15 June 2018

Counselling & Clergy Families: What's It All About? (Interview)

In our recent study, Doing Ministry Together, 62% of respondents felt that clergy and their families would benefit from counselling. We wanted to learn a bit more about what counselling is and how it might help clergy families around Australia. So today, we chat with Valerie Ling, an Australian psychologist and clergy wife, who specialises in preventing ministry burnout and promoting clergy family resilience. She helped us debunk some of the mystery about counselling - and offered some great advice for finding a counselor who suits you.

4 May 2018

Clergy Status in the Age of the Royal Commission (Part I)

Intricate. That is the word I would use to sum up the world of Church and State Law that Hon Keith Mason, AC QC discussed at the Trinity College lecture. It was a helpful lecture about the history and role of Church Law and how the status of clergy within the Church and society is significant relating to the 2017 Royal Commission. Today I will be taking a look at some key points that stood out to me and in Part II we will be exploring the impact on clergy in the light of the Royal Commission.

9 April 2018

Being Seen but not Known (Friendship in MInistry)

Thought & Themes: Seen but not Known
A pastor can seem like he’s known by many — he reveals a bit of himself each week to hundreds or thousands — while he’s really known by few. Revelations of himself during sermons are often like revelations over social media: Controlled vulnerability that keeps people at a distance either through over- or under-sharing.”
Elliott Grudem (Pastors Need Friends Too)
This quote has to be one of the most accurate representations of ministry challenges that I’ve heard to date. It is a difficult but common reality that many clergy and their families face in ministry, often telling me “they think they know me but they don’t know the real, let-my-hair-down me!” 

5 April 2018

PK Place: Take the Journey

Being a clergy kid (PK) is a journey.
It can be fun, it can be challenging, it can be easy, and it can be confusing. So we think it’s important for PKs, while they are on that journey, to have some stuff just for them to help them as they go (read more).

The PK Place has 3 zones:

SNAP It: Packed with crafts, challenges and puzzles to try out with their family and friends (especially great for family game nights or PK catch ups!).  

TAG It: A year-long quest to earn the Summer Mystery Box! Includes 4 school holiday quests that PKs can do with their PK friends or family.

  PK Life: A space to chat about the ups and downs of being a PK, try out some fun quizzes with your family or other PKs you might know and try out some handy ideas and life hacks!

1 March 2018

Clergy Families: Same, Same But Different

February Thoughts & Themes: Just Like Everyone Else, Right?! #ACFlife

One of the most common conversations we have with people, is how being a clergy family is different to any other family in another profession. Our answer is usually that clergy families are the same as other families – and also different.

So, how is it similar and why is it different?

21 February 2018

[New!] The Rhythms of Ministry

Themes & Thought! New to 2018, we'll be sharing a musing or reflection with you each month discussing various subjects relating to ministry and family life. We'd love to share the conversation with you below and hear what you think. Let us know if there's something you'd like us to explore and chat about!


The Rhythms of Ministry (January)

There's a lot of talk about a healthy work-life balance, and often how difficult it is to achieve that in professions with unpredictable, but necessary, hours. An article we read recently suggested there were ebbs and flows in ministry you have to work around. This got us thinking! What if ministry is less about a balance and more about working out the busier, quieter, and regular seasons to help you create a rhythm that includes all areas of life? Maybe that means working out what's essential for each season and what can wait for another time. Or perhaps it's creating a written schedule that helps to plan for the busier seasons in the quieter ones. Regardless of what your Ministry Rhythm looks like, and perhaps it changes with each church or family season, understanding it could give you some room to expect the sometimes chaotic hours and not be overwhelmed when the tides change.

What do you think about the Rhythms of Ministry? 

~ Rachel  

February: Just Like Everyone Else, Right?

 www.australianclergyfamilies.com -- Journeying together with clergy families

15 February 2018

5 Things Every Pastor's Kid Should Know

Barnabas Piper's book 'The Pastor's Kid' was one of the first books I ever read about clergy family life. His honesty and passion to see clergy children and clergy families around the world understood and cared for has been truly inspirational.

After reading his book (read my review here), my hunt for helpful resources for clergy kids has stretched far and wide across the internet! In my travels, I came across this wonderful list on a Facebook page for pastor's kids. It struck me recently after completing our research with clergy kids how similar the experience is for PKs across the world.

We know from speaking to many adult clergy kids here in Australia that as they get older, they become more aware of the expectations, circumstances, and needs of their parent's ministry. Many tell us they find it difficult to open up about how they're going because they often don't want to be a burden. Maybe that's where ice cream comes in! If you know a PK, maybe it's worth grabbing an ice cream, hot chocolate or even going for a walk sometime and sharing a chat about what they're enjoying or finding difficult in ministry at the moment? I hope you find this list an encouraging starting point!


"Here are five things I would want to tell to every PK.

1) You Don't Have To Be Perfect: You may feel the pressure of being perfect, but being perfect is an impossible expectation to meet. We aren't perfect. We will never be perfect. The best we can do is strive to be like Jesus.