Greg Forster, Yale University graduate and director of the Oikonomia Network, answers questions from readers of Gospel Coalition on the link between faith, economy and work.
Today the question comes from a person having returned to the world of secular work after having worked 6 years in a Christian ministry. This reader wanted to have some tips for bearing witness to Jesus around him in his new workplace, because that is what motivated his reorientation.
“I have just started a job in the corporate world after six years in the ministry. One of the reasons I left my Christian workplace was the opportunity to evangelize, but I would need a few tips to get started. Do you have any suggestions on how to share his faith in his workplace? "
For Greg Forster, the first step is to “earn the right to be heard”. And that goes through 3 practical suggestions.
- See work as a ministry
You will gain the right to be heard through your excellent performance in your work and in your interactions with colleagues and clients. In reality, you never leave the department full time. The word "ministry" simply means "service". All Christians, without exception, are in full-time service to Jesus Christ and to the world. No matter what a Christian's job - writing reports, driving trucks, sweeping hallways - it is ministry to God and to his neighbor. When work is done in a way that honors God, it is a powerful witness that draws people in.
- Be patient
Gaining the right to be heard takes time. Don't necessarily expect quick evangelism opportunities. Trust that if you work faithfully, God will use your living testimony to awaken the hearts of those around you.
- Evangelize in a relational way
The idea of “relational evangelism” has sometimes been used to avoid the verbal proclamation of the gospel, which is not a good thing. But it is possible to do both and it is particularly interesting to evangelize through the relationship at work. When opportunities arise, focus on the person's reaction to speak wisely. This is especially important in the workplace, where relationship dynamics can be complex and boundaries large.
Article originally published on February 11, 2019.
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