Joseph Chang, 26, grew up as the son of Salvation Army officers in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., Dallas, Texas and Baltimore, Md. Today he is a multimedia ministries editor and media archivist for the Salvation Army. Read about his experiences growing up as a PK in the Q&A below.
What did you enjoy about growing up as a PK?
Being able to travel a lot.
What was hard about growing up as a PK?
It was tough. Constantly moving hit me the hardest because making friends was difficult for me. My family moved so much that I stopped trying to make friends because I knew I would have to say goodbye to them at one point. I always had to be well-mannered because my parents’ reputation was always on the line.
Did you ever feel pressured to become an officer yourself?
I did when was younger. As I grew older, my parents never pressured to be a religious leader. They wanted me to pursue my passions.
Were you sheltered as a PK?
My parents were urban missionary pastors, so the places where my family was living weren’t safe. When it comes to being sheltered, my parents would always tell to come home early and stay home to keep us safe.
Were you ever stereotyped for being a PK?
Of course. As a preacher’s kid you’re stereotyped as godly child. Even in a church setting, kids my own age at the time wouldn’t feel comfortable around me because I was automatically labeled as a brat or they thought I would assume everything they did was a sin.
How has being an officers’ kid changed your life today?
Despite of all the negative points I’ve made, my parents are my big influences because of their life’s dedication to serve the Lord. Seeing the amount of time and effort they have put into their ministry reminds me to keep pursuing my passion.
What do you want people to know about growing up as a PK?
Growing up as a child of a religious leader is tougher. For me, it was mostly about moving. I hated it. Constantly packing and repacking. Making friends isn’t easy as a child especially when you’re introduced to new worlds every year. Education was hard to up keep. In the end, it was never about me. I knew my parents were doing all of this just to serve the Lord.