Original Research - Special Collection: Church

Work-nonwork interference: Can ministers currently cope with increasing job demands against limited resources within South Africa?

Anso van der Westhuizen, Eileen Koekemoer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 2 | a2091 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i2.2091 | © 2015 Anso van der Westhuizen, Eileen Koekemoer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 November 2013 | Published: 29 May 2015

About the author(s)

Anso van der Westhuizen, School of Human Resource Sciences, Economic and Management Sciences Faculty, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Eileen Koekemoer, School of Human Resource Sciences, Economic and Management Sciences Faculty, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa

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Ministers of religion have a unique occupation with designated job demands and incongruous resources at their disposal. Literature indicates that stressors within the work environment are significant predictors of work-nonwork interference. Ministers play a key role within society and provide support for individuals on multiple levels. However, limited studies are found in South Africa focussing on ministers’ job characteristics related to work-nonwork interference, and how ministers cope. The main objective of this study was to investigate job demands and job resources as significant predictors of work-nonwork interference amongst ministers of religion, and to identify which coping strategies are most significant for ministers in dealing with work-nonwork interference. A cross-sectional survey design was used amongst ministers working in the three sister churches (N = 199). Various instruments were administered to measure job characteristics, work-nonwork interference and coping strategies empirically. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, product-moment correlations and multiple regression analyses. Results indicated that for ministers different job demands (i.e. cognitive demands and pace and amount of work) and job resources (i.e. financial support and job significance) significantly predicted work-parent, work-home and work-religion/spirituality interference. Results indicated turning to religion as the only significant coping strategy used by ministers to deal with work-parent interference and work-religion interference. Ministers of religion are continually exposed to increasing job demands and a lack of job resources, and therefore experience work-nonwork interference. Nevertheless, the ministers apparently cope by using the strategy best related to their profession, turning to religion/spirituality. Turning to religion/spirituality seems to be the most effective in dealing with work-nonwork interference.


ministers; religion; job demands; work-nonwork interference; coping


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