Friday, March 20, 2009

Preparation for Crisis (5) - Sharing Skills

Returning to subsistence makes an economic crisis worse. Whatever the situation, we should try to keep the division of labour going as much as possible. Sharing skills is a good way to capture the benefits of specialisation. Each Christian should think about their skills and identify ways to bless other people in their community. These skills might not the same as they exercise in their calling or their paid employment. The prophet might have skills in repair electrical equipment. The accountant might have repaired old cars as a hobby. In some situations these skills might be more valuable do their community than what they usually do.

Christian leaders should look out for people with skills that their community might need. Networks that link needs with skills will be really important for the well being of a community. If we cannot buy new automobiles, we might need to keep older ones going for longer. The person getting their car repaired might not have money to pay the person repairing there cars, but they might be able to deliver vegetables to those who are suffering. Each person should be encouraged to use their skills to bless the rest of their community.

Some skills that are now redundant might become more valuable. These days very people bake their own bread, because it is not economic to put energy into making something that can be bought so cheap at a store. If the economic system really collapsed, bread might be hard to buy. Bread-making skills would be really valuable. People with skills in repairing electrical appliances .and vehicles might suddenly find they have plenty of friends.

A person who loses their job might be tempted to plunge into self-sufficiency by growing their own food. That might be sensible, if they are skilled at gardening and know people who would enjoy the surplus vegetables, but for most people gardening may be totally inappropriate. Each person should find ways to benefit their community doing tasks that utilise their skills. Not everyone is a gardener and man cannot live on vegetables alone.

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