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?
Absolutely agree. . .what can the faith community do? We at [Memphis Leadership Foundation] have been in the business of empowering ex offenders towards full time employment through our ministry, Economic Opportunities, for 20 years, and it wouldn’t be possible without local businesses like Barnhart Crane and Rigging, Diversified Conveyors and Jacobs Tubing. . .and the faith community where our volunteers come from. These businesses are putting their faith in action through their successful business enterprise as they are willing to work with us and hire good people for good jobs. These men don’t want handouts. . .they want opportunity. They’ve made bad decisions early in life and served their time. . .but without a meaningful job paying a livable wage, they would likely end up right back in prison. They don’t want pity. . .they want a chance to change direction in life. Men and women in the faith community who operate businesses can contact us or Advance Memphis or HopeWorks. . .all faith based ministries working with the unemployed and underemployed. . .we need opportunities for men and women to earn a living, not be given handouts. This is ‘good charity’ that really helps instead of charity that hurts and causes dependence.