We’ve been sharing some thoughts and discoveries from the Christian Faith in the Workplace survey we ran on this site in the first half of 2015. You can find the other posts on this site tagged Survey.
We had 591 completed responses including 534 (90%) who consider themselves Christian. We then asked the Christians about their employment, and 44 people said they were employed full-time by a church or a para-church ministry. We asked this group of people different questions than the others.
The primary question we asked was, “What percentage of people do you think are actively on-mission with Christ in the workplace?” Forty-three people answered. The answers ranged from 0 to 100%. We didn’t define the term “on-mission” but rather we simply asked the question.
The responses were:
- 5% or less 7 people (16.2%)
- 10% – 14 people (32.6%)
- 15% – 2 people (4.6%)
- 20% – 5 (11.6%)
- 21% or greater (30.2%)
I wish we had asked more follow up questions. For example, what do we consider the “job” of a Christian in the workplace? Is our “job” simply to invite people to church? What does a workplace-oriented Christ-follower do when they’re at work? Is there a “ministry” or a “mission” we are called to in the workplace? Is Jesus busy at our workplaces? What do we think Christ is doing? Do we think God provides opportunities for us to join Him in His work? Should we be about anything other than work in our work?
In Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King, the authors demonstrate from scripture that God is busy, active and at work everywhere right now. All we have to do is look for his work and join him in it.
In one way, we are all on mission with God. God is not disappointed or discouraged or surprised by our lack of choosing to participate with him. Our lack of participation isn’t outside of his power or his will. If God wants us to participate, he can arrange things so we participate. He is sovereign so coming from one perspective, we all participate with him. Only one person answered 100%. I wonder if that person shared my idea.
But in another way, we each have a choice. When we choose to look for God, even if He tells us to sit and watch, then we do His work in our world, and take part in the eternal. Our lives and our time become treasures laid up in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). The eternal parts of my life are those where I have helped others and served others, prayed, spoken, or lived so that God would be known and that people would move one notch closer to Him.
Sometimes, I think our world believes the “real” Christians are the ones on stage or in some third-world country. They think the rest of us just watch (at worst) or help and support (at best) the “real” Christians. However, I’ve met a large number of “real” Christ-followers in the workplace. They’re accountants and sales people, managers, engineers, even lawyers. When we choose to ask God to use our time for His glory, we are on-mission with Him. He wants us closer to Him regardless of our situation.
I see my job as 1) doing my job better than expected according to my company’s needs, and 2) helping anyone move one notch closer to Jesus. What about you? Have you thought about your mission? What job has God called you to and are you doing it? Have you ever wondered how God would have you do your job? What ways do you try to keep your relationship with Jesus fresh at your place of work? And how can I help. Take a minute and share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks in advance!