One Size Doesn’t Fit All
If you’re considering launching a job ministry at your church or in your community, you’re probably trying to figure out a format that will best serve the job seekers you plan to help.
In our experience, the format of job ministries across the country has a wide range of variation, but they all have some mix of three basic formats.
- NETWORKING (meetings, referrals, connecting, job fairs, etc.) Networking ministries often focus on bringing large groups of people together for basic professional introductions, job referrals, idea sharing, company contacts and other very tactical job networking. This can be very effective when well-coordinated, with good leadership providing structure so that time isn’t wasted with ineffective interactions. This is often a ‘many-to-many’ format and requires in-person environments.
- EQUIPPING (tools, process, training, seminars, classes, coaching, resumes, etc.) Equipping ministries focus on supporting the job-seeker with the skills, insights and feedback they might need to make their job search efforts more effective. Equipping focused meetings often have one or many trainers, speakers or other subject-matter experts that can help job-seekers build their individual tool sets for accelerating their job search. Many equipping activities are ‘1-to-many’ formats and can often be accommodated with virtual tools (webinars, online study tools and classes, resume builders, self-paced tutorials, and virtual coaching)
- ENCOURAGING (support groups, counselling, prayer, help, hope) Encouragement ministries focus on soft skills and emotional hurdles that job-seekers face when experiencing job transition. These ministries may tend to be small and more intimate, taking time for individual attention on job-seekers’ specific challenges in their search. Encouragement activities are often ‘1-to-1’ and necessitate in-person interaction to be effective.
Of course, few ministries are exclusively one of the formats mentioned above, but rather a mix, with an emphasis on one of the three formats. Here are a few real-life examples:
Christ Centered Career Groups (C3G), Northpoint Community Church, Alpharetta, GA
C3G is a very successful, long-running job ministry in the Atlanta area. With average attendance of 80-100 guests, they meet weekly, every Friday morning, C3G has a very structured format, allowing new guests to do very brief (10 second) intro’s in front of the group, sit at tables of 8-10 guests, hear a brief 15 devotional, and spend 1-2 hours of small group networking. Separate meetings of industry or function groups meet throughout the week for more focused networking and encouragement.
RUMC Job Networking, Roswell United Methodist Church, Roswell, GA
RUMC is by far the largest and most robust job ministry in the Atlanta metro area. RUMC meets twice a month with an average attendance of approximately 300. RUMC offers a wide-range of equipping and networking events. Their bi-monthly meetings have a packed agenda from 12:30pm til 9pm, filled with a wide range of employment workshops, speakers, mini job fairs, and dinner. Their focus on teaching job seekers how to begin and sustain a job search while providing emotional support and encouragement.
Perimeter Crossroads, Perimeter Church, Johns Creek, GA
Perimeter Crossroads was founded in the last 90’s and continues to meet on a monthly basis, with a mixed format of encouragement, networking and equipping. Meetings begin with 45 mins of informal networking, followed by a brief career-oriented testimony and a keynote speaker. The keynote shares tactical insights from the Christian walk in their careers. The meets finish with 60 mins of focused roundtable networking of 10-15 people in each group.
There are 1,000’s of job ministries across the country, in many different forms, all seeking to meet the needs in their particular communities. If you need additional resources to support your ministry, check out these below:
The Job Connection (www.thejobconnection.org): The Job Connection is a technology platform that provides significant tools to help support your ministry efforts, including: Interest Profiler, Resume Builder, Customized Job Site, Prayer Network, Job Fair Manager, and many other features.
Crossroads Career (www.crossroadscareer.org): The Job Connection has been a longtime partner with Crossroads Career, which has a vast array of ministry resources available for church’s that seek to impact their communities through work to glorify God. We encourage you to investigate how partnering with Crossroad Career can help you in your ministry efforts.