Editor’s Note: Russell Gehrlein was a guest on the radio program, Community Bridge, a Family Radio Network program and podcast on January 4, 2021. Below is a partial transcript of that conversation, which you can listen to in its entirety here. We encourage you to subscribe to the show on whichever platform you get your podcasts!
Starting with Prayer
JENNY BURKHISER (host): Do you have any steps for us on what we as believers can do to use our own unique abilities and integrate our faith in with a job search?
RUSSELL GEHRLEIN: Absolutely, I think we need to start with prayer. It can’t be overemphasized to pray about it consistently. From start to finish, it’s a spiritual journey. So ask others to be prayer warriors, to be on your team, to pray for you. And then to take the job seriously and put some feet to their prayers. You’ve got to go after it. Looking for a job is almost a full-time job in itself. You’ve really got to put in the time and take some actions to do that. Be dedicated to finding those jobs that are going to be a good fit for your skill sets.
Also, I think it’s wise to not limit God by only looking for certain locations and usual places. I think we need to think outside the box. I think we need to cast a wide net. I think about fishing. If you’re not getting fish where you’re fishing, move the boat, get a bigger net, throw it over this way, throw it over that way. You have an example in scripture where Jesus told them to put the net over here and all kinds of fish came up.
Think about where else can I use my abilities. Let’s say a college professor got laid off. Where else can you use those skills outside of academia? Certainly, businesses use smart people and people with PhDs. You have to be able to think outside of where do we normally do this. Maybe nonprofits could be options.
But I think your faith is going to play a big part. God’s going to guide you, and in the process of going to interviews, ask God to give you that courage to go, to be on time, to make an impression. Trust him with the results and be content with what happens, whether you get a yes or a no.
If you’re blessed with multiple opportunities, certainly laying out the pros and cons, get feedback from other people as to what you should do. Just listening and saying, “Hey I think this looks like a good option but what do you think?” Take a theological approach knowing that this is a spiritual journey not too dissimilar to finding a spouse or making other life-changing decisions.
Get Your Foot in the Door
BURKHISER: But there may be some listening right now who are very discouraged in their job search. They’ve been looking for months, maybe years. What would you tell that person to give them hope, to know that God sees their plight and he has a plan?
GEHRLEIN: It is discouraging. Sometimes I would tell them that you do have to not settle, but you do have to do something to just get your foot in the door. You just never know where that door is going to lead.
But know this: God does love us without a doubt. Our Christian faith informs us that he will provide for us.
You’re not alone on this journey. You need to get the help that you need and sometimes spouses need to work together. It may be that one spouse is going to have a job and the other is going to be looking even if you’re used to that dual income. Maybe that wife needs to have a full-time job and the husband stays home to take care of the kids.
And sometimes you need to be willing to relocate. And again that’s a family decision. Just knowing that God will provide but being flexible in how he does it is what I would counsel, especially in these times. And even if it’s something that isn’t quite perfect yet, step into it, see what happens, and God may open some bigger doors later on.
Editor’s Note: A limited number of Russell’s book, Immanuel Labor—God’s Presence in Our Profession, are available in our bookstore. Save $5 off the regular price, while supplies last!