The unemployment rate in Australia is at a record low. So, is now a good time to look into what opportunities exist for Christians? A Christian job doesn’t necessarily describe the type of work, but rather the kind of person who does it.
Christian Jobs Australia is an online employment service that adds new opportunities daily across a diverse range of categories and sectors. Andrew Thonemann leads the organisation, and recently joined us on 20Twenty to discuss what he believes employers are actually looking for.
Christian Jobs Australia
Christian Jobs Australia began 20 years ago, providing an opportunity for people seeking work in a Christian culture and environment. A lot of businesses were also keen to employ Christians because of their morals and values. Today, nearly 33,000 employers are using the website to advertise their vacancies.
‘We are surprised by the diversity that we do have on the website,’ says Andrew. ‘Just recently we had a job advertised for a dairy farm worker. But we have things like insurance brokers, retail sales, employment consultants, people in finance and warehouse jobs. It’s not just the main Christian organisations, it’s those that are seeking to build a Christian culture within their workplaces.’
One issue that is still on the minds of Christians is the controversy surrounding Andrew Thorburn, and his forced resignation as the Essendon CEO. Many people are concerned about the ramifications for their own positions.
‘That was a very unusual situation,’ says Andrew. ‘Because it was a very senior role, it fell outside the protection of the awards systems. But it doesn’t fall outside the protection of the law. But to be honest, we shouldn’t be surprised. The Christian world and the secular world are diverging. We’re moving apart and this is something that is written about in the Bible.’
The Issue of Discrimination
Andrew says this is one of the reasons that Christian jobs was started. ‘We knew there would come a time when Christians would need to look after each other, and we fell back on Galatians 6. Christian Jobs is working really hard on putting Christian jobseekers together with Christian employers. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but not at the exclusivity of others. We look after them as well.’
What people believe and what their morals are is extremely important in terms of where they work and who they work for. Discrimination is always going to be there. A church is not allowed to advertise for a male pastor because that’s discrimination. But then will they end up employing a female pastor? Probably not. People employ the type of person they want to employ.
Andrew says there are a few different ways for people to advertise vacancies with Christian Jobs Australia. ‘First of all, the employer would register with us, and they would put their own advert up on the website. Every day thousands of alerts go out and mention the different jobs that have become available.’
Alerts are sent out through the website, a newsletter, and all the social media channels. Every day, Christian Jobs gets thousands of views, as well as a lot of attention from the Christian network and the many people who are part of it.
Attracting Christian Employees
‘There is a bit of a bit of a balance with employers,’ says Andrew. ‘There are plenty of Christian organisations who employ non-Christians because they also want to be seen as the salt of the earth and encourage others to come to the faith. There’s going to be a mixture.’
‘But what’s important in a Christian organisation is the leadership. We see a Christian working environment as a loving, caring, nurturing place where Jesus is revered and referred to through meditation and prayer. Where every individual is respected, loved and valued, and a place where honesty, compassion, fairness and open communication is the norm.’
‘We aspire to those heights,’ says Andrew. ‘We don’t always get there, but that’s what we need to aspire to as Christian employers and to attract those Christian employees.’