A provocative article about the hashtag #ThanksForTyping recently appeared on the website Ministry Matters:
It had started with a few tweets by Bruce Holsinger, a literary scholar at the University of Virginia, noting that the acknowledgments in older academic work often included the author’s wife for her work in typing the manuscript. In some acknowledgments, the unnamed wife did much more — transcriptions, edits, even Chinese calligraphy — in addition to caring for children and pursuing her own profession…..much of the unspoken expectations of both clergy and professors rely on someone else at home providing most of the unpaid labor….
Instead of illustrating a better way, the church ends up perpetuating capitalist values of worth being tied to productivity. Clergy are urged to work more and harder, as if we can stave off the slow decline of institutional Christianity by ourselves. Rather than safeguarding time for our families and spiritual lives, like our for-profit counterparts, we are urged to be available 24/7….Ideally, clergy could model a better way for a culture caught in a rat race — a life marked by prayer and worship, meaningful time with family and friends, and the joyful parts of pastoring a church. [Read more]
There’s much more, but that will give you a taste. Some takeaways for the FAW movement to ponder:
- Where is the line between productivity and overwork?
- Are we in fact perpetuating work as being tied to productivity rather than rooting it in the imago dei (whatever our theories on the matter might say)?
- Are we as leaders modeling that “better way”?
- Can you model that “better way” in a for-profit setting? If so, what needs to change to make it possible?
- How are we speaking into settings where there is someone at home providing unpaid labor?
- How are we speaking into settings where there is no one at home providing unpaid labor?
That’ll do for starters. 🙂