I have been researching burnout and the desire for a work/life balance amongst clergy workers recently and came across this great study. The results were, for me, very eye-opening. A researcher in America (Koehler) asked the spouses of paid clergy workers to keep a log book of their husband or wives' paid ministry hours. The results were quite startling:
- 75% of pastors spend no more than 4 waking hours a day at home (including meals, TV, reading, chores, spending time with their kids).
- Less than half of churches thought that their pastors should take a day off each week.
- Most spouses of pastors recorded that their husband/wife rarely took a day off.
- When the paid clergy worker was at home, most spouses recorded they were in some sort of daze ('seemed a lot like simple exhaustion, not meditation or prayer').
The hours worked per week in the average Australian household are increasing (ABS suggests upwards of 50+ hours). However with clergy having few or even no days off, minimal hours at home and a lack of energy to spend growing and nourishing their family relationships how are their families affected?
If you would like to read the article these statistics came from, I've included the link here.