Lack of good jobs in Memphis is more than an economic problem, says Dr. Chris Scruggs of Advent Presbyterian Church. “It’s also a spiritual problem. If we do not create an environment in which people can find good jobs, we deprive our children of the opportunity to use their unique God-given talents, gifts and abilities. We impoverish ourselves and our society.”
Do you agree? What can the faith community do about this? What is your congregation doing specifically – mentoring, job training, etc. – to help?
For decades the Highland Church of Christ has partnered with HopeWorks in Memphis. Under the skilled leadership of Executive Director Ron Wade, HopeWorks recently celebrated its 800th graduate. This non-profit agency welcomes the unemployed into a proven environment which equips them spiritually, mentally and socially for the marketplace. Single mothers who’ve been laid off, ex-cons who’ve just been released, or married men down on their luck find at HopeWorks a unique blend of high expectations, love and grace and classes and counseling which help them successfully find not just a new job, but a real career. Highland members serve as Faith Encouragers to the students, meeting weekly with them for prayer, peer-to-peer counseling, and encouragement. Highland members also provide internships for students at their businesses–the first step for many students into a work environment. Some Highland members regularly hire HopeWorks students for their companies. They’ve found these students to be among the finest employees in the Mid-South. Once a month our entire church staff serves lunch to the current class at HopeWorks. It’s our favorite time of the month. I know of no organization doing a better job at helping others find jobs than HopeWorks.