27 June 2014

Aussie Clergy Family Statistics

I'm sad to say there is an extreme lack of statistics or information (apart from anecdotal stories) relating to how ministry affects pastors' spouses and children. A group in Australia called John Mark Ministries have preliminary information on pastors and their spouses. They state that 40% of Australian pastors experience burnout and 47% of their spouses experience burnout too - higher in their partners! But I'm into week 4 of research and cannot find information on their children at all.

That's where I need your help. I believe churches in Australia want, and ought, to know how their clergy families are going in ministry. There should be current information out there about this group and I want to use all the resources possible to turn these individual stories into part of a bigger picture, one that helps us learn the truth (good and bad) and make any changes that might need to be made so these people are loved, nurtured and looked after while they do ministry across Australia. Contact me at clergyfamiliesau@gmail.com.

19 June 2014

FAQ: Your Research

Frequently Asked Questions
Are you doing this research on behalf of another organisation?
No. I am conducting this as an independent researcher, with measures in place to ensure I maintain the national standards of ethical research, as well as speaking to various ethical committees and universities who will be assisting me in creating a thorough, ethically-sound survey. I have a Degree in Health Promotion & Diploma in Theology.

18 June 2014

Clergy Parents: Regrets & Successes In Raising PKs

Clergy family research efforts are quite significant in the US. This great research comes from the Barna Group in 2013 relating to clergy parent regrets and perceived successes in raising their children during their ministry. The article explores areas of faith, ministry and parenting but these statistics really caught my attention as so little is known about this topic in Australia:
Of the clergy who participated:

14 June 2014

Clergy Wives: "Oh My, That's A Tall Order"

Matt found this great little skit from Thom S. Rainer, which I just had to share here! Humour is so often the best way to share a truth too :) "One pastor’s wife told us that her role was like getting a job for which she never applied. She wrote this funny script in her response":

Husband: “Honey, I got you a job today.”

Wife: “Really? Okay, but I wasn’t looking for a job. I have plenty to do here running the household and raising the kids. That was our plan, right? Me stay home with the kids so you could fully dedicate yourself to the ministry.”

13 June 2014

What's a PK anyway?

There are so many abbreviations around I have trouble keeping up! But despite the continents apart, the different nationalities and cultural differences, the sentence "I'm a PK" seems to be understood.

PK = Pastor's Kid/Clergy Kid/Preacher's Kid/Minister's Kid

What's underlying are many similarities, despite denomination or institution. I want to share with you some of the things PKs have written about or shared with us to give you an idea of the realities of the life that comes with the title.

PKs are interlinked with similarities. They know that weekends are often the busiest time of the week. They understand that religion isn't very popular anymore and at the same time, in the church environment, everyone is looking not only at your mum and dad for guidance, help and biblical insight, but also at YOU, watching with a close eye to see what you do, where you go, who you hang out with, how 'Christian' you are in everyday life.