Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ministry for the Unemployed




Ministry for the Unemployed

The unemployment rate has progressively gone down since 2010 after spiking dramatically in 2008 and 2009. But it is not as low as it once was, and for those who are unemployed, there is little solace in the rates. Nearly 11 million Americans remain unemployed. Churches can provide some relief, and some churches are doing just that. In a recent survey of NAE members, nearly a third said their churches had a specific ministry for those without jobs.

Involuntary unemployment can be one of the highest periods of stress in one’s life, and for some, it can lead to distrust of God’s provision. By providing regular opportunities for worship, fellowship and discipleship, churches can help the unemployed experience God’s comfort and provision, while developing discipline and character qualities that increase employability. Churches can also respond with specific ministries such as economic development projects, seminars on work and vocation, vocational counseling, job clubs and other networking opportunities. Work training, internships, GED classes, English tutoring, resume workshops, and job boards can be helpful ways to meet the needs of church members and can serve as outreach to community members who find themselves out of work.

For further reading:

“Blessed are the Jobless,” Elissa Cooper, Christianity Today (Jan. 13, 2013), http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/january/blessedarejobless.html?paging=off

“Economic Malady, Church Opportunity,” Michael Jahr, The Gospel Coalition (Sept. 16, 2013), http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/09/16/economic-malady-church-opportunity/

“Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000­


NAE Asks You, Ministry for the Unemployed, Winter 2013/14

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