Most of us have had personal experience dealing with financial difficulties. Right now, many people are worried about the rising cost of living due to worrying predictions that interest rates will continue to rise. When so much of what happens is beyond our control, it can be a scary prospect.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) calls on the church community to consider becoming financial mentors to meet the growing demand. For over 20 years, Christians Against Poverty has partnered with the local church to transform the lives of Australians.
The need for financial mentors
Rosie Kendall is the CEO of Christians Against Poverty. She joined us on 20twenty to explain why she thinks churches need thousands of financial mentors to meet growing demand. With the cost of living rising and families struggling to make ends meet, financial mentors are needed more than ever.
“Grocery shopping, fuel, mortgage payments and rents are going up,” Rosie says. “There is a lot of pressure on everyone. How can we proactively talk about this cost of living issue and its impact on people? So many of us are struggling financially right now.
CAP is based in Newcastle, but is a national organization that partners with churches across Australia. They are positioned to equip churches with active tools and solutions to help Christians walk alongside those in financial difficulty.
Partnership with churches
“We exist for the church,” Rosie says. “We want to be effective in sharing the good news with the community. More and more people are asking for help. But ultimately, at the moment, there are not enough church partnerships and trained financial mentors to meet this need.
Currently, one in four Australians is at risk of financial hardship, and one in ten is already living in acute financial distress. This is the crisis point, and people don’t know where to go for help. In all financial sectors, the needs far exceed the resources available to provide assistance.
“We have a loving and compassionate church, well placed nationally and to help those in financial difficulty,” Rosie says. “Therefore, we want to partner with more churches and train financial mentors to help those who are currently facing financial difficulties on their own.”
The importance of community
One of the most critical factors for people facing financial hardship is having a community around them. They need a safety net of people who will invite them to dinner and share the burden that the financial crisis brings. Often we can help bring transformation and hope simply by being a friend.
“We may also experience temporary financial difficulties,” explains Rosie. “It might feel like you don’t know how to pay that bill tomorrow. But in reality, we realize that we have not been paid and we are able to regularize the situation. But acute financial distress is that prolonged feeling of hopelessness about our financial situation.
The reality of financial distress could be a housing situation where we know our mortgage payment is due and we cannot afford it. Or if we allow ourselves, we won’t be able to put food on the table. We are going to be forced to make impossible choices between these things.
Equipping the Church
“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Rosie says. ‘That’s why CAP is passionate about strengthening and equipping the church to be ready for whatever comes next. One of the interesting things when we talk about our own faith is that sometimes as Christians we can be afraid for our own financial situation.
“We know that God invites us not to worry. But as Christians, we are called to live a life of compassion, community and restoration with one another.
This article was inspired by Rosie Kendall.
Read on for more Christian organizations doing great work in the community!
Listen to Rosie’s full interview on 20twenty below, or for more resources visit our vision store.