In the next 20 years intelligent machines will eliminate a large percentage of human jobs. The impact of this change has the potential to create, at least temporarily, vast levels of unemployment, increased poverty, and homelessness. In light of this coming event, churches seeking to aid those affected should begin to prepare for how they will help people to address these future concerns.
To many people today, a developing robotic workforce that will dramatically decrease human employment may still seem like an excerpt from a sci-fi novel. But in most business circles, there isn’t much question that such large-scale automation will occur. As robots continue to be developed, business owners are finding that they are not only more efficient at many jobs that humans currently do, but they also come with less business risk and more fiscal gain.
With a potential large number of jobs being lost by humans in a short period of time, it is very possible that the global unemployment rate may rise so dramatically that mass negative systemic social issues within culture begin to occur. This has the potential to create a public crisis of uncertainty about the future.
And typically, when questions of ultimate meaning arise for humanity, institutions of faith are where people go in search of answers.
This is because faith based organizations often provide creative space, through formational practice, for the imagining and discernment of the future for individuals and communities. For generations in the Christian tradition, the church has often served the social function of helping people adapt to rapid societal developments in ways that positively affect their mental and physical health. Because the technological advancement of robots is approaching so rapidly, now is the time that churches need to begin planning for ways they can appropriately respond.
Among numerous ways that churches can begin such preparation are the following four suggestions:
#1 Churches Should Help People Prepare for Fiscal Health.
With so many people saddled with debt, from small business, farm, college, auto, mortgage, and consumer loans, there is a tremendous need to provide educational programs as to how to become debt free. Beyond simple fiscal stability training is the need to encourage people to become savvy about investing and saving for times when their futures may become economically uncertain.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post
The Rev. Dr. Christopher Benek is the Associate Pastor of Family Ministries and Missions at First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Subscribe to his blog and connect with him on social media at http://www.christopherbenek.com