How do you teach a child, “What is a pastor?”

I once was asked to address a classroom filled with 4-6 year old children and try to explain to them what a pastor is and does.  I accepted, not because I felt I could do this well (far from it), but the challenge of it intrigued me.  How do you teach a group of 4-6 year old kids what a pastor is and does?  This is something any pastor should be able to do, so pastor, how would you go about this?  Below, represents my efforts to explain a pastor’s task in the form of props I brought with me to class for the kids to see, touch, and ask questions.


A pastor’s task is to read, study, and teach God’s Word to God’s people.  It is also to be that which dictates all that a pastor believes, lives by, and does to care for others.


A cross is the simplest visual to understand the gospel of that which a pastor preaches and equips the church.  It is also the most obvious way to talk about Jesus and his person and work in a way for children to understand.

Picture of prayer

A pastor is to be dedicated to prayer and the ministry of the Word.  The easiest way to portray prayer to children seemed to be a drawing I brought that showed a man on his knees with folded hands praying to God.  A pastor is specifically to be dedicated to pray for his family and the people in his local church.

Family Picture

My role as a pastor is to first shepherd my wife and children before I focus on anyone in my church.  Their souls have been entrusted to me in the same way as my congregation has been by God.  This is so important that if I fail in this task, I am disqualified from being a pastor.


Most kids would recognize a stethoscope as that which a doctor uses to care for his patients.  A pastor is similar to a doctor in 2 ways.  First, we also go to the hospital to visit people who are sick.  Secondly, like a doctor we care for sick people.  However, as doctors care for the physically ill, we care for those who are spiritually ill whose hearts need healing from sin.

Coffee Mug

I know many of you might take issue with this one, but much of what I do as a pastor revolves around shepherding the flock under the oversight of the heavenly gift of “coffee.”  Whether it is a pot of coffee that gets put on when someone comes over to the house, a one-on-one discipleship meeting conducted over a cup of coffee, or important uninterrupted sermon writing or counseling that takes place at a local Starbucks, much of a pastor’s work (at least mine) often times revolves around coffee, tea, hot chocolate (my 6 year old’s contribution) or some other hospitable drink of choice (which is what the mug ultimately represents).

I hope this acts as a guide for you to come up with your own way to communicate the important role of a pastor to children and why even these little ones should be thankful if they have a faithful pastor in their life.  Whatever version of this teaching you create…try it out on your token 6-year-old at home as I did.

What props would you add to the list and why?

Posted in Home and Family, Hospital Visitation, Preaching
One comment on “How do you teach a child, “What is a pastor?”
  1. That just about sums it up… well said.

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  1. […] How Do You Teach a Child What a Pastor Is? This is cute and helpful. “How do you teach a group of 4-6 year old kids what a pastor is and does?” […]

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