From last post…”You may still be wondering what our love for our church family has to do with our testimony at work? I believe when we share our lives with others in the workplace, and pass along stories of faith, hope and love from our church family, we make the Lord attractive. People we work with need to know our Christians friends are valuable to us, just as their friends are valuable to them. They need to understand, while we strive to understand God’s will and obey it in the church, we also thrive in an atmosphere of grace where we cheer each other on and lift each other up. This is likely our greatest commonality, and our best platform for sharing the love of Christ.”
There is a place where this dynamic becomes undeniably clear to me. When I preach a funeral for a church member who was still in the workforce, I have an opportunity to meet some wonderful co-workers who share in my loss, and I in theirs. For a short season our mutual friend brings our two worlds together where God’s grace provides a covering for us all. In more than one instance I have seen co-workers so touched by our experience together they have ventured back to worship in search of greater spiritual fulfillment.
It would be much more difficult for the gospel to work through these kinds of situations if my believing friends hadn’t been positive in their portrayal of our church family. I am not talking about an unrealistic depiction that denies our human weaknesses, but rather one that adores Christ’s Bride in spite of them.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait for people’s funerals to make these kinds of connections between the church and the workplace. The church I serve is located near several military bases where our members frequently retire from service to their country. I am often offered the special blessing of being invited to pray at their retirement ceremonies. There is always great joy as my friends are honored by their colleagues and embraced by their families. In the same way my friends who are retiring are overwhelmed with emotion as they praise their families and the people who have helped make them successful. I have met a lot of great people at these gatherings and have had some of them come to share with our church family in worship. None of this would have been possible if my retiring friends had failed to live for Christ or speak well of His Bride. In the same way, I could have also undermined their good work by failing to honor and praise them in front of their peers.
There are certainly many ways to live out our testimony in the workplace. Employers are impressed with a good work ethic, our peers learn to trust us when they know we can keep confidences, and the things we say carry more weight if we are effective in our jobs. Yet, I have never met an employer who wanted to know more about Christ because his Christian employees were good workers. On the other hand I have met many who did because their employees reached out to them in a crisis. A good work ethic builds trust. A big heart creates opportunity.