The Jobs for Life Commitment
JfL Network Members are transforming lives by leading classes and becoming a part of a global movement providing a profound solution to poverty and unemployment. JfL network members are committed to:
- Embracing JfL’s mission, vision, values, and statement of faith
- Leading at least 1 JfL class per year or actively participating in JfL activities
- Reporting progress and success
- Exhibiting a strong desire to building meaningful relationships with a stable system of mentorship for JfL students
- Engaging the business community to open up viable opportunities for JfL students
- Sharing experiences and best practices with the broader JfL Network
Jobs for Life is a global nonprofit organization. It was established in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1996. Jobs for Life addresses the root causes of unemployment by uniting churches, businesses, and community organizations and facilitating positive transformation within lives and communities. This is Our Story.
Work brings dignity to people all over the world. Knowing and embracing God’s purpose for work offers a long-term solution to issues that plague the heart and the community.
We’re Created to Work
Through work, we understand our true identity. National studies suggest that joblessness does not bode well for our emotional health. The primary issue with the unemployed is dealing with the loss of identity. Without work, many begin to identify themselves with their circumstances. Welfare mom. Deadbeat dad. But we were created in the image of God, with value and worth. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, with gifts, talents, and purpose. This truth is confirmed through our work.
So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”– Genesis 1:27-28
Work Is Good and Makes God’s World Work
Through work, we participate as co-creators with God. We use our gifts to care for His creation and allow it to flourish. No job is better than another. There is just as much dignity in the work of a janitor as a doctor. From the domestic worker to the teacher, it all makes the world go round and it is good in God’s eyes.
God saw all that He made and it was good.– Genesis 1:31
Work Brings Glory to God
We work for God and not for men. God is our boss. Therefore, every task, assignment or meeting, how great or small is an opportunity to shine a light on God and His goodness. We may not see it now, but it is a part of His master plan of building His kingdom. All of what we do, God is using our work as a declaration of his glory and power.
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.– John 17:4
When People Don’t Work it Causes
67% of ex-offenders are re- arrested within 3 years of their release from prison. Coupled with the detrimental social impacts of increased crime, it costs $25,000/yr to incarcerate an individual in a federal prison.
Researchers at Ohio State University examined national crime rates and found much of the increase in crime can be explained by falling wages and rising unemployment among men without college educations.
Climbing out of homelessness is virtually impossible for those without a job. The U.S. pours $10.95 billion/yr in public funds into addressing the needs of over 150,000 chronically homeless.
According to the Brookings Institute, most people are poor because they either do not work or they work too few hours to move themselves and their children out of poverty. Over 3 billion people live in poverty around the world.
depression & suicide
In addition to a diminished sense of self, those exposed to unemployment exhibit higher levels of anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep. According to the American Association of Suicidology, there is also a relationship between suicide and unemployment. Unemployed people are two to four times as likely to commit suicide.
effects on youth
For many youths, attaining employment signals the start of real adult life. Unemployment can result in shattered dreams, loss of personal identities, and lack of zeal for life in general.
An extensive report by the National Institute of Justice found that the rate of violence against women increases as male unemployment increases.
Financial stress and pressure not only impacts businesses but is often the leading reason couples site for divorce according to the Institute for Family Studies.
A lack of work contributes to poverty, crime, homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse, unwanted pregnancies, divorce, and suicide.
NOTHING ATTACKS ONE’S DIGNITY LIKE A LACK OF WORK.
The suffering and consequences of unemployment and underemployment are pervasive and heart-wrenching; it is self-perpetuating and tears at the fabric of society.