Reaching Migrant Workers In The Malaysian Church: Establishing A Leadership Model Essay Example

Introduction

The research topic is “establishing a leadership model for reaching migrant workers in the Malaysian Church”. It intends on determining the most effective leadership approach for reaching migrant workers in Malaysia. A number of strategies are available to church ministries, but organizations must select the best model for the migrant situation in Malaysia.

Significance of the study

If an appropriate model for leadership among migrant workers is available, then the church will be able to create a greater impact in its community. This would transform more people and thus influence society positively. All churches in multicultural communities would benefit from the research because they would have some direction on how to reach out to needy members of the community (Lei, 2009).

The church, as an organization, is not just limited to its own members. The Christian doctrine calls followers to reach out to other members outside the church. The author of the Christian faith – Jesus – told his followers to reach out to the suffering and the sinful in order to build his Kingdom. Therefore, churches need to look for strategic approaches for reaching out to other members of the community; especially migrant workers. This research will provide insights on how to carry this out effectively (Engle, 2012).

Research background

Malaysia is an ethnically diverse nation with a large group of migrant workers. The church is an institution whose influence exists for close to 500 years in the country. It has traditionally measured its success through conversions and increases in church membership. However, modern-day dynamics require a new approach to church leadership in Malaysia. Now these institutions ought to focus on public engagement with members of a plural society. One way of achieving this is through migrant workers. Scholars have found that Malaysia is in need of moving beyond the church as its main group of focus to marginalized communities in the country. This must be done in a planned and strategic way or else it may not yield desirable results.

Migrant workers in Malaysia represent approximately 30 % of the working population. Robertson (2008) reports that most of them perform jobs that Malaysians have rejected. Some of the jobs could be dangerous, dirty or extremely difficult to carry out. As a consequence, migrant workers over-represent the agricultural sector (especially plantation farming), manufacturing, and construction sectors. A vast majority are illegal. Robertson (2008) affirms that close to 2 million undocumented workers live in Malaysia. The largest proportion of undocumented migrant workers in Malaysia are Indonesians who were approximately 101, 219 in 2006. The second most populous undocumented migrant group consists of Philippine workers who were 33, 487 in 2006. Thailand, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, PRC, Pakistan, Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam are the next most populous illegal migrants in that order.

Interviews conducted among recruiting agents, employers and migrant workers indicate that the groups face a lot of challenges in Malaysia. Agents recruit some of them and bring them into the country without offering them jobs. Additionally, many end up doing jobs that were different from what recruiting agencies promised them. Migrants also face difficulties in salary payment because their respective employers sometimes withhold payment to them in order to prevent absconding of duties. Some of them have to work under unhealthy work conditions such as exposure to harsh chemicals, lack of protective clothing, long work weeks and other similar situations. They have minimal access to justice when wronged and inadequate housing. Employers abuse some workers but they have not sought legal redress. Churches that plan on reaching out to such groups need to be aware of their problems in order to select the right approach.

The main challenge for outreach churches includes tackling the cultural challenges in the migrant group. Some individuals come to Malaysia on a contract basis, so they do not cement their ties to the country. Furthermore, a large number of them only enter the country for a few years. Therefore, few of them are familiar with customs, laws or cultures of Malaysia; this affects their propensity to interact with other groups, including religious ones. Christian churches need to make their leadership model suitable to such a multiethnic group of people. Additionally, many of them are dealing with basic challenges like the lack of housing, medical fees, clothes and even food. Christian leaders ought to use models that can respond to these basic needs prior to dealing with the spiritual element, as well. Some long term investment needs to be made within the group such that they can be equipped with useful skills. It would be essential to empower migrant workers with skills that can sustain them in Malaysia and when they go back to their country. The last component may also be a challenge for Christian leaders as the likelihood of leaving the country for good is a reality. Churches ought to use models that will coalesce with members of other churches in the countries from where the migrants emanate. This will ascertain that they remain strong in the faith even after their sponsoring institutions cease to exist.

Literature review

Musa (2010) explains that local churches can act as development agents through the use of values transformation. In this regard, they can preach and teach community members principles that alleviate poverty such as discipline, hard work, honesty and creativity. Therefore, churches in Malaysia have the option of adopting such a strategy, where they could become value transforming institutions. Baptism, worship and bible cells would be some of the ways of reaching out to these groups effectively (Hope for New Life Ministries, 2012).

Alternatively, churches have the option of engaging in social organization. In this regard, a church leader would bring members of the community that the outreach program is targeting together. These individuals would identify the key problem they are facing and brainstorm some of the possible solutions to those challenges. The chief advantage of such an approach is that it empowers people to come up with solutions to their problems. The church would support some of the solutions such as women groups, farmers associations or business group. It would be a facilitator of the program rather than a manager. Long term projects such as computer classes or literacy classes also fall in this leadership model. However, churches should work in tandem with sister organizations in their countries of origin.

Alternatively, a church could choose the human rights defense model in which it would assist migrant workers access justice for wrongs propagated against them. In this regard, the church would assist them to get legal documentation for their stay or assist them in filing complaints if undergoing human rights abuses. Leaders must build relationships with migrants in order to earn their trust in this model. Additionally, they must be prepared to confront authority in certain circumstances.

Conclusion

This research will be insightful in showing how various leadership models may be used to reach migrant workers in the Malaysian Christian community. Analyses of the various models will occur to decide on the most effective one. Church leadership must weigh the pros and cons of the human rights defense model, the development agent model, and the social organization model.

References

Engle, M. (2012). The seven steps of the research process. Web.

Hope for New Life Ministries. (2012). Hope for new life. Web.

Lei, S. (2009). Critically analyzing information sources. Web.

Musa, D. (2010). The local church as primary development agent. Web.

Robertson, P. (2008). Migrant workers in Malaysia; Issues, concerns and points of action. Fair Labour Association, 1-15.

The Healthcare Industry From An Economic Perspective

When looking from an economic perspective, it is clear that the healthcare industry is unique, and its specific characteristics differentiate it from other sectors. It is necessary to investigate supply and demand in the healthcare market for the understanding of those characteristics. Healthcare insurance also plays a big role in this industry. Healthcare economic features influence not only the healthcare industry but other spheres as well, including business and public policy.

In terms of demand and supply, healthcare differs from other services and has a rather complex structure. For instance, according to Parkin (2017), demand for healthcare can be caused only by an increase in need. In addition, public health usually depends on many factors that often cannot be regulated. Parkin (2017) notes the peculiarity of healthcare demand, pointing out that health is “less tangible than most other goods, cannot be traded and cannot be passed from one person to another, although obviously some diseases can” (para. 17). It is also worth noting that demand and supply in the healthcare market cannot be determined for certain. It is impossible to know how often and how many people will be ill in the future, not to mention the seriousness of diseases. In this atmosphere of uncertainty, many people resort to the services of insurance companies.

Insurance in healthcare is a rather controversial topic, which causes much debate. For instance, some people believe that “private insurance companies are particularly inefficient and too often put profit ahead of people” (Mankiw, 2017, p. 13). In addition, there is a phenomenon called moral hazard when people having health insurance are more likely to visit doctors even with minor symptoms (Mankiw, 2017). In this regard, health insurance may often cause an overuse of medical care.

When speaking about healthcare costs, it is important to note that due to its economic characteristics, healthcare may require high spending for the government. According to Morrisey, “federal and state governments are a major health care spender” in the USA (para. 3). However, as Morrisey notes, increased healthcare costs have led to an increased life expectancy in the US. Of course, this does not negate the moral hazard as many costs within that phenomenon do not influence the level of mortality. However, these findings prove that spending on health insurance and health is worth it.

In addition, the need in medical insurance influences business, as many companies have to provide it to their employees. According to the Affordable Care Act, “employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees are required to provide health coverage to full-time employees or else pay a tax penalty” (“Does my employer,” 2020). Needless to say, this policy requires additional costs in the sphere of business as well.

Due to the complexity of its economics, healthcare needs government regulation. For instance, it should be noted that health insurance can be affordable usually only for people with sufficient income. Researchers call healthcare a human right and consider it is as necessary as food (Mankiw, 2017). That is why the government needs to provide policies that allow people with lower income to get health services. Only through sufficient regulation of this sphere, it is possible to provide equal access to healthcare. In addition, changes in the healthcare market that cause higher prices and lower quality of services influence not only the healthcare industry but the nation and government in general. For fixing situations of that kind, it may be required to revise or regulate provisions and principles of public policy.

References

Does my employer have to provide health insurance? (2020). PeopleKeep.

Mankiw, N. G. (2017). The economics of healthcare. 

Morrisey, M. A. (n.d.). Health care. The Library of Economics and Liberty.

Parkin, D. (2017). Principles of health economics including: the notions of scarcity, supply and demand, distinctions between need and demand, opportunity cost, discounting, time horizons, margins, efficiency and equity. HealthKnowledge.

Prayer In School And Gun Violence: Rough Draft

Introduction

School-based gun violence has become a widespread occurrence in the United States. Importantly, numerous factors such as bullying, easily accessible weaponry, and a lack of conscientiousness regarding students’ mental health contribute to its growth. Prayer, as a moral guiding compass and an act of self-reflective mediation, could help school children achieve a connection with themselves, as well as an influencing relationship with a higher power, which may reduce students’ deflection to gun violence.

Discussion

The act of prayer allows believing people of faith to connect to God through the teachings of a religion or spiritual practice. Prayer could help steer pupils to calm, peaceful conduct by positively guiding them. Students can reflect and seek an enlightening experience during this personal moment with their God. Author Joel Spring (2018) gives a historical example of dual religious and academic education in the 19th century as resulting in successful moral instruction. Prayer is a technique that “reduces the extent to which individuals are willing to express that violence against others is justified” (Wright, 2016, p. 173). Most documented religions denounce violence and even indicate consequences for those who harm or take the lives of other humans unjustly. Thus, students may attain morals, which forbid acts of killing, during conscious acts of internal prayer and dialogue.

Furthermore, prayer reduces the amount of stress experienced by those who believe in God. If Christian teachers benefit from prayer as an act of stress-reduction, then students could likewise achieve a better grasp of their emotions (LaBarbera & Hetzel, 2016). The agenda is not to convert students to a particular faith, but by demonstrating belief in God, teachers may be able to compel students to choose a theology that righteously aligns with their principles. This would provide a better outlet as opposed to deflecting their frustration on their peers by bullying, verbal confrontations, or the topic at hand, gun violence. Encouraging students’ mental health and positive emotions is an acute part of achieving less vicious animosity between them. That would mean more support from the staff and counselors when red flags are apparent. As it has been mentioned, bullying could be a way for students to release their frustrations or insecurities. The aggressors and the victims are both being harmed in this case. Harming others, whether it be emotionally or physically, could very well be a cry for help. Students who are bullied and those who are the ones bullying should be assessed for trauma and evaluated to determine their mental state.

As has been noted previously, using prayer as a positive reinforcement in schools could assist students in gaining new morals by expanding their spirituality, which could result in inner peace. Pupils communicate with themselves by using a method referred to as self-talk, and recognizing detrimental thoughts and behaviors is possible through self-reflection while engaging in prayer. This could potentially expose students to character-building techniques. In addition to spiritual prayer, Meditation as a type of training could “increase self-control and decrease delinquency” in students (Bushman et al., 2016, p. 26). As stated above, the goal is not to convert students to a religion, but in fact, to give them a better outlet when under stress or in need of intervention to prevent violence. Meditation and prayer are very similar, which makes both great options for the administration, staff, and students. Through discipline, self-control, and self-regulation schoolchildren may overpower violent tendencies themselves, with only guidance from adults (Billias, 2017). Also, when students are educated about themselves and are in full control of their behavior, they may become less violent participants within their communities.

In addition, prayer as a tool in schools could produce peace within the surrounding communities. Mindful and morally instructed students could be less prone to using violent means or lashing out in their neighborhoods, seeking other paths of communication instead.

A civilization that does not instill people with a sense of their surroundings being against them furthers the social adaptation of all its participants instead (Wright, 2016).

The establishment of positive contacts through a sense of community could stimulate students’ intrapersonal relationships and reduce their violent tendencies (Cremin & Bevington, 2017) With as little as beginning the school day with a prayer will travel a long way within many communities. Prayer does not have to be opposed to pupils who do not agree but will be extended to those who are in favor of it. Having a sense of peace from a higher power can give students the confidence they need to be able to deal with certain pressures of their community. All communities do not suffer from gun violence but can suffer from various struggles such as suicide, bullying, and school shootings. Prayer can be a coping mechanism for students who struggle with violence on a day-to-day basis.

Further Points

The creation of an inclusive society, where all students may find companionship and help, is an essential prerequisite to reducing gun violence. Dependence upon prayer can result in a positive student-based community. Experiencing some peer pressures of my own has led me to seek a sense of peace through prayer. I was educated through prayer at a young age and have benefited greatly since having done so. I have not sought validation from my community through gun violence or any other violence when in distress because I was taught that there was another way. If students were ensured and made aware that there is a positive way to overcome the struggles of their communities, then it would be a greater possibility that they would utilize prayer rather than violence. School is one of the first foundations for educating children hence the reason for the recommendation of prayer being in schools. Students who do not have the positive resources in their communities should be able to look for help in the school. Educational institutions should be a place that can offer certain programs, including the prayer that will help reduce gun violence.

Not all pupils are religious, as secular education has become more popular. Today it is easier to go with popular demand rather than to stand out. Not many young students are seeking religion. Most teens would rather avoid religion. As previously stated, peer pressure is another struggle within schools. Being one to be in favor of prayer may not make you popular but can help you to overpower violent and negative behaviors. Spirituality, regardless of religiousness, helps students achieve a higher degree of maturity and urges them to develop both emotionally and intellectually (Cremin & Bevington, 2017). Prayer as an act of self-reflection does not force students to follow a religion, they do not identify with but instead promotes conscientiousness and honesty with themselves.

School and Spirituality

It is worth noting that the challenging environment with various pressures in which students develop lead to the fact that schools should become one of the centers of an individual’s spiritual development. Apart from the implementation of educational standards, institutions should provide learners with spiritual and moral education (Waters, Barsky, Ridd, & Allen, 2015). Interestingly, the diversity of approaches to understanding what spirituality is and how it is related to religion often misleads teachers and school leaders (Bartkowski, Acevedo, & Van Loggerenberg, 2017). It should be emphasized that spirituality and religiosity are not identical concepts, and the task of the school is not centered on the religious teaching of students. The goal of developing spirituality in students lies in the intellectual evolvement of children through mental attitudes and not religious ones (Wang, Li, & Gaylord, 2019). Each individual may choose a prayer or meditation that will be appropriate for them but will pursue a common goal, which is the development of moral qualities.

In this regard, prayer may be viewed as a practical exercise. It will teach the student to let go of the problem or open up to themselves to understand the root of the issue that leads to thoughts about violence. Through the acceptance of the internal state, a student can further comprehend how to address the problem (Johnson, 2018). Through prayer or meditative practice, students will be able to analyze what is happening in their inner world that bothers them (Holland, Dooley, Fedock, Ferebee, & Bailey, 2017). Meditation or prayer is one of the ways to gain spirituality practiced in many religions or by people who do not profess a particular religion but strive to achieve inner balance. This can be a way to free students from violent thinking, which leads to aggression, and prayer will help them to relax and let go of disturbing emotions.

Conclusion

The positive effect of peaceful religiousness, such as self-consciousness and discipline through frequent and community-supported prayer, leads to a decrease in gun violence and allows educating students on gentle ways of resolving conflict. Spirituality remains an essential aspect of both people’s moral orienting and community identification, allowing the creation of relationships and the recognition of wrongs and rights. Therefore, prayer is an attempt to affect merely a single aspect of the US’s gun violence problem, but the one that is directed towards helping conflicted students by educating them before the occurrence of catalytic events.

References

  1. Bartkowski, J., Acevedo, G., & Van Loggerenberg, H. (2017). Prayer, meditation, and anxiety: Durkheim revisited. Religions, 8(9), 1-14. doi:10.3390/rel8090191
  2. Billias, N. (2017). On becoming a campus of compassion. In P. Gibbs (Ed.), The pedagogy of compassion at the heart of higher education (pp. 141-153). London, England: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-57783-8_10
  3. Bushman, B. J., Newman, K., Calvert, S. L., Downey, G., Dredze, M., Gottfredson, M.,… Webster, D. W. (2016). Youth violence: What we know and what we need to know. American Psychologist, 71(1), 17-39. doi:10.1037/a0039687
  4. Cremin, H., & Bevington, T. (2017). Positive peace in schools: Tackling conflict and creating a culture of peace in the classroom. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
  5. Holland, A., Dooley, G., Fedock, B., Ferebee, S., & Bailey, L. (2017). Meditation, mindfulness, and critical thinking: Individual characteristics in online higher education. Journal of Psychology and Cognition, 2(3), 170-176.
  6. Johnson, K. A. (2018). Prayer: A helpful aid in recovery from depression. Journal of Religion and Health, 57(6), 2290-2300. doi:10.1007/s10943-018-0564-8
  7. LaBarbera, R., & Hetzel, J. (2016). Christian educators’ use of prayer to cope with stress. Journal of Religion and Health, 55(4), 1433-1448. doi:10.1007/s10943-015-0118-2
  8. Spring, J. (2018). American education (18th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
  9. Wang, C., Li, K., & Gaylord, S. (2019). Prevalence, patterns, and predictors of meditation use among US children: Results from the National Health Interview Survey. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 43, 271-276. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2019.02.004
  10. Waters, L., Barsky, A., Ridd, A., & Allen, K. (2015). Contemplative education: A systematic, evidence-based review of the effect of meditation interventions in schools. Educational Psychology Review, 27(1), 103-134. doi:10.1007/s10648-014-9258-2
  11. Wright, J. D. (2016). More religion, less justification for violence: A cross-national analysis. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 38(2), 159-183. doi:10.1163/15736121-12341324

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