A while back, I met with a bunch of church leaders and non-profit leaders in my city. I asked them about problems they viewed in our community, and what potential solutions could be.
The results were varied. People had all kinds of answers to my questions that spanned from mental health to the destruction of the nuclear family. Those offered problems were probably closely related, but my biggest conclusion from the discussions came not from what was different between everyone’s answers, but from what was similar.
You see, every single person I talked to said this exact same thing (maybe in different words), “I want to be able to reach professionals and help them integrate faith into their work in meaningful ways. But I have no idea how to do it.”
It was across the board. Every leader viewed this as a problem.
And what’s more, I don’t think this is a unique problem to my city. I think the Western evangelical church has ignored this, in a subconscious attempt at division of labor – most of us view the church as a spiritual resource, and nothing else. We think that “secular” problems need to be solved by secular agencies.
In other words, we think the church sticks to growing in our faith, and businesses should stick to business.
The problem is that our faith includes every area of our lives. The Scriptures address everything in our lives, so our churches should minister in all areas.
So as an answer to the problem of helping professionals integrate faith into their work in meaningful ways, here are some important principles to incorporate:
Share the Gospel
1 Peter says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Most of us probably already know that sharing our faith is part of integrating faith and work. But it’s worth mentioning on this list because it’s deeper than just randomly telling people that Jesus died and rose from the dead.
We’ve got to be gentle and show respect, as the passage says. We’ve got to have those conversations in the context of quality relationships with our coworkers that are based on mutual trust and companionship. That way, people can see the goodness of Christ in your entire lives to reiterate the message of the gospel.
Work as Unto God
Colossians says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Remember that you are not just serving your employer. Every opportunity you have to do your best, especially when no one is watching, is an opportunity to do it well since you are doing it for God.
Work to Do Right by Your Employer
Everyday, one of my prayers as I drive into work is that I would do right by my employer.
We want to be a godly example to our boss (whether he/she is a believer or not). As we work hard, and accomplish the tasks which our employer sets out for us, we can show that God has made us into people with good work ethics. It shows that God is powerful to make a lazy person (like I used to be) into a workhorse (which I am now).
Honor your employer by following his/her instructions to a T. And do it without complaining.We literally deny ourselves when we do a job half-assed. #work Click To Tweet
Create, Don’t Just Follow Orders
God has made us in His image.
That means that we have certain attributes which God has. For the purposes of this article, I will highlight God’s creative nature in us.
At work, we don’t just want to do what is asked of us. We must tap into our creative nature and take the initiative to make our company/organization better.
Find new ways to create efficiency. Create avenues which make the work environment more harmonious and productive. Offer ideas (and follow up on implementation) which serve the greater good of the business.
Understand Your Purpose in Work
Genesis tells us that one of the purposes God gave mankind at its initial creation is to “fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
This means that we are to care for creation, but also to rule over it well. Man is supposed to utilize creation to flourish as much as possible. We must work to make it produce good fruit (which in today’s terms can mean providing services which benefit everyone through technology, agriculture, manufacturing, economic stimulation, job creation, and on and on).
This fits into our creative nature explained above, and it gives us an objective as we do our very best in our work to serve God and man. We literally deny our purpose and ourselves when we do a job half-assed.Do it without complaining. #work Click To Tweet
Everything we do is part of the worldwide workforce that makes creation as productive as possible. Even if you work the line or you pick up trash or you pack boxes. Whatever your job is, be sure give it your all because God loves when we participate in helping everything He made to flourish.