A South England Conference Platform


Changing Priorities

In the current financial crisis, it’s easy to say that now is the time to change our priorities. Humans have permanently changed their priorities to suit different situations.

We have a continuous disruption in our work and organisations, but the concept of constant disruption has been with us since the end of the 80s. We often think that Covid-19 brought about new ways of thinking, but since Eve looked at that fruit in the Garden of Eden, humans have been used to new ways of thinking.

We must change our priorities to cope with the changes in circumstances. I spy on the fuel price daily when I pass the filling station near my house. It’s a simple man’s barometer of where we are heading. Without overthinking it, most of us must think that we must buy the cheapest fuel. We need to choose the more affordable grocery options when in the supermarket.

To discuss the ongoing management of cost and health and safety, business experts Nichols, Hayden, and Trendler wrote in the Harvard Business Review that speed is needed in decision-making and that this is even more important than accuracy. These authors reason that keeping up with such a high tempo of change is essential. And to do this, you need to know your priorities. A good practice is to revise priorities regularly, keep abreast of them, and repeat them.

Should our priorities reflect what we know to be the solution to the crisis? Laura Hartman quotes Myers, saying that as sabbath keepers, we are responsible for not taking too many (resources). “Sabbath Economics teaches self-sufficiency through sharing available resources, or cooperative consumption, with the emphasis on justice and care for the needy, and not self-indulgent relaxation”.

Perhaps, as a church, we already know part of the answer to the crisis. It is time for us to demonstrate to the world that in simplicity, even the newest situation can be faced because of principles known to us.

Jimmy Botha currently serves as the President of the Scottish Mission, after having served as pastor in Scotland since 2006.