JOBS FOR LIFE
REDEEMER ANGLICAN, RALEIGH, NC
Last Spring, Redeemer Anglican Church in Raleigh joined with our host church, Mt. Sinai Holy Church, to facilitate a Jobs for Life (JfL) class. JfL is a 16-lesson course designed to help people to find dignity and purpose through meaningful work. The hosts mentor, teach, and come alongside groups of students as they discover who God made them to be, learn the value of work as God created it, and gain the skills they need to find a job. We were motivated to host the course because our church is in an area where many of our neighbors are struggling with limited resources or unemployment. It is not uncommon for church members to be asked for money on the way to their cars after service and the needs of those around us sometimes feel overwhelming. Rather than handing out temporary fixes, we want to be a church that builds up people, helps them to see their abilities and opportunities, and walks with them as they overcome their roadblocks.
The class had 10 committed students, 20 champions to encourage them on their journey, 4 teachers, and more than two dozen other volunteers who provided dinner at every class, prayed during each class, or participated as mock interviewers. The 10 students missed no more than 3 classes, completed homework for each class, and put together a resume and vocation plan. Through biblical stories about the importance of work and character, gift assessments, interview practice, and public speaking, each student not only learned how to find and keep a job, but also learned how he or she is uniquely gifted by God to provide for and bless his or her family and community.
There were significant roadblocks for many of our students – lack of transportation, prior convictions, homelessness, chronic illness, addiction, abuse, lack of education. A few of the students attained employment and others are still looking, but many of the relationships formed continue. The graduation was a glorious day and the students were beaming. The reactions from the students at the end of the class speak for themselves:
One graduate shared how much the day meant to her because she had never graduated from anything.
“Even if you come to class having had a bad day, you’re going to walk out of JFL having laughed.”
“Since I met y’all, I’ve been able to focus on my journey. In this class I learned a lot … to focus on God and trust he would always take care of me.”
“Since I’ve been in this class, I know how to deal with fear, and not let it hold me back.”
“I’ve been praying for a second chance and God sent me Jobs for Life.”