Looking for mission-focused tools that integrate faith, work, and economics? Here are three that we highly recommend!
The Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE)
Developed by Think Tank, this 2.5 hour simulation invites your congregants into a day in the life of the socio-economically disadvantaged. It offers a glimpse into the obstacles that are faced, the decisions that have to be made, and the consequences that impact these families each day. They offer three editions depending on your ministry focus or context: college, faith, and re-entry.
Luke Bobo, director of resources and curriculum development, shared his thoughts from his own COPE experience in a recent blog, encouraging churches who seek to reshape their community ministries around holistic principles of poverty alleviation to pursue this tool. To learn more, visit their website.
Jobs for Life
The American Church puts 62% of its efforts and resources in fighting poverty by addressing food needs, whereas employment sinks to the bottom of the list, at a measly 2%. What if the Church flipped the list? What if churches helped their community find meaningful work to provide for themselves and their families?
Jobs for Life seeks to engage and equip the Church to prepare individuals for meaningful work. In partnership with Jobs for Life, churches can serve their community by hosting job training classes for the unemployed. These classes also focus on finding identity in God, building character, and creating sustainable community through the congregation and local businesses. This is a great tool for churches’ local outreach ministries. Learn more about these classes at their website.
The Chalmers Center
For churches looking for resources for both local and global ministries, we highly recommend The Chalmers Center. Their vision is for local churches to declare and demonstrate to people who are poor that Jesus is making all things new. With their mission to equip churches to walk alongside people who are poor, breaking the spiritual, social, and material bonds of poverty, they provide training with poverty alleviation tools that can form relationships with low-income people and empower them with skills to support themselves.
For local outreach, consider starting a Faith & Finances class where your church can empower the materially poor with money management skills and biblical stewardship principles that help them rediscover their God-given dignity. Or consider Work Life, a biblically integrated job preparedness curriculum designed for people from backgrounds of generational poverty. In addition to practical job skills, Work Life empowers low-income people with the skills and attitudes to find work—and to flourish in it.
If you’re looking for global outreach tools, Chalmers models exceptional International Savings Group Training. Through partner denominations and ministry organizations, Chalmers equips global church leaders to form gospel-driven, church-centered savings groups in their own communities that bring about sustainable change. Learn how to reshape your ministries at home and abroad with their resources.