I am a firm believer that all Christians are called into full-time ministry. No matter where we live or work, we are called to minister to all those around us. Acts 1:8 says, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Simply put, you, as a believer in Christ, are called to show and live out the love of Christ in your community, nation, and the world.
Although I now work in full-time vocational ministry, before this I spent many years in the corporate world. It's a place where, most often, pride and power reign supreme, and where integrity can be hard to find. I know the difficulty and risk that can come from living out our faith on the “corporate” stage. However, even if you can't openly discuss Jesus with everyone that stops at your desk, you can still live out your faith. Even though the work I was employed to do did not directly affect the Kingdom, I started each day with a desire to do what I could despite that. Here are some ways that you too can live out your faith at the workplace.
It is really easy, in the hustle of work life, to forget basic decencies of language. Please…thank you…Underused and underrated. Take the moment not to just ask someone how they are, but listen to the reply. If you see someone do something good, encourage them. I'm not talking about flattery, that never goes far. I'm talking honest to goodness encouragement. Of course, you may have to slow down to notice.
Work hard and work with integrity. Only promise what you can do and deliver on what you promise. The goal here is to set yourself apart. In an arena where excuses and lies are an accepted and almost expected form of communication, it is important that your life reflects a different standard. Work as unto the Lord… Colossians 3:23-24.
One of the quickest ways that my coworkers found out about my faith was by them asking me what I did over the weekend or on vacation. I answered them fully. “I spent the week with my church's youth group doing some relief work in New Orleans.” Or “I spent Saturday at a lock in at the church.” Maybe your stories will revolve around your family, bible studies, church, or other things, but sharing our life with others will often open the doors of sharing our faith.
Are you the “big man on the totem pole”? Are you the last person through the building and have to clean the toilets? Believe it or not, you can serve others even past your position. I know that sometimes it can be hard to see opportunities to serve, but if you pray and ask, the Lord will show you. Remember, serving is a form of sacrifice (of our time, talents, and provisions). Follow David's lead in 2 Samuel 24:24, and do not offer sacrifice unto the Lord which cost you nothing.
Oh yeah, seems simple in theory, but it can be hard in practice. The more difficult the coworker, the harder it is to pray. But if life has taught me anything it is that what people act out in their lives at work is often a reflection of their personal life. So pray my friends, because you may be the only person doing so.
I know that some of these things may seem scary or impossible. But I trust that as you truly desire to live out your love of Jesus and His love for you, you will gain the courage and will be presented with great opportunities to share Jesus love with others.
Originally Published January 27, 2010