26 October 2017

4 Surprising Findings About Clergy Family Life

It’s funny how a few simple conversations can be the start of something bigger. This research wouldn’t have started, or been completed, if it wasn’t for two incredible women God introduced me to through our chats with clergy families. The first was a hard-working ministry wife with 5 kids. Exhausted by the need for another ministry move, she explained how much she enjoyed ministry, but was tired of how little people understood the financial, spiritual, and personal costs that often came with it. I’m so grateful for this conversation; she inspired us to learn more about clergy family life. The second woman was an 18-year-old clergy child (PK). When our survey first opened she wasn’t old enough to participate; but she waited until the final month, when she'd turned 18, and told us about her experience. I won’t soften it, she was distraught. She told us how hard it was as a PK to be misunderstood and unseen as the person she was because of the expectations of others. As difficult as it was for her to tell us about her life, I’m continually inspired by her bravery to speak up, even though she was certain no one would want to hear about it.

20 October 2017

4 Unexpected Discoveries About Clergy Family Life In Australia

Doing Ministry Together has been amazing to be part of and has given me many opportunities to better understand the intricacies of clergy family life. Four points struck me the most.
Consistency of Experience
I was amazed that the experiences of clergy spouses and children were so similar across denominations and generations. The fact that they are so similar regardless of these factors impressed on me just how important this research is to help churches all around Australia to understand how ministry does affect clergy families. 

Home Life Respected
I was surprised just how important appropriate separation of family and ministry spaces was to clergy spouses and children. From the reading we had done, I expected far more of a priority to be placed upon the condition of the housing supplied. Instead, we see families most commonly wanting to have more control over the ministry use of their home. I was shocked to discover that those who did not want things to change actually had a separation between ministry and family life. This sent a clear message to me: that separation of ministry from home life was their highest priority - and it can be achieved.
I’d be very interested in finding out more about how this separation was managed from those who said they were happy with their home use.

10 October 2017

Inside Out & Clergy Families (Review)

What if your emotions were really people? What sort of conversations would they have when it came to a new situation? And what if, like many clergy families, moving house was a difficult change you had to deal with? Well, in Inside Out, this is exactly what 11-year-old Riley has to tackle as her family moves to a new city for her dad’s work. She leaves so much that is familiar and we get a front row seat to the way her mind grapples with this. 

The characters representing Riley emotions are comical and honest: Anger is short-tempered and fiery, Happiness is unstoppably optimistic, and Sadness mopes in true Eeyore fashion. They negotiate for ultimate influence over Riley’s experiences and memories, and are challenged by moving house and community to decide who will be in charge of the response Riley has at different times – or might it be more than one of them at once?

9 October 2017

Practical Ministry & Moving Tool (App Review)

When we first began Australian Clergy Families, we thought it would be a great idea to create an adaptable app that was easy for people in ministry to use which could quickly tell you where the nearest doctor, takeaway, petrol station or school was without having to do a lot of leg work on top of moving or driving to other towns for meetings and events.

Turns out, it already exists! You might already have it, but we love this great, free app and have found it incredibly nifty when visiting a new area, just after moving - or if you're like me and tend to get lost on new roads!

Size: 38.7 MB
Cost: Free
Available On: Android & iDevices

Incredibly easy to use and download, we ran a few tests to see how if it was up for the Australian terrain challenge! We found the nearest petrol station to Coober Pedy, a fish and chip shop in Adelaide, and the closest hospital in Launceston. They even include opening hours, star ratings, website details, and show you where it is on the map.

With the busy end-of-year season approaching, which always includes more travel than normal, we hope this app gives you a friendly helping hand. If you've used it before in your ministry travels, we'd love to know what you think of it!

~ Rachel

www.australianclergyfamilies.com -- a community of support & encouragement for those in ministry