26 August 2014

First Thoughts on The Pastor's Kid - By Barnabas Piper

It's here! I managed to get my hands on a copy of Barabas Piper's new book 'The Pastor's Kid' and so far it's excellent! He's written in such a way that it is very approachable, easy to read and feels very relevant to read. He uses many personal examples in his writing but is very clear from the start that he isn't out to 'expose' his family and its flaws. I'm quite relieved personally, the point is not to bring down a prominent Christian theologian, but to delve into issues that all pastor's kids (PKs) face. He is very thorough too!

20 August 2014

Why Do Clergy Workers Burn Out?

I was sent an article written by an Australian researcher Grant Bickerton regarding the stresses that Australian clergy workers face. Here's a quote I found from an article in The Briefing (an online magazine run by Matthias Media) I thought worth sharing.

When stress at work becomes chronic, it results in burnout. Burnout is defined as a combination of three symptoms:
  • Emotional exhaustion: “All my energy has been spent and I just can’t give any more.”
  • Increasing depersonalization or cynicism about work: “Ministry would be great if it weren’t for parishioners.”
  • Low personal accomplishment: “I’m not having any real impact here anyway”
According to their research, nearly HALF of 4,400 survey participants were on the edge of burnout! They stated:

16 August 2014

Can You Have A Dream Clergy House?!

I've been looking at the idea of home recently, particularly the difference between a 'standard' home and a 'clergy' home. I came across two definitions, interestingly from two contrasting sources. The fact that it was difficult to find a reliable source that defined clergy homes was interesting to me...
Home - The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household (Oxford).
Clergy Home - The residence, or former residence, of one or more priests or ministers of religion (Wikipedia).

12 August 2014

"Moving Is Hard"

I've been reading up recently on the effects of moving on clergy families. Like with anyone else, moving home, school, and community can be very distressing. A study I read recently said on average the study participants moved every 2.5 years!!

You move away from the house you know, the church you know, the friends and family nearby and into a whole new environment. Some research has looked at how moving affects clergy spouses and they often feel extremely lonely and take on the difficult task of working out where the best grocery store is, which local school is the best for their children and what take away food is cheap and reliable. They often also lose their jobs when they move and move so frequently that they are unable to maintain a stable job.

5 August 2014

3 Major Clergy Family Experiences

I've read over 100 papers now and have noticed that there are 3 significant themes that continually come up for clergy families. As you may already know, there are a lot of statistics on how ministry affects clergy workers. I read a fantastic paper the other day discovered that very few ministers enjoy doing admin and also find that admin takes up most of their working time. No surprises there! I'm still hunting for Australian-based research but I thought it worthwhile putting up the 3 major themes that are coming up from international papers (America and Europe mostly).