Effective Workplace Evangelism
- Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Almost every secular workplace where I've worked it didn't take long for non-believers to realize I was different. I didn't participate in the jokes, the dirty language or criticism of management. I didn't judge them for their behavior because they were merely acting the way they should act as one who does not have Christ in their life. I viewed them as prisoners awaiting their salvation and that I might be the instrument to lead them to my Savior.
I would often be known as the "religious guy." It wasn't because I was particularly vocal or I tried to separate myself; it happened naturally. The Christ in me naturally made me stand out. Jesus called us to be the "salt and light" of any life situation. The secular workplace economy is contrary to the Kingdom of God economy so we should naturally stand out in any situation.
When Paul and Silas were in prison their lifestyle of worship and prayer in the midst of the horrible conditions of a dirty prison stood out in stark contrast to their circumstances. They didn't pray and sing to impress their cellmates, they simply did what was natural to them. Still, "the other prisons were watching."
No matter where you are, others are watching you to determine if your faith is real or you're an impostor. The world is looking to discredit your faith. St. Francis Assisi once said, "Preach the gospel always, and when necessary, use words." You are a witness always whether you choose to be or not.
"The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:29-30). When you begin to reflect the love and power of Christ in your life you won't have to have an evangelism program to win others into the Kingdom. It will be a fruit of your life. The "fish" will actually jump in the boat!
Beware how you conduct your life today. Because the prisoners are listening.
A Few Precautions to Workplace Evangelism
Invite—Don't Pressure. Solicitation of people to participate in your group may result in their feeling pressured, especially if you have a supervisory role. Some employees may feel that their jobs are in jeopardy if they don't attend.
Be Professional. Prayer before a business meeting, even in companies with roots in Christianity, may be viewed as unprofessional and may jeopardize any good feelings non-Christian coworkers might have toward Christianity. Be sure that open prayer is acceptable in that corporate culture and that all parties involved desire open prayer.
Voluntary versus Mandatory. Some over-zealous managers have attached prayer sessions to mandatory meetings. This can easily backfire and make you legally liable.
Avoid Christian Lingo—So often we forget what life was like before we were Christians. We often use terms like sanctification, born again, Spirit-filled, etc. The non-Christian will quickly get lost in that language. If you want to be understood by the non-Christians in your group, you must avoid religious jargon.
Small Groups. Small group Bible studies held on company grounds make great places to invite non-believers or even new Christians. The key to having an effective small group is to facilitate instead of teach. Getting participants to share their observations and questions in the group setting is the key to an effective group.
Used with permission. TGIF Today God Is First by Os Hillman
Originally posted October 2008.
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