Why are you in the workplace or in your business? Is it not because you are called there by God? Contrary to popular belief, you can’t separate the secular and the sacred. Our personal relationship with God will shape how we work and relate to our colleagues.
So let’s get down to business … business with God and with His mighty purpose operating through you, His daughter or son in the business world. Tony McLennan, CEO of Australia For Jesus and Executive Director of Business Life, will unpack how you can build deeper relationships with your work colleagues so you can help others to meet Jesus in your business or workplace.
Not everyone is called to full-time pastoral ministry but every one of Christ’s followers are called to become disciple-makers. That means we are called to live in the world and to seek and save the lost. I have been blessed to belong to a type of spiritual order called The Navigators, a Christian organisation well known for its evangelism and discipleship focus. The Navigators puts it this way:
“A disciple-maker will be among those who are without Christ. They will be purposeful to love, serve and help them know and understand the Gospel. They are marked by strong commitment to the Great Commission and a strong compassion for the brokenness of those without Christ. Disciple-makers proclaim and affirm the Gospel with both their words and their lives.”
We often use the word ‘vocation’ to describe our business or profession. I was reminded recently by Dr Frank Tully, Navigator Staff Leader from Boston and resident in Australia, that the Latin vocare, ‘to call’, forms the word vocation. Even the unbelieving world uses this term. If you question why you have been placed in your particular workplace or business you can be certain of this: You are there at work to fulfil a calling from God and to bear fruit. How do I know this? Jesus said:
The sign of a healthy Christian is not the deposit of spiritual gifts given to them, it’s the fruit that is borne from their life laid down for God’s purposes. As followers of Christ, we are to lead others to Jesus, even if these people first appear hostile or apathetic to the Gospel.
Don’t hide the fact that you are Christian
The famous “Prince of Preachers” Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said:
That means wherever you go, whatever you do, you should be caring about people’s eternal destiny. Working in a secular workplace is a great avenue to shine your light and not have it hidden.
Have your Bible on your desk or nearby. You will be surprised at who will notice it. I remember one young man, a Managing Director, was swearing his head off over the phone as he spoke to someone who had upset him. He used the whole range of bad language available to him. Then he hung up his phone. There was a telling silence behind the office divider where he sat – and then I heard him say, “Sorry, Tony.”
While we never had discussed religion or anything like that, the Holy Spirit had clearly convicted him of his speech. I later was given an opportunity to pray for him and his family and shared the Gospel presentation. He was deeply impacted.
Pray for those in the workplace whom God lays on your heart
Be steadfast and unrelenting in your prayers for the lost. Don’t lose heart if colleagues seem closed to the Gospel. Praying for those in your workplace regularly can soften even the hardest of hearts.
My Executive Director, would not engage in any sort of spiritual discussion. I even gave him a gold-plated Bible but he put it in his bottom bookshelf. So, our family prayed for him every night for five years.
Later the Minister from the church that ran that particular Alpha course baptised him in the sea near his home. How gracious is our God!
Witness to Christ’s saving work in your life
I remember taking a young man and his girlfriend out to dinner in Adelaide. I was paying for the dinner so I slipped the Gospel in for dessert! They both shrank back and said, “We are happy for you but it’s not for us.”
I kept praying for them and one day this young couple were asleep in bed and suddenly the young man came under great conviction. He got up and couldn’t stop crying. His girlfriend was at a loss to help him. Finally, God spoke to him and said, “This has got to stop.” Later we met and I shared the prayer out of the back of a Gideon New Testament and he was mercifully saved. That was 1996 and he has lived for Jesus without faltering ever since.
Be prepared by knowing and presenting the Gospel clearly
A few years ago I met a young man who was a commando attached to a military unit which trained and acted against emergency security situations. He was fit, healthy, a perfect image of modern manhood, but he was an atheist. We had a chat and I asked him if I could show him a presentation of the Gospel called The Way of Life. He made it clear that he didn’t believe but was prepared to go through the presentation. When we got to slide 24, I asked him, “Daniel, do you believe that Jesus could have died for you?” He said, “He could have…”
Suddenly, the Holy Spirit’s presence fell upon him and he came under conviction and cried out, “What’s happening?” I said, “You are experiencing the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”
He was terrified and said, “What do I do?” In response, I asked him “Do you want to receive God’s gift of eternal life?” He said, “Yes”. He prayed and peace came into his life. He was immediately saved.
Look after each person who comes to faith as if they are your sister or brother because they are!
New believers need to be discipled. It’s one thing to present the Gospel to our co-workers, but quite another to parent new believers in the faith. For fruit and multiplication in the Kingdom you need both, where those people you disciple in the ways of the Lord will in due season bring others to Christ and become disciple-makers in their own right. The Bible says:
You can become an effective winner of souls by setting aside the time needed to walk alongside a new believer and ensure their faith in Christ is firmly established. Your new and young Christian needs your help.
Be a lifetime friend and help the person whom you have led to Christ grow and share his or her faith in Jesus with others. The Navigators Founder, Dawson Trotman, wrote a short booklet called ‘Born to Reproduce’. May I suggest that you get it and read it and apply it to your life and you will find that as your business and professional life continues you will see generations of people coming to Christ.
Ask God to help you to be good at your job
Employers and other stakeholders in the workplace appreciate people who are unselfishly good at their job. Work hard with Christ’s mighty power at work within you to fulfil what is expected of you and that extra bit more. Remember to go the ‘extra mile’ (see Matthew 5:41). And be wise.
About Tony McLennan
Tony McLennan is CEO of Australia For Jesus and Executive Director of Business Life. Australia For Jesus is a growing network of Christians formed by the Holy Spirit to help the lost people of Australia and New Zealand discover who Jesus is and, through repentance and faith in Him, be saved from sin and receive God’s Gift of Eternal Life.
Visit www.australiaforjesus.org.au for more information.
Images in this article have been sourced from Shutterstock.