24 April 2017

A Clergy Husband's Survival Guide (Book Review)

Finding resources for clergy husbands is actually quite difficult. While there is a generous supply of personal stories online, this book is a rare find, even though a vast majority of Australian denominations now accept female clergy in some form or another.

A Clergy Husband’s Survival Guide fits all our good reads criteria! It’s affordable, recent, easy to read, short, and friendly.
Written in 2012, the author walks you through the ministry journey, from the wife’s call to ministry through to retirement. No assumptions are made about a clergy husband’s faith, involvement, or even their interest in ministry. This enables the writer to approach a variety of subjects in a very practical way, removing the often complicated social contexts and expectations.
He talks about the clergy family lifestyle clearly and suggests choices you can make as a clergy husband that suit you as an individual, protect your family, and care for your community. 
 
While the first few chapters explain the process of ordination in the Church of England, the book itself includes subjects and issues that we’ve seen across a wide range of Australian denominations. The author is a clergy husband himself, and has conducted his own qualitative research with clergy husbands which has informed his writing. He doesn’t claim to have or know all the answers, but seeks to provide guidance and advice where he can so the ministry lifestyle is as enjoyable and sustainable as possible. He covers topics such as defining what ‘type’ of clergy husband you can be, the practicalities of ministry life (including in the home) and has an entire section dedicated to difficult topics that are often realities but are rarely discussed or tackled publicly.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While the author is clear the book is written for clergy husbands, I had no trouble applying the advice and questions to others in the clergy family. His insights proved easily adaptable and gave me a fresh and often surprising perspective! 

I walked away feeling well-equipped to face the practicalities of ministry life and aware that when difficulties arise (loss of faith, conflict in the church, even sexual immorality), there are people who have faced them before and have found ways forward. The book encourages you to make choices that respect and protect yourself and those important to you.

If you’re interested in learning about being a clergy husband, I’d recommend this book. If you’re looking for practical family and ministry life advice, I would also recommend this book. If you know a couple going into ministry, or you’re a church member or Christian leader interested in learning more about these realities, try this guide.

We enjoyed this book so much we’re sharing 3 copies with you in this month’s Resource Giveaway! We hope it gives you some helpful ways forward and challenges things that may need attention. To enter, visit our page or find us on Facebook.

If you’d like to purchase a copy, try Book Depository - and don't forget to tell us what you think of it!




~ Rachel