Skip to main content

Encouraging the Unemployed

by Stacey Shannon

Knowing how to reach out to friends who are facing job loss is difficult. When my husband was unemployed for a year, I learned what was especially encouraging.

Ask how they are. Most People who have lost jobs need emotional and spiritual support as much as anything. Periodically ask how they're doing, and take time to listen. However, avoid offering advice unless they request it.

Plan budget-friendly activities. When money is beyond tight, eating out, going to a movie, or shopping isn't a probability. Instead, suggest free or low-cost activities. Invite unemployed friends over for a meal, or treat them to a dinner out, if you can. Rent a DVD rather than catching a full-priced movie or hitting the mall. We loved it when friends stopped by on a Saturday evening to play board games with us.

Share your prayers. During my husband's unemployment, two friends emailed specific things they were praying for our family. One even typed her prayer into the message. I knew others were praying, but hearing about these prayers provided extra encouragement.

Organize a prayer time. Invite people to gather for prayer, or encourage them to pray individually at a specific time. We emailed family and friends and asked them to pray wherever they were on a certain day and time.

Don't ask if they need money. Families facing unemployment likely do need funds, but saying so is difficult. If you want to give, do so without making a big deal out of it --perhaps even contribute anonymously. A card with cash or a gift certificate to a grocery store or restaurant is always appreciated.

-from Discipleship Journal, March/April 2009, Issue 170, Pg. 69


Popular posts from this blog

Discussion Questions for Easter

Have several people ask the question, “What’s the most important thing you’ve ever done?”
Ask other people, “What do you hope to accomplish in the next several years of your life?”
Tell your class that today you’ll be talking about “life mission” or the one most important thing you do that drives everything else. Tell them that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the defining moment in history, so it should be the defining moment in our lives.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. How does the resurrection impact some of the crucial beliefs of Christianity? 
How would Christianity be different if there was no resurrection? How would you be different without the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. What are some specific ways that the resurrection gives us hope?
If you had been a friend of Jesus when he was on earth, how would the resurrection have impacted your life? 
How do you think his followers then were effected by the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:58. What do you t…

20 Questions to Build Group Connections

Here is a great exercise for a new group. The instructions are pretty simple. Go around the group giving each person the opportunity to choose one question and answer it honestly. Anyone can follow-up with an opinion or clarifying question (no critiquing each other's answers, though). Once a question has been answered, no one else may answer that question.

If your group is larger, you may want to alter the rule and allow each question to be answered 2 or 3 times. Ideally, each person should end up answering 3-5 questions.

As the leader, pay attention to the conversation. Let the discussion run its course as this is how people in the group build their relationships with one another. You can use these questions, modify them or create your own.

21 Bible Passages With Which Every Small Group Leader Should Be Familiar

Matthew 5:23-24.
23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Luke 10:1-11.
1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to hous…