A meeting of seekers

Father David Epps's picture

Forty-eight times a year, on Friday mornings at 7:30 a.m., 100 professional people gather at First Baptist Church in Peachtree City, Ga., people who have a common mission and who are united in purpose.

The non-denominational group once met in a restaurant but circumstances more than doubled their numbers in the span of six months and forced them to find larger facilities. Just a year and a half ago, 35 people, on average, attended the meeting. Now, about 110 people are in attendance.

It is not a prayer meeting, although many of the participants have learned to step up their prayer life. It is not a Bible study, although local clergy often bring a devotional. It is not a recovery group, in the traditional sense, although recovery is a prime goal.

The group is JobSeekers and the common thread that binds all together is that the participants are professional men and women who are unemployed or seriously underemployed. Together, they are working to change that.

Meetings begin on Fridays at 7:30 with coffee and doughnuts, then, at 7:45, a brief devotional, often brought by a local clergy person, follows. Then introductions and new acquaintances (that will turn into friendships and supporters) are made. A seminar topic follows at 8:45 and adjournment of the meeting is by 10.

The challenges are great, especially in the current economy, but the good news is that people are finding jobs. The goal of JobSeekers is to help people “find good jobs, close to home, in minimum time.”

The mission of JobSeekers is “to work with members to find a job — and to walk with them on their journey of faith.”

Being a church member is not, however, a prerequisite for joining JobSeekers. Twenty percent of the membership at any given time are not affiliated with any church.

As any pastor knows, unemployment can be devastating for a family, a church, and a community. Marriages are at stake, homes are at risk, people face bankruptcy, credit card debt mounts, the absence of health insurance adds further stress, and everything — possessions, health, relationships — come under threat.

The community is also impacted. JobSeekers states that if the economic impact on a job seeker is $15,000, the impact on the community is $105,000. The loss of personal income also affects churches, whose offerings diminish, and other community activities such as sports, arts and charities.

But, again, the good news is that people are finding jobs. A spokesman for JobSeekers, said, “If members use the strategy, tools, and skills we teach, AND they maintain a positive attitude, they can find a job in any market.”

Dave O’Farrell, executive director for JobSeekers (info@jobseekers-ptc.com) notes that the group provides three critical area of support:

(1) Christian fellowship — interaction with other professionals in a caring, Christian business setting.

(2) Spiritual and emotional support — a place where seekers can experience an empowering environment where “God is for us and nothing can defeat us.”

(3) Practical job search help — a weekly presentation of a results-oriented module on a relevant job search topic. JobSeekers is also a great source of networking contacts and job leads.

The cost for all this? It’s free. Someone said, “Why aren’t people doing more about the unemployment issue?” Some people are. They meet every Friday morning and begin the day with coffee and doughnuts, and their doors are always open.

[Father David Epps is the founding pastor of Christ the King Church, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277, between Peachtree City and Newnan. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. He also serves as a bishop to the Mid-South Diocese and is the mission pastor of Christ the King Church in Champaign, IL. He may be contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org.]

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