Ministry to Those With Economic Problems

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By Rev. Louis Tamminga  

Economic life has become more unpredictable than ever. In some sectors, fabulous profits accumulate; in others, good and able people are suddenly excluded from the economic cycle and left to subsist on greatly reduced incomes. Some of these unfortunate people may sit next to you in church on Sunday, and their number may well increase in the coming years.

These people struggle with loss, fear, depression, and the pain of rejection. There is no single way to minister to them. The officebearers must become aware of such people and devise forms of ministry in keeping with their needs. Above all, don’t hesitate to take the initiative in visiting those in your district who are unemployed. Ask them how they are doing. Pray with them. In almost all cases, elders are not able to contribute significantly to solutions. Those who struggle with the pain of economic misfortune will not expect that from you.

Still, do explore some possibilities. Are there people in your congregation who specialize in financial management? If so, suggest that your members consult with them. You must also seek advice and possible assistance from the deacons. In more general terms, bring these economic challenges to the attention of the entire council. Perhaps there are members in the congregation who know of job possibilities. Remember, if one of your district members suffers financial hardship, the entire congregation hurts.

Continue also to minister to these members pastorally. They need to see you regularly. Encourage them, read Scripture with them, pray with them. Do whatever you can to keep them from becoming isolated from the congregation. You may also seek their permission to share their burdens with the other members of your district when appropriate.

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This is an area that our REALTOR referral network is also struggling with.  Our Exodus Network is made up of REALTORS who are "Servant Leaders in Real Estate" and "Christian Community Specialists" throughout the US and Canada.  Our agents run into folks on a regular basis who are struggling to pay their mortgage and may be losing their home.  This struggle is only one piece of a multi-dimensional problem.  It would be really cool and very beneficial for us to know the names of the churches that are ready to walk beside families who are struggling.  We often wish we could  refer the family to a person or group who could provide additional support. What a powerful opportunity for a Word and deed partnership and KINGDOM impact!  

So, here is my offer.  I would love to hear from any church leaders from any church anywhere in the US or CA  that is willing AND ready to walk beside folk who are struggling with losing their home. I would also love to hear from any REALTORS in any churches that have not yet connected with the EXODUS Network, but who are servant leaders in their community .  We can host a conference call conversation between church leaders and REALTORS around the country.  Probably the most powerful thing we can do is pray together. Then let's see how God leads us to leverage the power of the 1000-2000 Real Estate Agents connected with the EXODUS Network with the leaders in the churches that are hearing God's call to provide love and support to a very vulnerable and needy group of people.   

In the meantime,  if any church leader is currently working with a family who may be losing their house,  get in touch with us  and we can get them connected to a REALTOR in their local community who can provide the professional expertise needed. There is never a charge for our referral services no matter what the reason. In addition, in almost all cases, the consultation relating to avoiding foreclosure, and even the professional short sale assistance provided by the REALTOR (when that is a viable option) is free of charge.   269-350-4014 | [email protected]. |  www.ExodusNetwork.com