I had this thought yesterday and I think it’s important for educators, youth workers, and others working with teenagers to consider.
In my world, youth ministry and childrens ministry seem to be the first things cut at a church. If not first, than high on the list.
Maybe in your world, it’s teacher’s.
Or frontline customer service people.
This isn’t the first recession of my working life. So I’ve seen the ebbs and flows of how it seems to work. In low-times those running things cut symbolically from their own perks and then hammer the little guy with layoffs. Even worse, sometimes they keep the little guy but make their work life horrible buy cutting the funding they need to be effective.
So, now we see youth workers and teachers taking double paycuts. They won’t get a raise this year… didn’t get one last year… even worse, they didn’t get a raise last year and will take a paycut this year. On top of that they will start paying for a lot of ministry stuff out of their pockets. (Hence the double paycut) The same is true of teachers and many other frontline heroes.
So, my question is simple. Why do heroes get paycuts while the big bosses don’t?
Why are teachers seen as replaceable but administrators not? Why are kid’s ministry workers seen as less important than preaching to adults? How come no board says to their senior pastor, “We don’t really need a sermon every week. How about once a month and we’ll just get DVD’s for the other 3 Sunday’s?”
Why are firefighters worried about getting laid off? Are we supposed to believe that city administrators will now answer 911 calls and rush into burning buildings?
I think not. I think our culture grossly undervalues everyday heroes. I hope to one day live in a world where the heroes of society are richly rewarded.