Mike Jones was at one time responsible for 142 Boots outlets as regional pharmacy manager of the East Midlands. Now retired, Mike has been considering how he can use the skills he gained in business and leadership to serve those who are now facing the current jobs crisis, and what the wider church could be doing.

I love the idea that helping young people get back into work could be seen as part of the ministry of the local church,” he says.

Mike shares different ways the local church can help connect the dots between work and the Christian faith. Through serving the local community as people seek employment, Mike believes we can ultimately point them to Jesus.

Mike on running a CAP job club


Mike trained as a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Job Club manager, and has run their Steps to Employment Course at his church in Nottingham. If a church is looking for a way to serve the unemployed in the community, this course is a low cost method and CAP provide you with all the resources you need. 

CAP Job Clubs help those seeking jobs to gain the tools, skills and confidence to step back into employment. This course is eight weeks long and covers topics such as identifying strengths, CV writing and interview techniques. Mike felt equipped to present the course and the team then followed up with individual coaching sessions with group members.

Through attending the job club, and with the help of Mike and his team, the group members have all updated their CVs and are now well prepared to search for jobs.

The jobseekers have built deep relationships with one another and the job coaches have all enjoyed the humbling experience of witnessing to others in the presence of Jesus.”

Mike on running a leadership course 

Since finishing work, Mike has tried to use the experiences he’s had as a Christian in leadership to serve people in his church who are in that position now. He has seen a particular need for this during the pandemic, when one-on-one conversations about challenges in the workplace could no longer take place as organically.

In July 2020, Mike started a five week leadership course for 12 people in his church, based on the book of Daniel.

I truly believe that the Bible is the greatest book on leadership we have.”

A group made up of company directors, teachers and other professionals, they have explored issues such as resilience, coaching and how to get alongside people.

In the end, leadership comes down to two very basic things: great communication and great relationships. That’s fundamental to the life of the church as well.”

Mike on the importance of good work”

When unemployed, and particularly during the pandemic, people have found themselves in desperate situations. Understandably, many will accept any job opportunity that comes their way. Mike suggests that it’s important that people take time to evaluate whether they are in the right job for them.

Don’t stay stuck in an environment where you might be miserable for the next 40 years. We were created to live life to the full, we’re allowed to seek job satisfaction.”

Mike suggests we can help one another in this by coming alongside those who have lost work, or who are unhappy in the work they have, by helping people see their skills. By taking the time to understand those who are struggling, we can build people up to see their potential.

The sense of loss when you leave a job, the way you feel set adrift and lost is enormous. I felt that when I left Boots,” Mike says.

Mike believes that helping people find the right job allows them to have self-esteem and to stand on their own two feet,” and that this becomes a virtuous cycle.

There is wisdom in understanding that no job can provide 100 per cent employee satisfaction, and it is certainly possible to glorify God in all kinds of work. But Mike points us to the great freedom and joy that comes with the Christian life, in knowing that God designed work as a gift to be enjoyed: Everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man” (Ecclesiastes 3:13).

Mike on the role of the church through a jobs crisis

Looking back on the history of the church in the UK, Mike believes that there are great gospel opportunities to be found in the midst of a jobs crisis.

If you go back 200 years, churches were the centre of the community. It was where people gathered, it was where people could be fed from. Through coronavirus, we have seen churches recognised in that way again, as they provide foodbanks and vaccine centres. Through serving the community by helping young people back into jobs, the church could have a real ministry opportunity.”

Mike is passionate that this could be a ministry opportunity for everyone in the church, regardless of age. He sees great value in older members of church families sharing their life experiences with those seeking work.

We could be a beacon in the community, like we used to be and like we ought to be. God’s idea about retirement is different to our idea of retirement. You never retire with God. You are never too old for God to use your skills to help your community. We could use the life experiences of people who might believe they have nothing to offer.”

Mike believes that people are more equipped for evangelism than they realise. If Christians are able to have a conversation with somebody, take a genuine interest in their life and struggles, and they realise that our intention is to help them without asking for anything in return, people might start to ask why.

And if you are then ready with your story, who knows what God might do.”


We might be tempted to think that the answer to the UK’s jobs crisis needs to come from major corporations. However, if one in three small businesses created one new job it could entirely eliminate unemployment in the UK. Mike Jones demonstrates a vision for what the local church could be doing, through seemingly small actions, to serve a great need and point our communities to our servant king, Jesus.

My conversation with Mike is the eighth in a series of interviews I have conducted with Christians in leadership as part of our Job creation project. The Evangelical Alliance seeks to encourage the church to step into the unemployment crisis wherever possible, to love our neighbours and demonstrate the character of God to our communities.