The workplace is one of the primary places that Christians are “salt and light” to a needy world. People in the workplace will see and come to know the love of Jesus as Christians express care, love, and a desire to serve through relationships.
Every wise business owner develops a business plan to give direction, goals, and checkpoints to a company and all of its parts. Christian business owners also have a responsibility to God and to employees to have a ministry plan. This ministry plan may be only for personal use or may be shared with other Christians in the workplace.
Three Keys For Workplace Ministry
There are three keys to always consider in life and work. They are:
Kingdom, relationships, and transformation:
- We want to be Kingdom-focused and explore how we as individuals and business owners
can reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through our businesses.
- We must choose to view every person we meet as important and realize that Jesus was
effective because He valued relationships and sought out relationships with all kinds of
- The goal is to allow the transforming power of God to positively change everything and everyone we touch. This includes managing our businesses with Christ-like principles that create an environment for transformation to occur.
How do we take His Kingdom to where we work? We need to recognize our role as ministers in all things we do. Jesus has called us to continue His work and given us the provision to do so everywhere we go. As business owners, we are called to further God’s Kingdom, cultivate relationships, and to be agents for transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all we come in contact with in the marketplace.
Four Principles For Workplace Ministry
Colossians 4:1-6 “Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we
may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
These verses give us great insight into four principles for workplace ministry:
- Devote ourselves to prayer (verse 2)
- That God would open to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery
of Christ (verse 3)
- Conduct ourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity
- So that we will know how to respond to each person (verse 6)
Principle #1: Prayer
- Make a list of employees, customers, vendors, and other business associates.
- Begin to pray for them by name on a regular basis. If the list has a lot of names, then split
them into groups and pray for a group each day.
- Ask for sensitivity from God for them and ask to be used as He is working in their lives.
- Ask God for a softened heart towards these people and wisdom about how to relate to them.
Ask to see how He wants their lives transformed.
- Pray for an open door to them.
- Be patient – this is a process, not an event
Principle #2: Open Doors
This type of evangelism and discipleship takes places in our sphere of influence and is NOT about activities but about relationships. Open doors come in many forms. Some are happy occasions in a time of celebration. Others come in the form of times of crisis. Some of the happy times might include the birth of a baby, a birthday, anniversary, wedding or a graduation. Some of the crises might include the death of a loved one, a major illness, marriage problems, children issues, financial difficulties, or the loss of a job. As we read
the Gospels and look at the example of Jesus Christ loving and serving people, we see Him at work in many of these situations. These were open doors that provided an opportunity to minister.
Ideas that help open doors:
- Birthday and anniversary cards – signed with notes
- Monthly letter to all employees that includes some encouraging, relational topics and
- Christmas card/letter to all employees, customers, and vendors
- Holiday meal/party for all employees
- Summer picnic for the employees and their spouse and kids
- Saying THANK YOU in person, by card, by phone, by email, or by giving awards
- Remember that people want to know that they are cared for before they will listen to
Principle #3: Opportunities To Minister To Others
As we are praying daily for the people that God has brought to us, open door situations will happen. Through developing relationships, we demonstrate that we are available and open to communicate. Communication involves talking and listening – listening more than talking. It is important to communicate care, love, and a desire to serve, and to be encouraging with words. We must know the people around us well enough to observe changes in their behavior and moods. Be sensitive and attempt to identify any needs.
Principle #4: Respond
Here is an example of how a business owner might respond to an open door in someone’s life:
“I have been praying for Joe for months. Later on, I hear that Joe’s mother has died (crisis). I notice that he is going through the normal grieving process (observation). I send Joe a card with a personal note and continue to pray (sensitivity). One day, I listen to Joe over a coffee break about what how he is doing. I offer to help Joe with some practical issues (serving). I send him a booklet of scripture (caring). I invite Joe to go to a sporting event with me during the next few weeks (availability). I emailed Joe to let him know that I am still praying for him months later (encouragement). I get a call from Joe late one night about his teenager who is in trouble. I listen, trying to encourage and counsel him. I am there for him (showing love). Finally, I ask Joe if we can read the scriptures together. Eventually, I ask if he would like to invite Jesus into his life.”
Helpful Hints Taking Christ To Your Workplace
- Do not be “religious” at work, but let Christ live through you.
- Lift up the flag of faith but do not be offensive or pushy.
- Be a light in a world of darkness.
- Offer to pray for co-workers with problems.
- Write down prayer requests and follow up.
- Ask about employees’ families.
- Keep a supply of Bibles and booklets to give out in the right situation.
- Go out to lunch and talk.
- Be patient – this takes time and effort.
Review of the Process
- Pray for those we come in contact with through business, asking God to prepare our hearts
- Watch for the doors that God is opening as He works in the lives of others.
- Be sensitive to each opportunity to minister to the person.
- Respond carefully and with sensitivity to build trust in the relationship. People are NOT to
be treated as projects, but as relationships that God has provided for his purposes.
- Ask God how He would like you to be “salt and light” in the world in which you live.
- Ask God to show you the people and give you a plan for your own workplace ministry.
- Daily ask God to open doors into people’s lives, for His sensitivity to be aware of the open
doors, and for His heart in how to respond to open doors.