Neerja Sharma quotes, “adolescent finds immense satisfaction in being with peers, not only for play but for conversation, to share secrets with, and to exchange notes about new emotions and feelings, especially with reference to the opposite sex.” Another challenge would be the interpersonal relationship that includes their relationship, emotion, and affection with family members.

Parental guidance is significant for children. Gary Collins suggests that “Adolescents often feel confused, anxious and angry when there is a lack of parental guidance, conflict at the home, instability in school or nothing in the world seems to be stable.” Lack of parental guidance leads to conflicts in personal life, family relationships, and social life. Parental influence makes a great impact on the lives of children. Hence, proper guidance from parents is essential for making decisions in the lives of children. It is helpful for the current research to understand the role of parents in decision making.

1.7.3 Attitude of Pastors’ Children towards Pastoral Call

Among Pentecostal denominations, pastors dedicate their children at their toddling age for the ministry of God. In, 1 Samuel 1:27-28 we read, “For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So, I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he is dedicated to the LORD”. After reaching the adult age, children find changes in their thinking, behavior and approach, children after reaching their late adult age develop their own choices and taste. When pastors get involve in shepherding their believers, they fail to find time for their own children and home, thus creating a gap in the life of children. According to John Townsend, “Adolescence is the time when kids are trying to figure out what they do and do not believe. That means your teen is going to question you, your values, and reality itself.”

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Children even ask questions based on their faith conviction, and often demand answers for the same. Unconvincing answers often create a negative response towards pastoral call. Ben Campbell Johnson, widens the call of God stating that, “God isn’t just calling people to join the clergy, His Call is much broader and deeper that.” It is the unfinished or unresolved conflicts and questions which are left unanswered, creates tension in the lives of the children of pastors, and later develop psychosocial challenge in their spiritual lives.

1.7.4 Biblical Perspective on Pastoral Call

God’s calling comes at a certain time and for a certain purpose. Calls can be for an individual like Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Jonah, Paul, 12 Disciples or a nation like Israel. According to Ben Campbell Johnson, “the sources of God’s call could be through an idea that emerges from consciousness, through another person’s affirmation of a gift, through the text in the scripture, through our pain and suffering or through experiences of ministry.” In the book of Exodus, the Lord said to Moses, “Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him. They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the tent of meeting by doing the work of the tabernacle.” This was the call to a tribe to perform duties in the tabernacle. Apostle Paul clarifies that call comes from heaven alone and not from human. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:14).

We see in the Bible, God calls men and women to entrust various task and purpose some to receive the gift of salvation (Rom. 8:30; 1Cor. 1:9; 1Thes. 2:12) God calls with a specific task (2Thes. 2:14). He has called the believers to “fellowship with Christ” (1Cor. 1:9), for “holiness” (1Thes. 4:7), for “liberty” (Gal. 5:13), for “peace” (1Cor. 7:15), and towards “virtue” (2Pet. 1:3). Every Christian is called to “walk worthy” (Eph. 4:1). Disobedience towards the call from God then turns to be punishable.

1.7.5 Pastoral Counselling Strategies

There are times when the caregiver needs to take a pause and inquire the need of their own family. Children of pastors face both psychological and sociological challenges in their spiritual and secular life. They need proper counselling to encourage them to move ahead in their lives. According to Carl Rogers, “A positive attitude toward the individual which views him as a person of worth and dignity with the right to make his own decision.” If children are given proper care and choices to help, they can build confidence and positive attitudes in them. However, it is the lack of parental support and encouragement make children to behave rigorously.

1.7.5.1 Five Functions of Pastoral Care

Pastoral care consists of “helping acts, done by representative persons, directed towards the healing, sustaining, guiding, reconciling and nurturing of persons whose troubles and concerns arise in the context of daily interactions and ultimate means and concerns.”

i. Healing – “A pastoral function that aims to overcome some impairment by restoring the person to wholeness and by leading him to advance beyond his previous condition.”

ii. Sustaining – It helps individual to sustain and face the struggles or difficult situations of their life. Sustaining also refers to the support in times of fear, sickness, and loneliness.

iii. Guiding – “Assisting perplexed persons to think and opt for different ways in their life.” It also helps people to grow moral and in spiritual understanding.

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iv. Reconciling – “Seeking to re-establish broken relationships, personal relationship with God or men through acceptance and forgiveness.”

v. Nurturing – “Enable people to develop their potentialities” , in their hard and tough times.

1.8 Counselling Approaches

There are different approaches of counselling mentioned by Elizabeth R.Welfel and Lewis E. Patterson in their book ‘The Counselling Process’, they are;

1.8.1 Person-Centred Therapy

Children of pastors’ need space to bring out their desires and need view the challenges positively. According to Rogers, “If people are permitted to develop freely, they will flourish and become positive, achieving individuals.” It is the context of environment where children live influences their behaviour, this may include the family, society and the congregation.

1.8.2 Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

According to Ellis, “people are not disturbed by things but rather by their view of things.” REBT theory enables the client to discharge the negative emotion and irrational thinking they carry along with them. If the thinking is negative and irrational towards any person, the behavior will also be wrong. “This therapy in the in-depth exploration process of the second stage allows the client to identify issues with which he or she is experiencing difficulty and to examine the thought patterns that underlie the unpleasant feelings and ineffective behaviors.” This theory will help the children of pastors to bring out the negative feelings which causes them to respond negatively towards pastoral call.

