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Caring for the Unemployed

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Unemployment affects more people than you'd suspect! Listen for ideas about helping people in your congregation who are unemployed.

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Introduction: The economy is in good shape right now and the percentage of unemployment is low. But, what many people don’t realize is that there are still 21.6 million Americans who are out of work. How can your church serve and support these people?


  • Unemployment is an issue even in a good economy.
  • People who have jobs usually don’t realize there are so many who are unemployed. There is a certain stigma attached to unemployment. Those without a job usually feel uncomfortable and embarrassed about their situation. They don’t want to talk about it.
  • There are several common emotional reactions a person has when losing a job:
    • Shock
    • Anger
    • Isolation
    • Identity crisis
    • Fear
    • Anxiety
    • Loss of self-confidence
  • Churches can help by making unemployment an acceptable topic, talking about it, showing that they understand.
  • Churches can help unemployed individuals start to rebuild their community. Take the first step and reach out. Be proactive in introducing the unemployed to people who could help them find a new opportunity. The new people do not have to be in a specific career field.
  • Churches can help the unemployed feel useful and successful by offer them meaningful volunteer positions.
  • Large-group efforts can support the unemployed:
    • Host a local job fair
    • Host workshops that teach job-search skills
    • Lead a group Bible study
  • These are common faith takeaways of the unemployed:
    • They rely more on God and use this challenging situation to strengthen their faith.
    • They are mad at God. They want their old life back. They become the victim. These all keep the individual from moving forward.
  • The piece of unemployment that’s often forgotten is the spouse and the family. They are also impacted.

Thought Starters:

  • Do a quick internet search. Have there been job fairs or job-search workshops in your area lately?
  • What resources would your church need to host a job-search event


    How Long, O Lord: Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them
    by Dale Kreienkamp



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