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).Their top three experiences are:
- Clergy Workers: Pressure from work hours and tasks mean they have very little time and energy left over for their families.
- Clergy Spouses: Express a sense of loneliness while their spouse is in ministry. Mostly due to finding it difficult to make solid friendships in churches and from constantly moving house.
- Clergy Children: Experience the sense of 'being watched', with most adult children saying they felt they had higher expectations on them to behave in a certain way.
Do these experiences relate to Australian clergy families? What unique experiences do they have that might go unspoken if people don't ask? What could be done to approach concerns that Australian clergy families have about being in ministry? Food for thought.