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The Triple ‘A’ Formula for Flourishing Ministry Families: An Analysis of the Ministry/Family Journey of Credentialed Ministers and their Spouses within the Australian Christian Churches


Although there have been some recent studies regarding the impact of the ministerial vocation on families, there has been little investigation of the Australian setting, particularly Pentecostal denominations. This gap needs attention given the historically high attrition rate of clergy in Australia. This research explores how credentialed ministers and their spouses from the Australian Christian Churches (ACC; formerly the Assemblies of God in Australia) perceive that their involvement in ministry affects their family lives. The overarching research question was to explore the components that contribute toward or work against the spiritual well-being of the family while fulfilling the unique responsibilities associated with the ministry vocation. In response to findings in my research data, the author developed the “triple A” theory of ministry function and family fulfillment, which asserts that ACC clergy are more likely to experience satisfaction in regard to the spiritual well-being of their family if they enter the ministry with measured Aspirations, have a resolute Awareness of the advantages and adversities associated with the ministry/family journey, and give continual Attention to their family by responding intentionally, spiritually, and protectively while drawing upon sustaining resources and establishing reliable support structures.

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Ethical approval has been sought and received from both the HREC of the institution that awarded the author’s PhD (Alphacrucis College, Sydney Australia) and the national executive leadership team of the ACC (Australian Christian Churches).

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Correspondence to Daryl J Potts.

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I confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal. It has been approved by me being the sole author for submission to the Journal of Pastoral Psychology. There are no conflicts of interest of any kind in regard to this manuscript and ethical approval has been sought and received by both the HREC of the institution that awarded my PhD and the National Executive Leadership of the Australian Christian Churches.

Signed: Daryl Potts Date: Thursday, 29 August 2019

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Potts, D.J. The Triple ‘A’ Formula for Flourishing Ministry Families: An Analysis of the Ministry/Family Journey of Credentialed Ministers and their Spouses within the Australian Christian Churches. Pastoral Psychol 69, 149–167 (2020).

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  • Ministry
  • Clergy family
  • Clergy spouses
  • Pastor’s kids
  • Ministry stressors
  • Family stress theory
  • Australian Christian churches