CHRISTIAN APPROACHES TO WORK
Learning Outcomes: By the end of the topic you should be able to;
a Define the term “work” and “vocation”
b Explain and appreciated the traditional African attitude towards work c Explain the role of professional ethos, ethics and code in society
d Explain virtues related to work
e Discuss the moral duties and responsibilities of employers and employees f Discuss Christian approaches to issues related to employment
LESSON ONE: DEFINITION OF TERMS
Learning outcomes: By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
- Explain the meaning of work. Vocation, profession, trade, craft, and job
- Give general reasons why people work
Use of energy, physical or mental, for the purpose of improving human life; It is any activity that requires expenditure of energy or application of skills e.g. studying, teaching, cooking, farming etc.
Work can be described as a vocation, profession, trade, craft, career or a job.
Vocation is from a Latin word “Vocare” which means call ‘
Christians believe that every individual has been called of God to various duties.
Vocation is work that requires special skills, special training or a unique call or a special mission in society.
Work that is characterized by a code of ethics, lengthy specialized training, advance knowledge and self– disciple. Professionals have their own set standards. The professionals determine entry requirements for new members and usually have machinery for dealing with errant members. E.g. Law, medicine, architecture etc
Refers to an occupation, a way of making a living; Some trades require specialized training examples hairdressing
An occupation which requires manipulative skills or use of the hands e.g. woodcarving, pottery, weaving. A craft may be a trade depending on the nature of occupation.
An occupation that one chooses to pursue in his/her life; It’s the general way of earning a living.
Refers to tasks performed, services rendered in return for payment of wages. Most jobs are temporary others casual and others permanent and pension able.
What determines one’s career, vocation?
- Available opportunities for future development in a particular job
- The need to serve others especially the church and the needy
- Interests, strengths, talents, abilities
- Inclination or attraction to a certain kind of work
- Pressure from parents, peers etc
General reasons why people work
- It’s an essential element of life
- God ordained work. Humans work for their food
- Work contributes to the development of the community
- Work is personal. It defines a person
- People work to earn a living
- People work for enjoyment, leisure
- To assist and give to the needy
- To get luxuries
- People work to raise their standards of living
- For self satisfaction and fulfillment
- For personal development
- To keep a person occupied and not idle
- To acquire wealth and status in the society
- To socialize with other members of the society
- To attain independence and not depend on someone else
LESSON TWO: TRADITIONAL AFRICAN ATTITUDE TO WORK
Learning outcomes: By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:
a. Explain importance of work
1. Work is essential to the well being of the individual and survival of the community
- Work ensured basic needs such as food, shelters etc were provided.
- In traditional African society work was divided according to the age, gender, and status e.g. chief, elder of the individual.
- Everyone was a worker. Boys assisted in herding, fishing, girls assisted in cooking fetching firewood. Women cooked, took care of babies constructed houses (maasai) etc.
- Works among the traditional African societies included pastoralist, farmers, livestock keeping, fishing, bee keeping etc
- Work was a communal affair; people would work together and assist each other
- Work was not for a wage (Money). The rewards of work-included food, communal unity, acquisition of moral values etc.
- Hard work was emphasized, laziness was condemned
- There were some specific works for specialization e.g. herbal medicine men, divination, prophecy, rain making, pottery etc.
- Work involved giving prayers, offerings, and sacrifices to God
- Through work, the basic needs of the individual, community were fulfilled
- Through work potentials; talents and skills were explored, acquired and utilized.
- Work had a religious dimension as well as a social dimension. It brought people together improving their relations
- Find out how different communities in Kenya lived in the past and how they live today
- How did the lifestyle of the communities influence daily activities
LESSON THREE: CHRISTIAN TEACHING ON WORK
Learning outcomes; By the end of the lesson you should be able to: –
1. Describe the christens teachings about work
The Christian teaching on work is based mainly on the interpretation of the bible, the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of the apostles. Some of the teachings are: –
- God himself instituted work. He created the heavens and the earth and all in it. Since God worked man should work. (Gen. 2:1)
- God’s work of creation is good (Gen. 1:31) Christians should endeavor to produce good works
- Work is a duty, an obligation, a command Christians are responsible for God’s creation (Gen.2: 15). They are to protect it – animals, birds, plants, marine life are all under the care of man.
