It’s a common topic to hear in the news today, “God is not allowed in the workplace.” As I ponder the statement, I find myself agreeing that slowly and intentionally our society has supported the dismantling of overtly recognizing God and our ability to express our faith in our workplaces but I am left with a burning question. If we are walking through the door at our place of work, how can God not be allowed in these spaces? As Christ followers, we are asked to be the vessels of Christ’s light shining within our homes, churches, social lives, workplaces and schools. Therefore, God still exists in all places if we simply show up wearing our garments of Truth made of finely stitched fabric weaved with Christ-like character.
It’s understandable that we struggle with the rulings granted over the last several decades that snuffed out prayer in our schools and our ability to speak freely and overtly about our Faith during our work day without repercussions. However, I encourage us not to allow the movement to become an excuse to stop showing up as His disciples which is the ultimate tool towards leading others to a beautiful life with Christ.
The power of Discipleship is the cornerstone of each and every mission field. Our mission field and our ministry is everywhere, with everyone, all of the time. Anyone that we may encounter who doesn’t know Jesus is an opportunity to show up for God and allow Him to use us a vessel during those encounters. We are a society that likes to compartmentalize our lives and separate behavior based on audience or event. Each and every encounter in our day creates an opportunity to bring God into the situation just by sharing Godly character.
Many Pastors say that the workplace is the most difficult place to have a ministry. I would agree with that observation. In 2014, after a forty day exploration to find ministry work in Rwanda and South Africa which extended into an eight months hiatus, God confirmed that the best place for me to spend a majority of my time serving Him was back in corporate America. I can validate the challenges of maintaining a Christ-like example during the high demands and pressures of being a technology leader. I thrive on big challenges and I delight in working with so many wonderfully diverse individuals within this area of my mission field. It’s the perfect opportunity to show up for God every day showing great kindness, compassion, integrity, joy aligned with an attitude of service and promoting service minded leadership. My actions are built on a foundation of serving God first, the company second, team third and myself last. However, it’s not effortless under work demands and real pressures therefore, it requires a commitment of daily discipline.
Every morning I must seek the strength of God by spending time in scripture to be an effective servant leader. On the days that I skip my morning time with the Lord, I fail miserably. However, I get up the next day putting a priority on my time with God to equip my actions and character with His strength vs. mine. People notice on the days that I show up as God’s example and sometimes they want to know more and perhaps even request a meeting to discuss their leadership development or to be mentored. These are the fruits and opportunities of this mission field.
No law or government ruling can prevent us from making a conscious effort to carry God into the office as his vessel. A living, breathing example of Christ, this is God’s call on all of our lives. We can chose to be the hands and feet of Jesus every day by sharing compassion, integrity, care, patience and many other attributes found in the teachings of Jesus. We can make the conscious choice to let go of our egos, fears and insecurities and give up control over situations to allow God to come in and work out a specific mission that He prepared in this place. I’ve witnessed situations that worked out marvelously when I stopped trying to anticipate or force an outcome and asked God to intervene. Some days God succeeds through me and on other days, I fail Him and I am forgiven. Maturing in our Faith and our abilities to serve God at our best is a continuous transformation. I have learned the importance of recognizing my own shortcomings and when I mess up, I hold myself accountable, ask for forgiveness from God and the person I may have failed. We are all human and far from perfect and acknowledging our mistakes builds trust, credibility and strong relationships.
People recognize Godly behaviors and those who simply do the right thing among many who don’t. Building and exemplifying strong moral character is the foundation of discipleship. We can be the light and through us God will be recognized sometimes even more powerfully than declaring His name or holding a prayer. Through this example, we achieve the Lord’s goal which is to make us His disciples for the world to see Him through us providing hope, that they too, can receive God as their Lord and Savior.
The most rewarding aspect of being God’s vessel in the workplace is to witness the amazing outcomes that He inspires along the way and promoting a culture that’s driven by working with purpose vs. the typical daily grind. Work can be the greatest adventure when we unleash God’s passion within us to penetrate the environment. It only takes one beam of light to cast out the darkness. It only takes one vessel of light to cast out the negativity and change a culture.