20 September 2016

Ministry Appreciation Week (FAQs)

Since 2015, we have been celebrating the wonderful things God is doing through Australian ministries and thanking the hard workers who help make them happen! From clergy families through to large Christian organisations, Ministry Appreciation Week recognises and celebrates every community and their ministry each year.

We've got some exciting new celebrations coming in 2017 we can't wait to share with you!

Q: When is Ministry Appreciation Week?
A: Third week of October each year across Australia. In 2017, Ministry Appreciation Week
is held from 16th to 22nd October.

Q: How did Ministry Appreciation Week start?
A: Inspired by clergy appreciation month in America, Ministry Appreciation Week began in 2015 with a few handwritten notes and thank you chocolates! It's now an annual event on our calendar with events, activities and celebrations around Australia. We'd love to join you in celebrating Ministry Appreciation Week this year and hear how you and your ministry community celebrate your year of ministry together!

Q: How do I get involved?

A: We host a range of online activities and events throughout the week and would love to see you there! To see what's happening, stay in touch via Facebook or through our Ministry Appreciation Week page.

Most importantly, celebrate your ministry wherever you are around Australia, in your own way! We would love to learn more about your ministry and community, and share in your celebrations so send us an email or share a photo on social media with the hashtag #celebratingministry! We have some fun, printable media tags you can use, or make your own.

Here's some of our favourite ways to celebrate during Ministry Appreciation Week:
* Laughs and BBQs: Bring your ministry community together for some laughs and sausages to celebrate your year of ministry together
* Send a note of encouragement to your lecturers and registrars at your theological college
* Give a gift or lend a hand to your minister and their family during the week to say thanks for their ministry to you and your church community
* Write a email of thanks to Christian organisations who encourage you each week through Facebook, the radio, magazines or newsletters you receive
* Shout your work team the next round of coffees as a way of saying thanks for another great year together!
* Pay the parking for chaplains who care for people in hospitals, prisons, or schools
* Send a thank you email to Christian aid or missionary organisations who support local and international communities from here in Australia
* Drop in some chocolates to the staff workers who keep the books and admin running smoothly
* Buy afternoon tea for the lay leaders or volunteers who run ministries every week at church
* Post a thankyou note or gift to your regional leader or denominational office who supported you throughout the year
* Treat yourself to some time away or a favourite treat during the week to celebrate!

God is doing amazing things through Australian ministries! We hope you enjoy celebrating this Ministry Appreciation Week; don't forget to send us a picture!

~ Rachel and Matt Stevens

Australian Clergy Families is a community of support and encouragement for those in ministry.

7 September 2016

Part I: Are Clergy Hours Fair?

We're beginning our series of difficult topics this month (Embrace The Awkward!). As part of my research into various subjects,  I came across a rather controversial article written by Thom Rainer (a prominent American clergy worker and researcher) which I thought was worth sharing.

A few years ago he conducted a survey to get an idea of what people in the church thought he should a) do with his time each week and b) how many hours he should dedicate to each one. He listed 20 areas and received the following answers: