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Yesterday I posted Ten Marks of the Church-as-Abbey. 4_sector-11.jpgOne of the characteristics, economics, plays an important role because the ancient celtic Christian abbeys were self-supporting while providing economic transformation to the community. Today, tall skinny kiwi posts about the fourth sector — groups that want to change the world while making their own way financially.  The term “fourth sector” distinguishes itself from the other three sectors, which are:

  1. Public sector — usually means government.
  2. Private sector — usually means businesses.
  3. Voluntary sector — usually means non-profits who depend on volunteers for funding and, well, volunteering.

Here’s what Andrew is doing, in his own words:

I just wrote an article about Co-operatives and social enterprises for a missions publication. I made reference to our new venture – The Old Sorting Room – which we will launch in a few months and which can only be described as our monastic-inspired cooperative-run social-enterprise micro-business fourth-sector for-benefit organisation.

Of course, being from New Zealand, he spells organization funny, but that’s not my point. My point is that around the globe, churches and individuals are doing parts of the church-as-abbey, without necessarily calling it that. And, I like Andrew’s description –

  • “monastic-inspired” (Note: the abbeys were monasteries and nunneries, but of course you knew that.)

So, there you are. Another example of the abbey church function — economic self-sufficiency through work. More to come on the abbey phenomenon.

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