dande48 wrote: ↑
12 May 2019, 10:06
SilentDawning wrote: ↑
12 May 2019, 09:17
Also, when does service become simply free labor? I see it as a great thing for the poor...but it could quickly become like moving in our church.
I'd say "whenever the Church is involved".
For me, it's when individuals use church volunteer labor for things they could afford or do themselves. Service like the kind we're talking about is for people who have no other alternative in my view. Like you say, a wealthy or at least, self-reliant person dropping off their car for someone else to fix for free would be an example of free labor. A single parent with 3 kids living below the poverty line, or barely making it dropping it off -- for fixing -- would be an example of service.
But I was talking about the individual fixing their own car, using the Church's garage. It's not "free labor" if you're doing it yourself. All you would need is a facilities manager... who the tithes can pay, but honestly would require less work than quite a few unpaid callings. Auto work isn't hard, by any stretch, so long as you have access to the right tools... and access to youtube.
That would be empowering. There was a shop like that in Canada once and for some reason it was closed due to some kind of outside pressure. You paid by the hour to rent the shop and tools, and there were actually several bays.
For the church, the investment in tools would be significant depending on the scope of the work it would claim to be possible in the shop. And someone would have to staff it to make it accessible. Not sure if it would work...
Little story -- years ago my FIL was a branch president. He let me store a vehicle I wasn't using at his expansive property. We were newly married, my wife and I, and I have always been, and still am, an old-car driver. The car I stored there still worked, and could be driven immediately, but it was old and close to the end of its life.
I happened upon a newer vehicle that was in good shape, so I drove that one and kept the old one as backup for when I needed to look for another car, or our circumstances changed.
One of his flock had a financial problem and didn't have a car to get to work. He asked if they could drive mine. I asked for how long and he didn't have an answer. It sounded indefinite.
Sounds good on the surface, right? I said "No" for a few reasons. If they couldn't afford a car, and were in financial trouble, could they repair it if it broke down? What about insurance? Who would pay that (it had only comprehensive on it, no liability)? And what about wear and tear? The car was near the end of its life -- did I want to give away that life to someone when I could be in the same position they are in if my own main car broke down?
This was a case when service was going a bit far, in my view. Basically, a long-term free car rental. In the end the person made the right decision -- they moved out of the country house they were in, and moved into the city where they could take a bus.