Lack of good jobs in Memphis is more than an economic problem, says Dr. Chris Scruggs of Advent Presbyterian Church. “It’s also a spiritual problem. If we do not create an environment in which people can find good jobs, we deprive our children of the opportunity to use their unique God-given talents, gifts and abilities. We impoverish ourselves and our society.”
Do you agree? What can the faith community do about this? What is your congregation doing specifically – mentoring, job training, etc. – to help?
Employment is going to be even more challenging in the future. There are a number of reasons for this, but I can specifically think of three. First, the advent of technology is making more jobs obsolete. A prime example is the reduction and shrinkage of mail handled by the Post Office. Secondly, the economic control that is exerted by the few over the vast majority of resources in the United States causes economic deprivation for the masses. The gap between the extremely wealthy and the rest of the country is widening at an alarming rate. While emphasis is placed on profits, they are being squeezed out by downsizing workers. Meanwhile, CEOs and other top managers have obscene salaries and benefits. Sometimes they are paid these sums while they do a perfectly lousy job. Thirdly, jobs for the young are stagnant because more and more older workers are unable to retire with a healthy income. Consequently, college students graduate and have no access to a job.
I believe the economy is in the state where more people will have to have an independent entrepreneurial mind set. The days of expecting a company to look out for your welfare from cradle to grave are gone. At Castalia Baptist Church we are stressing that our members become better managers over their resources. Stewardship is not limited to tithing. All of our income must be handled with responsibility.