Helping the Unemployed People in Your Church
What can we do for the unemployed people in our church?
We realized that over 100 individuals in our church were out of a job and it caused us to look into several things we could do to encourage them, but also help them find a new job. By investing in them, we are in turn investing in our own churches financial future. When we began this journey, I had no idea what I was in for. In short, I have met some of the bravest people I have ever met. I met a man that lost his mother, father, two brothers and then his job. By all rights, he should be shut down, but he instead he is working odd jobs and supporting his family until he finds employment. I met a lady who lost her job in June and her husband in July. She is re-launching her entire life. She is braving the storm and pushing forward.
I have numerous stories like this. This is what we did to help the unemployed of our church:
1. COLLECTING THE INFORMATION
We set up stations in our lobby for unemployed people to come by and give us their information. We ask for names, address, contact information and the type job they were looking for.
2. THE PRAYER LIST
We took the names, contact info and type of job, then created a prayer list for our entire church. Individuals would pray, but would also contact them and encourage them. Some gave money; others sent cards and some just shared friendship.
3. THE DIRECTORY
Next, we created a directory that categorized the specific areas where people needed jobs. For example there were headings like: Accounting, Management, Maintenance, Engineer, Construction and etc. Under the heading we listed the name of every person who was looking for that type of job.
4. THE MONDAY PRAYER MEETING
We started a prayer meeting at 10:00am every Monday morning. We serve coffee and pastries while people mingle and share information. We offer devotion and a praise song to start their week. Then we pray. We pray for individuals by anointing them with oil as we send them out into the work week. We also lay all resumes on a table and pray over them. We ask a few staff and some Elders to be on hand for personal counseling and encouragement. The group hangs around for at least an hour after the prayer time. It’s amazing to hear their stories and see their courage and strength. At the prayer meeting we also offer assistance on their r�sum��s and last week we even had a chiropractor set up in another room to give free adjustments.
5. THE NETWORK
Finally, we connect information on programs and resources for the unemployed and we offer it to them. We have an email list where we email the information. Each week we learn of new programs through Career Centers and government agencies that offer programs that never made the news and no one has ever heard about.
It truly is amazing to see how the Lord is using this ministry to make a difference! As ministers, it’s important that people in need see that we are putting our faith in action, doing something to help them in this difficult economy. Sure, it requires some effort and a little planning, but it is worth it if only one family’s economic situation is changed for the better, as a result!
This article “Helping the Unemployed People in Your Church” was written by: Bryan Cutshall
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”