- Human beings should work to acquire their basic needs (Genesis. 1:29 – 30, 3:19) God blesses the work of our hands
- Human beings are co – creators with God (Gen.1: 28) God continue to create through human beings. Human beings glorify God through their work.
- God reveals himself through his work of creation. God had a purpose for his creation. He is orderly, source of life, Almighty etc.
- Work is a co – operative undertaking. Eve was created to be Adam’s helper (Gen. 2:20) Christians should co – operate in their undertakings
- Hard work is praised and laziness is looked down upon. (Proverbs 31:27). Christians should work for their daily needs and not become a burden to others.
- Work should be accompanied with rest (Gen.2: 2) God rested on the 7th day from all his work. God commanded the Israelites to rest on the 7th day.
- People should enjoy what they have worked for (Ecc.3: 22)
- Work should be done for the glory of God and for the good of the society.
- People should work honestly not steal but work to earn an honest living (Eph.4: 28)
- Those who do not work should not eat
They should always work since God is always at a work (John 15:17)
LESSON FOUR: ROLES OF PROFESSIONAL ETHOS, ETHICS AND CODES IN THE SOCIETY
Learning outcomes: By the end of the lesson, you should be able to: –
- Define the following terms, professional ethics, professional codes and professional ethos
- Describe the role of ethics
Principles of behaviour / conduct that guide members of a particular profession; what workers are allowed to do and not to do.
The group identity of members of a profession, their unique custom or character e.g. what identifies doctors, lawyers etc.
Profession codes or code of ethics
Collection of laws arranged systematically according to major concerns and core functions of the profession.
- To regulate the behaviour of professional (workers)
- Enables professionals to understand their role
- Ensures professionals provide quality of services to their clients
- To encourage respect among professionals
- Give guidance on how professionals should relate to one another
- They safe guard professionals against being compromised / misused
- They determine expected level of performance
- They serve as a measure of competence
- Act as a measure of quality service
- They protect the professionals
- They provide a reference point for disciplining (used to discipline the errant professional)
- They inspire respect and high esteem for professionals
- Through professional codes, ethics, ethos, professional earn public trust
LESSON FIVE: VIRTUES RELATED TO WORK
Learning outcome: By the end of the lesson the learner should be able to: -es
1. Define the term virtue
2. Give examples of virtues related to work
A virtue is a good human habit. It’s a moral principle, moral quality or goodness of character and behaviour.
Examples of virtues elated to work
- Diligence – hardworking
- Honesty, integrity – ability to be relied upon (Integrity) Honest is being truthful.
- Faithfulness – being trustworthy and loyal
- Responsibility – ability to make decisions and take action independently. Being mindful of other people’s welfare
- Tolerance – ability to bear with others or with difficult situations
LESSON SIX: MORAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES
Learning outcomes: by the end of the lesson, you should be able to: –
- State and explain the duties and responsibilities of employers towards employees
- List the rights of employers
- Outline the moral duties of employees
- List the rights of employees
Employers: government, non – governmental organization, private sector – individuals, company, self-employment.
Employers have several duties and responsibilities towards their employees. They are:
- To organize and conduct business efficiently for the benefit of the institution, employer, community
- To respect the employee, treat them with dignity
- Pay a fair wage to the employee
- Ensure good healthy and safe working conditions
- Provide social welfare for the employees e.g. time off, leave days, time for recreation
- Grant leave as required by law or the terms of contract
- Take care of the welfare of the employees give medical cover, pension scheme etc
- To motivate their employees
- To reward employees
- Compensate employees made redundant
Rights of the employer
Employers have a right to / are entitled to
- Get profits from their businesses
- Carry out their businesses without unfair taxation
- Form association with other employers
- Obtain and conduct business
- Hire, dismiss employees in accordance with the requirements of their firms and contract
- Demand a fair days work
- Conduct business without subjection to unfair conditions and competitions
Rights of the employees
To receive fair wages
To have a reasonable work load
Have reasonable hours of work
Have safety and protection at work
Right to join a labour union
Right to further individual training and development education
Rights to retirement, terminal benefits
Rights to a fair opportunity for provision
A right to time for rest
Right to Favorable working conditions