Announcement: Group Services29 Oct, 2019
As CEO of CAP Australia, some pieces of communication are easy to write; others are more challenging. Today is one of the more challenging ones. As you read this, my prayer is that you would understand our heart as we look to the future of CAP Australia. Since CAP launched in Australia in 2000, we have been running our flagship Debt Help service. Over time, we launched several other initiatives that tackled the underlying cause of poverty and debt. These are:
- CAP Money in 2008, a course accessible to anyone who wanted to learn better financial literacy and experience freedom in how they manage money, and how money impacts their relationships.
- CAP Job Clubs in 2015, groups to help support the long-term unemployed
- CAP Release Groups in 2016, helpingto help people overcome controlling habits – like smoking and shopping
Debt Help continues to be CAP’s flagship service. CAP Debt Help is changing the story of the church in Australia – to being known as a place that people can trust, find a practical solution to a very big problem and feel accepted and loved.
I’ve been back from maternity leave for 8 months now, and it’s been a difficult season for many reasons. When I returned to the office in February it was quickly apparent that our key results had taken a significant dip and the staff team were over-stretched and struggling. I am very proud of the many things CAP manages to achieve with a relatively small staff team – keeping running costs as low as possible and helping equip as many churches as possible to serve the poor.
When I returned to work, we were also kicking off an organisational review with the aim of creating a 3-year strategic growth plan (a big thank you to Ntegrity Agency and some generous financial backers for helping make this project possible). This review highlighted that as a team, we lacked clarity on the most important goals and priorities. As many of you will empathise, without the finances to expand the staff team, we needed to look critically at our current activity and re-direct our attention to the things we believe God has called us to do. So, as I stepped back into the building, I knew one of my biggest objectives for 2019 was to make some clear decisions on vision and direction to ensure staff could focus on the right things for CAP’s next season.
For the latter two additions to CAP’s services, about 15 churches trained up and began operating. Some of them have been very successful, some have been a little more challenging, but each represent a Church committed to serving and including the poor. We are very proud of the work done in the past 4 years and have lots to celebrate.
However, after lots of prayer and consideration, CAP made the decision in July of this year to stop running CAP Job Club and CAP Release Group programmes. This has been one of the hardest decisions to make and was not done lightly. I know this means there are people in desperate need who now won’t have access to a CAP Job Club or CAP Release Group. However, I also know this decision will bring fresh investment and resource to the areas of the charity I know God wants us to focus on.
So, what now?
By the end of 2019, support for all 10 of our current Job Clubs and Release Groups will be phased out. For those interested in the detail, we have allowed our church partners to continue using the CAP resources to run Job Clubs and Release Groups independently; we are praying God takes these services and continues to use them to help people. We thank God for each of them and praise him for their dedication and commitment to their communities.
Then, we will springboard into a new 3-year growth plan, bringing focus back to the CAP Money Course. We currently have 177 CAP Money church partners, and God’s given us vision for 500 by the end of 2023, going from reaching 2000 people per year through the course to 10,000!
Out of these church partnerships we hope more churches will be ready to move towards serving and including the poor by opening a CAP Debt Help service in their community; we currently have 39 church debt help partners but need 200 to reach national coverage. So far this year we have turned away 522 people who we have been unable to help (due to not having a service in their area). This is not okay with us. We know the debt help service that CAP provides is one of the best solutions out there and an opportunity for the Church to be known as a place of trust and practical help – a place that truly reflects the ministry of Jesus.
I am thrilled about the redirection of energy and innovation into CAP Money as an amazing church tool that brings financial freedom to God’s people. I dream of the day the church would be known as place that opens its arms wide to the destitute, a place of belonging to the hopeless. With CAP as the vehicle I believe we can and will see that happen, in our nation, one life at a time, one family at a time, one generation at a time.
Will you join us?
Thank you to those that already part of this movement called Christians Against Poverty. As we launch into this 3-year growth plan, I would love for you to help CAP in whatever way you can:
- Will you pray for CAP?
- Can you become a regular donor? ($26 per month helps us answer the phone to one more client family every month)
- Can you become a Vision Sponsor ($100 per month or more) and invest in our growth projects to see us move towards 200 CAP Debt Help services?
- Do you own a business and want to explore corporate sponsorship – could CAP’s brand help move your business forwards and together help more people?
- Can you do some local fundraising in your church?
- Maybe you can have a CAP speaker come and visit your church?
- Maybe you can attend one of our fundraising dinners?
The options are many – but we do need your help, your support and your prayers.
Thank you so much for reading, I would really value your feedback and am keen for you to get in touch so if you have any queries, comments, concerns (or encouragement!) please email me email@example.com.
CEO, CAP Australia