Believe it - there are now studies available around the world as to the cost value of savings of road accidents by using rail transport. The nature of prevention has now been calculated in this transport reality and the question is whether other prevention roles can be likewise given a dollar value.
The New South Wales Government department of Transport and Infrastructure likewise looks at these same critical numbers whereby a figure can be given to areas of transportation that might give cause to the prevention of accidents. This involves all costs associated with road trauma from hospital, medical, mental, psychiatric, physiological, rehabilitation, recovery, time off work and the like.
Sport too has been linked to this same situation, that by being physically active, there is a national cost saving to the health budget. The costs associated with sports science and sports infrastructure contributes to the total welfare of the nation, along with a highly visible sporting performance contributes more to an unquantifiable feel-good factor in society. A figure was given that $40m was spent for each 2000 Sydney Olympic Australian Gold Medal, for Rio it was down $36m.
I wonders therefore what dollar value to the society might possibly be placed on the pastoral work of the nation's thousands upon thousands of Vicars, Ministers, Priests, Pastors, Rabbi's, Religious figures, members of Religious Orders and other pastoral workers.
I carried out a 'hypothetical' list of the value of these people to society, in an analogy with the unquantifiable benefits of sport to the general morale of the nation.
Using the word 'Pastor' as a generic term, the local Pastor contributes:
- Broad well-being by turning up at community functions (feel good value);
- Spiritual well-being of their own communities of faith;
- Responsibility for significant property and investment, many of them major businesses;
- Private consultations to those seeking reflection and spiritual guidance, including those undergoing an emotional crisis;
- Oversight of local programs from play groups all the way through to seniors' care;
- Involvement with maintaining Community facilities such as Schools, Retail Outlets, Retirement Villages ....
He/she does this by:
- Officiating at infant dedications, birthdays, special spiritual occasions, weddings, anniversary's, funerals; being available 24/7 for any crisis;
- Attaining the status of Best Friend to many, by having a good memory for names and faces and special occasions;
- Keeping the congregation members at peace with each other and negotiating Church politics;
- Laughing at others' joy when personally feeling 'down in the dumps';
- Recognising the signs when it's time for another to lead this flock
- Maintaining the reading of books, websites and magazines to be able to 'keep up' theologically and to 'keep up' a fresh set of ideas for discussion and guidance with parishioners;
- Securing his/her 'private time with God' – to pray and read the Holy Book;
- Being a spouse and loving parent in his/her own home.
And all of these things are done in a way that affords a good example to the community.
I noted that realistically, the local Pastor is usually snowed under and only barely finds the time to meet many of the needs of his/her parishioners let alone his own spouse and family. Although fictitious, the hilarious sitcom 'The Vicar of Dibly' gives a good illustration of the nature of the diversity of the demands on a Vicar's time.
To quantify the local Pastor's contribution to society as a dollar value to the national GDP would be a worthy subject for a thoughtful doctoral dissertation. Consider the award wages for these activities, and more, could be attained from public records and a running total made of how much the Pastor is worth to the nation's well-being.
If anything has been disclosed in recent years has been the school chaplaincy program – this ministry touches everything ! How might one even dare to quantify such ministries in terms of dollar value?
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 45 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 45 years with 4 children and 6 grand children