Where is the church when it comes to addressing the plight of the people or the constituency it serves? We have heard this question being asked over and over again.

The church is like a submarine. You never see it yet it is moving with strength and precision. The world normally gets shocked when this submarine surfaces.

Our purpose is to ensure that people have a positive attitude during severe negative circumstances. We are focused on a lifestyle of repentance and forgiveness through Christ.

In the current move of General Motors shifting its operations out of our country we as a Metro are faced with the following:

  • job losses at the company of approximately 600 people
  • Turn key operations dependant upon this industry will further add to the numbers unemployed.
  • Traumatised workers who believe the pro rata payouts will sustain them until a new job is found.
  • Traumatised managers who have to convey the devastating message that you as a worker did not make the cut.
  • The high volumes of skilled people leaving the workplace to try and find a job adds to the all time high unemployment figures.
  • The reality of repossession of estate or transport debt that cannot be settled on the meagre payouts

It is important for companies that are affected in the retrenchment or redundancy of its staff to know that the church can play a role in addressing some of the mentioned challenges. Somehow we seem to forget that all the skills that are working in the different sectors of industry are found in our churches. The skills of ministers addressing cultural and discouragement challenges, to the spheres of financial planning, to the psychology of trauma counselling, to the availability of medical skills, the list can go on and on. All these are found in churches across this metro.

To those who are directly affected by the retrenchment or redundancy of your workplace let us reaffirm you and your capacity.

  • The retrenchment is not about you, it is about a company making a decision to secure its own welfare. To the company it is a positive move to you it is negative. You are good at what you do, keep on moving on seeking opportunities that in the interim  can keep you busy.
  • Keep looking up, use your grieving or negative emotions to become your motivation to pursue new avenues.
  • Speak to your minister of your local church about your family and its challenges.
  • It is amazing what you can do when your comfort zone is affected. Remember you have come through other areas of difficulty before and in like manner you will come out of this one.
  • Accept the fact that the retrenchment has happened. It has come upon you suddenly and does not allow you to make hasty decisions. Seek thorough financial advice as to how to stretch your one slice of bread to feed more than one person.

We encourage all our churches in the Metro to respond to congregation members in the local church. Do respond to community members who might not be part of the local family. We call on companies directly affected by the move of General Motors to involve church leaders in their discussions regarding retrenchment or redundancy of its staff. We call on worker unions to call on the church to assist in the trauma counselling of its members. The church wants all stakeholders to know that we are available to assist where needed.Neville Goldman

(on behalf of the NMB Church Leaders Group)

Ebenezer Centre

083 654 2034