Support Group Formed for Those Who Lost Jobs

Post a Comment » Written on April 21st, 2009     
Filed under: News
FARMINGTON HILLS, MI (April 21, 2009) – Faith Covenant Church recently started a support group to help people who have lost their job find new employment.

The group, which started in January, blends Bible study, accountability, and education.

Dennis Carlson, pastor of evangelism and discipleship, first began to consider the needs of people who had been laid off when he heard Pastor Ken Larson preach a sermon series in 1997 entitled, “What if I….?” The series examined a different question each week, and the first one was, “What if I lost a job?”

The sermon was timely, Carlson says, because, “There already had started to be significant job losses in southeast Michigan.” The situation has only worsened over the last two years.

“We are still very much feeling our way forward in this.”

Ultimately the sermon and circumstances led Carlson to start the group in January with the assistance of congregation members who are personal coaches or work in human resource departments. Six people participate in the group on a regular basis, but several others also attend.

“We are still very much feeling our way forward in this,” Carlson says.

The group meets from 10 a.m. to noon every Monday because that generally is the time people would be starting their workweek. Maintaining that discipline is important, Carlson says.

The meeting begins with a devotional. Participants then share responses to the questions: “What have you done in the last week to pursue a job?” and “What has God said to you in the last week?”

“It’s kind of a mutual accountability group,” Carlson says.

Either Bonnie Horner, a personal coach who helped form the group, or another expert will teach on topics such as resumes, starting businesses, and biblical financial principles.

Most of the participants are men in mid-life, Carlson says. Some are looking to learn new skills, but others want to stay in the same type of job.

Carlson is interested in hearing from other churches that have started ministries to help people transition.

Rochester Covenant Church in Rochester, Minnesota, recently held a four-week seminar to help people with basic job-searching skills. Member Bill Risma, who works in the area of human resources, led those seminars.

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