One Tuesday afternoon after work, I was getting a haircut and catching up on current events with my barber. Typically, our conversations tend to be short; however, things were a bit different this time. You see, his wife was unemployed and conducting a job search. Unfortunately, the search was not going as well as he would have liked.
My barber spent some time describing the stresses the search was causing on his family, ones that I knew quite well. Having been unemployed several times throughout my career, I felt his pain. Since we both attend the same church, I knew his wife and his entire family. So, I offered to help.
As we spent some more time discussing the situation, my barber mentioned that our church did not have an established means for helping people through their job search. However, he knew of a meeting that very night to discuss starting a ministry for the unemployed. Unfortunately, he didn’t know much about the meeting other than the time it was starting. When my haircut was finished, I went straight to our church, found the meeting, and participated in the start of our career ministry.
Had my barber’s wife not been unemployed, we would have never had the conversation leading to our discussion about the meeting. Obviously, getting my haircut on that Tuesday at that time was a divine appointment. Otherwise, I may never have known about the meeting starting the career ministry. Isn’t it a blessing how God will use situations to position us to do His will?
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV
Now, here’s the backstory. At our previous church, my wife and I served in the career ministry. Thus, we were accustomed to leading small groups with people at various crossroads in their careers. We had a curriculum we were trained on, followed, and worked very well. Guess what? The curriculum that our new career ministry used would be different. It was the Crossroads Career workbook, You Are Created For Good Works. We would need retraining!
Now, don’t get me wrong, the workbook was excellent. But, since this was a new ministry at our church, no one was trained on leading groups with this workbook. Not a big deal, you may say, but if you’ve been at a crossroads in your career when you seek help, you want experienced and knowledgeable people providing that guidance. So, we wanted to get it right. Because of this, we reached out to Crossroads Career Services and found a Facilitator Guide that outlined various ways to use the workbook for individuals, small groups, and workshops. The guide was great for telling us what the workbook could be used for, but not how to use the workbook.
That was several years ago, and since then, the Facilitator Guide has been revamped and is now a digital publication updated regularly. The new guide has been updated to equip you to know how to lead a group each week. It has sample agendas, discussion questions, and scripture verses. There are also other resources the guide identifies to help you as a facilitator prepare for each session.
Needless to say, we successfully launched the career ministry, with a little help from the workbook, a little help from the facilitator guide, and a lot of help from the Holy Spirit! However, leading the small group would have been much easier with the new Facilitator Guide, guiding us on what and how for leading small groups.
So, why am I telling you this story? Well, I was given the honor of introducing the new Facilitator Guide at the Crossroads National Conference. We wanted our introduction to be shared with the thousands who weren’t at the conference, to encourage you to serve alongside us. Facilitating a small group is just one ministry model for serving others at a crossroads in their career.
If you’ve been reluctant to facilitate a career group, don’t be. Instead, just get a copy of the Facilitator Guide and the help of the Holy Spirit, and you’ll be blessed as you bless others. It worked for me, and it will work for you!
An accomplished leader in the manufacturing sector for more than 30 years, James has a passion to help others reach their potential. For more than 15 years, James has served hundreds of people through coaching, consulting, and training. A Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC), James and his wife, Dr. Kim Moore, live in Tampa, FL where they attend Grace Family Church and serve in the Career Ministry. Connect with James at LinkedIn.com/in/jmoore