Thursday, 24 January 2008

Is it OK for middle class Christians to employ cleaners?!!!

I had a chat with a friend about this today and thought I'd be put down some thoughts. Here are the main issues:


Humility - it is good for me to clean my own toilet as it grounds me and reminds me of who I really I am. I am just an ordinary man no more special than anyone else. The danger is that I outsource something that actually does my pride a lot of good. It can easily reinforce social pride and self-importance in me. I think one of the most important things I do as a pastor is to clean the toilets of the church I work in. It gives me an (often undesired) object lesson in servanthood and 'washing feet'.

Time - on the one hand it gives me more time for other more important things and priorities, but, on the other, perhaps I am trying to do too many things. If I am too busy to clean up after myself then perhaps I am too busy?


Justice - employing a cleaner may be exploitative and perpetuate someone's low-wages (and implicitly reinforce ethnic divisions as most cleaners have a non-British ethnic origin). This, however, is easily remedied by giving someone a decent, just wage which they can live off and will, of course, give someone employment. That's got to be a great thing and a good opportunity for a Christian.

Money - one might object to it on the issue of money - couldn't money be better used elsewhere? But, in addition to point 3 above, that is the case with anything I do. We spend our money on lots of different things and it is the overall use of money and my total budget that is the issue, not one thing that someone determines to be 'inappropriate'.