Great Ways Churches Are Supporting Clergy Families

Written by Rachel

We know from our research that clergy families receive wonderful support, in many different ways, from their church community. As they share the ministry journey with them, churches have a unique ability and opportunity to care for clergy and their families - and are eager to ensure this happens by sharing many wonderful resources and suggestions online!

I wanted to celebrate some of the great ways that churches support and love their clergy families with this great list of supports from our research* as well as other ministry families who have appreciated their churches' care:

1. Being Encouraged: That their efforts are noticed and making a difference. A note, a friendly email, a thank-you, even a hug is more loving and supportive than you can imagine!

2. Celebrating Who They Are: Loving and supporting their uniqueness, taking an interest
in how they are, what their interests, hobbies or careers are outside of church.

3. Accepting That They Make Mistakes: Sometimes they make mistakes, and that being okay with their church family makes a world of difference!

4.Being Welcomed: Ministry families love being greeted and loved as people who are part
of their church community, not just because of their clergy family status.

5.Supporting Family Time: Enjoying a meal or movie together as a family away from ministry is a wonderful gift of downtime!

6. Acknowledging The Difficulties: It can be hard following a calling to ministry, but the support of their church community makes it much easier. Help with moving in, a welcome basket on moving day or a simple 'Hi, how are you?' is an incredible support.

7. Understanding Cheeky Behaviour!: Just like any other kids, clergy kids will be cheeky, noisy, and sometimes even misbehave! Many clergy parents (and PKs) tell us how much they appreciate when their church families love them just the way they are as they're growing up.

8. Bearer of Coffee: A simple coffee and biscuit on a busy Sunday morning is a huge help
to the clergy spouse juggling kids, conversation, and ministry activities!

9. Offers To Babysit: This says it all! This makes date nights, church events, and even errand days much easier!.

10. Simple Surprises: Unexpected offers of help to keep the house or yard clean, or treats they can't afford on a clergy's salary often stay with them for many years to follow as a truly special support.

11.Suggesting Great Eats: An unusual support, but one that makes clergy families feel at home! Suggesting a good restaurant, inviting them around for a meal, or playing tour guide when they're new to town are simple ways that churches are showing their love.

12. Praying For Them: As individuals and as a family. Knowing their church family holds them in prayer and knows what to pray for them is a great encouragement.

13. Speaking Privately: Every church family has disagreements! When these are
discussed privately and with the right person, it is an invaluable support and kindness to clergy and their families.

14. Supporting Days Off: Having someone who can field queries on the clergy's day off,
or supporting clergy families as they unwind from a busy week is always appreciated!

15. Encouraging Their Role In The Church: As each clergy family has something unique
to offer  (1 Corinthians 12:18-20), spouses and even clergy kids cherish the church supporting them as they discover how they can serve God based on their skills and interests.

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Such an encouraging list! Thank you to our wonderful church communities who do an incredible job caring, loving, and supporting ministry families. You make such a difference!

If you're in ministry, we'd love to hear how your church supports you!
Leave a comment below.