Praise the Lord; JobSeekers is beginning its 19th year of ministry in Peachtree City!
As I am out and about, people ask me things like, “Is anyone finding a job?” They make comments like “Things must be pretty tough these days.”
Are they tough? Sure they are. Are they hopeless? Absolutely not. No matter how tough things may be, we ALWAYS have hope because we believe in the living God – the Lord of the Universe; the Lord of our lives.
People who attend JobSeekers regularly and put what we teach into practice also have hope because they know all they need is ONE job, and when they land that ONE job, CNN and all the other media outlets will continue to tell us how depressing things are on the economic front. The unemployment rate will not change one iota in the county, state or country – but they will change dramatically in that one home.
Here’s a fairly typical and brief ‘thank you’ message: “Though my membership was brief, I wanted to thank you for your ministry. I came the first time fairly cynical and not expecting much but left very encouraged and energized.” And here’s a longer message from someone else. She got involved and got a job.
With God’s help, we’ve been beating the odds every week for 18 years at JobSeekers. You can read a brief history of JS PTC here.
It’s about relationships
I gave a talk to about 40 people up in Dunwoody in June 2004. The Jewish Family & Career Service hosted the meeting. When I met with the planner 13 days prior to the meeting, I asked her if I could use examples from the Old Testament to support my points and help motivate the audience. She recommended against it because the audience would not only consist of Jewish participants but Christians, Muslims and agnostics as well. If it weren’t for the agnostics, I could at least have worked from Abraham backwards!
The audience lacked the vital energy that we have at JobSeekers of Peachtree City. As I thought about this, two things came to my mind. First, the Gospel is not proclaimed. Our faith is a source of peace, power and protection; it is much easier to go through a job search with the hope we have as Christians. Second, and this is key to any group, is the fact that nearly everyone present was there for the first time. They didn’t know each other and they weren’t pulling for each other.
A band of brothers and sisters in Christ
In Waking the Dead, John Eldredge talks about how important it is to fight our battles in groups. Dorothy took her journey to find the Wizard with the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Lion and Toto. Captain John Miller goes behind enemy lines with a squad of eight rangers to save Private Ryan. In Gladiator, Maximus rallies his small group of gladiators and triumphs over the greatest empire on earth. And Jesus had the twelve disciples, plus Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Eldredge says we must not go it alone (see pages 187 and 188).
At JobSeekers, we don’t go it alone either. We meet each week for learning and fellowship. We share our joys and our struggles. Afterwards, one-third to one-half of the people stick around for networking and fellowship; it’s one of my favorite times of the week. Here and elsewhere, I often hear of how you interact with one another throughout the week:
1. We support each other one-on-one. One JobSeeker wrote: “I appreciate all the fellowship and support JobSeekers gave me in a time of need. You always had encouraging thoughts, and George was a big help to me also. I had days where I just didn’t think anything was going to happen and there was George with an email to tell me to keep on trucking.”
2. We pray for one another. Another wrote: “After I accepted the offer the first thing that popped into my head was all of us together that morning praying for each other in our job search. The power of prayer worked that day for me and my family.”
3. We work as a group to inspire one person. A third wrote: “As the meeting started, a peace came over me and felt truly inspired; I’m not alone! I’m not a big loser! This gave me the motivation I needed to get through today. I left the meeting determined to accomplish something today.”
4. We give wise counsel to each other. Another wrote: “I cannot thank you enough for the encouragement and help that you have provided. You helped me to get focused on what I wanted to do for a living after months of thinking that I should change careers. In my mind, I was a failure at what I spent my career doing. It was Dave’s seminar that got me to revisit my former employer, and I found that I was not the failure that I believed myself to be.”
5. We trade job leads. We’ve had dozens of people get a good job close to home because one JobSeeker referred another to a specific job. This includes former JobSeekers targeting and hiring current JobSeekers.
Things like this happen all the time.
Philippians 2:4 says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.” We are not asked to go through trials like career transition alone. In fact, it is for these types of challenges that we are encouraged to develop communities of believers who are able to support our needs and to contribute to the needs of others. (This paragraph is from Christ Centered Career Groups.)
Whether your current struggle is job search or something else, my prayer is that all of you will find several people who will go on this journey and fight this battle with you.
See you on Friday at JobSeekers, where we are a band of brothers and sisters in Christ!
Copyright © 2016 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved