Life Advice



Ask Amy: Pastor’s child feels weight of service

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My father is a pastor of a small church. He's been pastoring for 30 years.

I'm in my 40s and I've played a major role in our church all these years. I've carried many roles, such as worship leader, choir director, Sunday school teacher, music director, and youth leader.

Since the pandemic our church has had to pivot, and it hasn't been easy. We've lost many members during this time.

My father is in his 70s and still going strong, but it seems like we don't have a vision for where we're going as a church.

Sometimes I want to just be a member and not play such a large role in the church. I'm also a teacher and mom of two preteens. If I'm there, it's just expected that I have to work.

How do I tell my dad I need a break without breaking his heart?


– Faithful Preachers Kid

Dear Faithful: I’ve shared your question with my friend Christian Coon, a United Methodist pastor, co-founder of Urban Village Church in Chicago, and host of the podcast “Failing Boldly.”

Christian answers: “Pastors love dedicated volunteers! Unfortunately, we too often take them for granted. We don’t mean to, but in the midst of juggling many challenges in ministry, we simply count on having people who can be counted on.

Unfortunately, the spiritual lives of these faithful volunteers can suffer in the process.


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