1.8.3 Gestalt Counselling by Frederick

This therapy views the client to be the self-responsible for their own behavior. The very prime purpose of this theory is to encourage the client in their personal growth. Through this theory the children of pastors’ can bring out their present psycho-social challenges that hurts at present. There are different techniques such as role-play, empty chair and so on, which are used in the Gestalt theory “is to bring the client into clearer with himself or herself.”

According to Frederick”,

“Instead of talking about what has occurred, the client re-experiences the occurrence, and the effect is recreated. New understandings often lead to new behaviors or new acceptance of self or others. When such reenactments of life events reach back to earlier phases of the client’s life the process is referred to as finishing unfinished business.”

This theory can imply to finish the unfinished worries and thoughts that causes the children of pastors to face challenges in their lives.

1.9 Psychosocial Theories

1.9.1 Theory of Psychosocial Development

The theory of Psychosocial Development was founded by Erik Erikson with the purpose to analyse the crisis of an individual at each stages of his/her life. Erikson suggests that, “there is still plenty of room for continued growth and development throughout one’s life. Erikson puts a great deal of emphasis on the adolescent period, emphasizing that it is a crucial stage for developing a person’s identity.” There are two categories of age which are considered for research i.e. the adolescence and early adulthood stage.

1.9.2 Psychoanalysis

Freud, describes in his analysis the features of the mind’s structure and its function. According to Freud, “events in our childhood have a great influence on our adult lives, shaping our personality.” Freud have explained his ideology with the example of iceberg in order to differentiate the levels of the mind. According to Freud there are three level which can be categorized into departmental such as Id, Ego, and Superego. “When there is a conflict between the goals of the id and superego, the ego must act as a referee and mediate this conflict. The ego can deploy various defence mechanisms to prevent it from becoming overwhelmed by anxiety.”

1.9.3 Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs comprising a five-tier model of human needs as given below:

i. “Biological and physiological needs (Hunger, sleep, sex, etc.)

ii. Safety needs (stability, order)

iii. Love and need for belongingness (family, friendship)

iv. Esteem needs (self-respect, recognition)

v. Self-actualization needs (development of capacities)”

1.9.4 Cognitive Development

“Piaget proposed four stages of cognitive development which reflect the increasing sophistication of a child’s thought:

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i. Sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2)

ii. Pre-operational stage (from age 2 to age 7)

iii. Concrete operational stage (from age 7 to age 11)

iv. Formal operational stage (age 11+ – adolescence and adulthood).”

1.10 Hypothesis

Challenges from Psychosocial factors likely affect the ministerial call of Pastor’s Children.

1.11 Working Hypothesis

1) Parental expectations are likely to cause stress which affect the emotional development.

2) Peer pressure is likely to cause emotional stress which affect behavior of pastors’ children.

3) Faith conviction of adolescent is likely to affects the relationship with God.

4) Negative attitude of children of pastors towards Pastoral Call is likely to affect the commitment to ministry.

1.12 Research Questions

i. What are the Psycho-Social challenges faced by pastors’ children?

ii. What is the biblical understanding of pastoral call?

iii. What are the different attitudes of pastors’ children towards pastoral call?

iv. What counselling strategies can be implemented effectively for the pastors’ children?

1.13 Research Design

1.13.1 Method

Researcher’s study is to know the in-depth challenges and attitude of children of pastor towards their pastoral call. For this research work, the researcher had followed ‘mixed method’ which includes both Qualitative and Quantitative method. According to John W. Creswell, “Qualitative researchers tend to collect data in the field at the site where participants experience the issue or problem under study.” Through qualitative method, the researcher will be able to observe the behavioral pattern of a person which would add much input and impact to the research work.

“Through qualitative research, in-depth experiences of individuals or groups can be helpful.” Quantitative method on the other hand deals with numbers and calculations done in a systematic way for investigating statistics received from the field. Research includes different ways of data collection such as interviews, observations, group discussions, questionnaire, and case study.

1.13.2 Methodology

The researcher found Phenomenological research useful for this study to have a research based on experience of the participants. According to John W. Creswell, “Phenomenological research is a strategy to get the human experiences about the phenomenon as described by a participant.” Through this methodology, the researcher was able to gather in-depth information about the situation. Therefore, the researcher has found Richard R Osmer’s methodology for exploring the core issues and finding out the solutions.

It covers the four sections in practical theology: “i) The descriptive-empirical task, ii) The interpretive task, iii) The normative task, iv) The pragmatic task. These tasks will explore the following four questions which will be helpful for this research: a) What is going on? b) Why is this going on? c) What ought to be going on? d) How might we respond?” Below these sections are described in details as how it will be used in research field.

1.13.2.1 The Descriptive-Empirical Task

In this section, the researcher had done an empirical research on psycho-social challenges of pastors’ children which led them to have negative response towards pastoral call. The researcher had collected the data with the help of questionnaire which was given to pastors’ children. This research work also has conducted an interview and three case studies.

1.13.2.2 The Interpretive Task

The interpretive task will deal with the reasons for the ongoing issues. The researcher will focus on the several aspects behind these challenges of pastor’s children. It will be an approach to know the mentality of pastors’ children in having negative response towards pastoral call.

1.13.2.3 The Normative Task

The researcher has tried to understand how pastors’ children should face the challenges and how they need to deal with it. Children of pastors need to identify those psycho-social issues and overcome them.

1.13.2.4 The Pragmatic Task

In the pragmatic task, the researcher will determine different ‘pastoral counselling strategies’ that would be desirable to influence the current situations of pastors’ children.

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