Someone has to redefine work. Compensation. Wealth. I nominate Churches. Not just any churches. I nominate churches that are on the way out. The ones that are losing members. The ones that have no sense of a future.

Such churches are what used to be called the mainline, Methodists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and the like. The dying congregations among these could be pioneers in imagining work and wealth to help us into the future.

Everyone

Of course, we should all get into the act. Here are some simple premises that you might mull over.

Everyone who wants a job should have one. Anyone can imagine work that needs doing and jobs that would serve the needs.

Churches have tons of leeway when it comes to this sort of imagining.

Coaching

Let’s take the coaching phenomenon. The sky is the limit. Anyone can train up to coach something. We are talking an economy that is more or less Paypal. In other words, it just happens. Money is transferred for services rendered.

The coaching model can be supplemented with a sort of elaboration of professional jobs. For example, when AI kicks in we are going to need folk who know how to tie groups to AI resources. AI coaches. Why not?

Loosening up

This is the sort of development that is appropriate to a time of change and disruption and instability. We already know that bottom-feeding is endemic and survival-oriented. Churches could apply themselves to learning the lessons of deep poverty from work they are already doing.

The skills needed to function at the borders of privilege and pain are remarkably suited to congregations where there is still a bit of fire in what is otherwise an environment of frustration.

Values

Without universal ethical guidance, we are liable to sink when the bad apples in any organization surface.

Ground rules that place respect for others at the top, making advantage-seeking and scamming cause for exclusion, are signs of leadership. I recall a camp that ran smooth as silk because there was only one rule. Put the children first.

Triadic values are tolerance, helpfulness, and democracy. Even in churches where these should be assumed, they should be reiterated on a regular basis.

The creation of new jobs and economic models that will serve the future is a worthy enterprise. Imagining a world that treats everyone equally is the height of Christian stewardship. The present system is cruel at the bottom and corrupt at the top. That fact cannot stand.

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